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WILL - Focus - December 28, 2012

Exploring JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit

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(Duration: 51:33)

This September marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of JRR Tolkien's novel The Hobbit. An estimated 100 million copies of the book have been sold since its publication, but interest in The Hobbit sees no signs of abating, as the first of a trilogy of Hobbit films by Peter Jackson opens this December. Author Corey Olsen, who produces a podcast called The Tolkien Professor, feels that The Hobbit has lived far too long in the shadow of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books. His idea is to turn attention back to what he calls "this brilliant little book." Olsen is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland and the President and founder of the Mythgard Institute, a new online teaching center for the study of Tolkien and other works of imaginative literature.

This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, November 06, 2012, 10 am


WILL - Focus - December 27, 2012

Interview with Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas

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(Duration: 50:33)

Since the beginning of his career in journalism eight years ago, Jose Vargas has written hundreds of stories — including covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post; profiling Al Gore for Rolling Stone and Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker; writing and producing a documentary on the AIDS epidemic in the nation's capital; and winning a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech massacre.  A little over a year ago, Vargas wrote a groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine revealing his "undocumented immigrant" status.  Since then, he founded Define American and has worked to facilitate dialogue about the DREAM Act and immigration issues.

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, October 26, 2012, 10 am


WILL - Focus - December 26, 2012

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

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(Duration: 51:23)

This August marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Child. Child practically invented the television cooking program – would there be a Food Network without her? - and helped usher in the early years of PBS. But her life was so much more than the French Chef. Her files as a member of the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA, were declassified in 2008, leading to a flood of information about her fascinating life. Her time in the OSS led her to France, where she took cooking classes and was determined to master Franch cooking. Journalist Bob Spitz spent time with Child in the early 1990s, and the conversations about food they had then form the basis of his new book Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child.

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 10 am

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WILL - Focus - December 18, 2012

A Disability History of the United States

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(Duration: 51:22)

An estimated one out of every five Americans has been diagnosed with one or more psychological or physical disabilities. That makes disabled Americans one of our largest minorities. And yet, most of our history books pay little notice to the role the disabled have played in our nation’s past. We’ll discuss the contributions of the disabled to our laws, policies, economics, popular culture, and collective identity, with Kim Nielsen, author of A Disability History of the United States.


WILL - Focus - December 17, 2012

Gun Violence

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(Duration: 51:59)

Our show will be dedicated to the subject of gun violence after Friday’s shocking Connecticut school shooting. We’ll look at how the shooting may impact America’s conversations about guns and safety. We'll also discuss the recent court ruling striking down Illinois’ concealed carry ban, and what it means for the future of gun laws in Illinois. And we'll welcome your thoughts - about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, about what it says about our society, and about what, if anything, it tells us about our feelings towards guns. Guests will include Richard Pearson, director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, and Jerry Belair of Stop Handgun Violence, an organization promoting gun safety.



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