Michael Chrzastowski teaches his first class in his series, Gaining a Christian Understanding of the Qur’an, at entered First Presbyterian Church in Champaign, IL.

WILL/Amanda Honigfort

Longer Listen - May 10, 2016

Interfaith Class Seeks Deeper Understanding of Islam

Michael Chrzastowski worked for years as a geologist at the University of Illinois. Instead of retirement, however, he decided to pursue a second career in religion. Now, the Lutheran helps Christians better understand Islam. 

Muslim women ride the subway

Penguin Press

Longer Listen - April 28, 2016

‘Excellent Daughters’ Throughout The Middle East Are Transforming Life In Their Countries

Journalist Katherine Zoepf (zohf) covered the Middle East for The New York Times between 2004 and 2010. And she says the reality is much more nuanced than the views of the region commonly held in the US. Illinois Public Media’s Amanda Honigfort talked with Zoepf about the stories shared in her recent book "Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of the Young Women Who are Transforming the Arab World."

Bruce (middle) discussing protocol with Rob James-Collier (Tomas, left) and Kevin Doyle (Mr. Mosley, right).

Courtesy of Masterpiece

Longer Listen - January 04, 2016

Downton Abbey Historical Adviser On Season Six, Filming And More

Downton Abbey season six, the final season, premiered in the U.S. yesterday to great acclaim. It wouldn’t look the way it does or be so historically accurate, however, if it weren’t for Alastair Bruce. The cast and crew of Downton Abbey, Masterpiece’s smash hit about the Crawley family and their servants call Bruce, the show’s historical advisor, “The Oracle” because he knows everything about the customs and protocols of the time period. 

Courtesy of Masterpiece

Longer Listen - December 14, 2015

Downton Abbey Historical Adviser Alastair Bruce On Filming, Manners Special

The cast and crew of Downton Abbey, Masterpiece’s smash hit about the Crawley family and their servants call Historical Advisor Alistair Bruce “The Oracle” because he knows everything about the customs and protocols of the time period. Bruce is in town to share some of that knowledge and secrets about filming the show at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts tonight.

John's seal on the cover of Magna Carta: The Birth Of Liberty

Viking Press

Longer Listen - October 27, 2015

So You Think You Know The Magna Carta…?

This year, the Magna Carta will turn 800 years old. The document, literally “Great Charter” when translated from Latin, is revered as the founding document of western democracy. Its language is found in many later key political documents including the US constitution and the Bill of Rights. But when Dan Jones dug into its history he found a very different story than we assume. Illinois Public Media's Amanda Honigfort talked with Jones about what he found. 

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act as Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Lady Bird Johnson, Muriel Humphrey, Sen. Edward (Ted) Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and others look on.

Public Domain

Longer Listen - October 23, 2015

Tom Gjelten: U.S. Moving Toward ‘Nation of Nations’

NPR’s Tom Gjelten talked with Illinois Public Media’s Amanda Honigfort about how his new book, Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story, chronicles not only how we’ve reached that point, but also tells the stories of some of those immigrants. 

part of the new soft war on women book cover

Jennifer Carrow/Penguin Random House

Longer Listen - September 25, 2015

‘New Soft War On Women’ Is Pushing Progress Back

Conventional wisdom says there’s never been a better time to be a woman. For the first time in U.S. History, women make up half of the educated labor force and are earning the majority of advanced degrees. Not so fast. Caryl Rivers says if you look more closely, women now must fight what she dubs the “New Soft War on Women.” That’s the title of a new book she wrote with Rosalind Barnett, just out in paperback. 

part of the cover of Brush Back, the latest  V.I. Warshawski novel by Sara Paretsky

Penguin Random House

Longer Listen - July 31, 2015

Paretsky On Her Best-Selling Chicago PI And Diversity In Mystery Writing

Sara Paretsky knows mystery writing. She's the author of the long-running, New York Times-bestselling V.I. Warshawski series. As the latest book hits shelves, she talked with us about Chicago's influence on her life and work and how the mystery genre has changed over the past 30 years. 

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