Today on Focus, host Jack Brighton interviews Iris Chang, author of Thread of the Silkworm. The recent book is the definitive biography of Tsien Hsue-Shen, a pioneer of America's space age who was denounced as a communist for unknown reasons, deported, and taken in by the Chinese missile program.
Susan Brownmiller, best known for feminist writings (Against Our Will; Femininity), first visited Vietnam in 1992 after travel restrictions for ordinary Americans were lifted. Traveling from Hanoi to the Mekong Delta, Brownmiller praises Vietnam's literacy rates while noting widespread malnourishment and the massive failure of large-scale state enterprises. She notes the continuing differences between north and south and the ecological damage caused by the war, integrating these observations into lengthy discussions of hotels, meals and plumbing, and accounts of people met and sights seen.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Bright Shining Lie revisits the scene of his magisterial account of the war in Vietnam and reveals the country that is just beginning to emerge from the war's ashes.
Today on Focus, we're joined by the author of Unearthing Atlantis: An Archaeological Odyssey. Charles Pellegrino synthesizes archaeology, paleontology, history, and literature into one volume as he explores the origins of Atlantis and the stories from which the myth arose. He'll talk about all this and more today on the show.
The oldest hominid skeleton discovered to date, nicknamed "Lucy" by paleontologists, was discovered by paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson in 1973. He joins Focus today to talk about his book Lucy's Child, in which he details his work in the field at the time of the excavation, the controversies surrounding the discovery, and how the spectacular find may contribute to further knowledge of human origins.