July 25, 2012

The Social Conquest of Earth

How do we explain the willingness of one person to sacrifice for another? People will put the interests of family ahead of their own. But biologist Edward O. Wilson says more important in human development has been the advancement of the group, even those members who don’t share our genes. E. O. Wilson talks about his new book "The Social Conquest of Earth." The book explores the biological roots of human culture.

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 11 am


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July 09, 2012

Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick

We’ll explore the life and times of one of baseball’s most eccentric personalities, Bill Veeck. Many will remember him for all of the wacky things he did to get people to the ball park. But this one-time owner of the Chicago White Sox had a serious impact on the game, introducing innovations we now take for granted. He was also an early advocate for the inclusion of black players. Our guest will be Paul Dickson, author of the new biography "Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick."

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, May 11, 2012, 10 am


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July 06, 2012

To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure

A plane crashes, a bridge collapses, and our first impulse is to blame design. Henry Petroski has been studying catastrophic failure for a long time and he says there is always a human element to be considered. The Duke University professor of Engineering will discuss his new book To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure which looks at the ways that people and machines come together in ways designers never anticipated until it was too late.

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, May 09, 2012, 11 am


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July 06, 2012

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

Why are some nations rich and others poor? Many explanations have been offered: culture, geography, even weather. But MIT economist Daron Acemoglu says what matters most are the political and economic institutions made by people. We’ll hear more about the root causes behind success and failure and talk about what might be done to build widespread prosperity.

This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, May 10, 2012, 10 am


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July 05, 2012

The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter

Northwestern University Sociologist Gary Alan Fine has been studying rumors for over 35 years. He began by looking at the ways rumors affected race relations and made it so difficult for blacks and whites to get together. In his more recent work, he has looked at rumors that deal with international politics. He says rumors provide access to what people believe and the beliefs they keep hidden. Fine will share some ideas from his book "The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration and Trade Matter."

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, May 04, 2012, 10 am


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July 03, 2012

The Statue of Liberty: A Transatlantic Story

The Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most powerful symbols, yet when it arrived in crates, no one could have imagined just how powerful it would become. We’ll get the story of the small group of French intellectuals who decided to offer a tribute to American liberty and of the uphill fight for American support. Our guest will be historian Edward Berenson, author of the new book "The Statue of Liberty: A Transatlantic Story."

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, June 29, 2012, 11 am


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July 02, 2012

Poetry

Toi Derricotte, professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of five books of poetry and has won a number of awards for her work, including two Pushcart Prizes. She is also the co-founder of Cave Canem, a workshop and retreat for African-American poets. We’ll talk about her memoir “The Black Notebooks” based on two decades of journal keeping and her most recent poetry collection “The Undertaker’s Daughter,” a book that looks back on her childhood in an abusive home. This interview was recorded on April 4, 2012

This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, May 03, 2012, 10 am


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June 05, 2012

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China

Jay Taylor, Writer

Host: David Inge
image from book cover of The Generalissimo

At the time of his death, Chiang Kai-shek was widely viewed as a brutal dictator, a failed military leader, and the man who lost the mainland to Mao Zedong.  Jay Taylor says that was once his assessment too, but after doing research on the life of the Chinese leader, Taylor says he says he came to see Chiang as a complex figure--not the complete villain the West sees nor the saint long revered in Taiwan. We’ll rebroadcast an interview with Jay Taylor author of "The Generalissimo."

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, July 08, 2009, 10 am


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May 30, 2012

The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change

Most of Africa’s farmers are so poor they can’t grow enough to feed their families year round. In January of 2011 a group of Kenyan farmers decided to take a chance--joining the One Acre Fund, a social enterprise set up to help some of Africa’s most neglected people. The hope was that they could feed their families for the year, and have a bit left over to sell.  Roger Thurow brings us the story of a farm community on the brink of change, the subject of his book "The Last Hunger Season."


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