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."

Stephen Voss/NPR

Longer Listen - October 28, 2015

New Host, Kelly McEvers, Will Bring Her Midwestern Roots To All Things Considered

Kelly McEvers knew from the first story she wrote for the Daily Illini while studying at the University of Illinois that she wanted to be a journalist. You've heard her report more recently as NPR's Beirut Bureau Chief and now as one of the new hosts of All Things Considered

McEvers recently talked with Illinois Public Media's Amanda Honigfort about being a foreign correspondent, bringing more of Midwest perspective to All Things Considered, and growing up in nearby Lincoln, Illinois. 

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. 

An American tank in Carentan, France - June 1944

The United States National Archives

Longer Listen - August 28, 2015

70 Years After World War II Ends: A Local Look Back

The 22 families who lived on Hero Street in Silvis, Ill. sent 57 of their children to fight in World War II. Some combination of those 22 fought in every theater, in every major battle, and through them, author Carlos Harrison shares a vivid portrait of the war. We dive into some of the stories and realities he uncovered, as well as talk with some of those from Silvis and the surrounding area who went to fight and who were here during the war. 

Adolf Tolkachev leaving his car at a roadblock on June 9, 1985.

Courtesy of H. Keith Melton and the Melton Archive

Longer Listen - July 10, 2015

A Tale Of Real-Life Espionage In New Book

David Hoffman details the story of Adolf Tolkachev, the most valuable Soviet spy during the Cold War, and the CIA agents he passed hundreds of thousands of pages of information to in his new book – the Billion Dollar Spy. 

A group of female African Savannah Elephants take a dust bath in Tanzania

Linda Honigfort

Longer Listen - June 16, 2015

The African Elephant Is Actually Two Separate Species - And In Danger

According to researchers the African elephant is actually two different species of elephant - a development with big implications for conservation. We talk with Alfred Roca, a researcher at the University of Illinois who specializes in genetics and wildlife conservation, about the differences in the elephant and what that means for its survival. 

President Barack Obama receives His Excellency Andris Razans Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia, during an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office

Wikipedia Commons; White House Image/Chuck Kennedy

Longer Listen - March 20, 2015

Latvian Ambassador Bullish On EU; Not Worried About Russia, Greece

Ambassador Andris Razāns has served as the Latvian ambassador to the United States and Mexico since July of 2012 and 2013 respectively. He spoke with Illinois Public Media about the challenges facing the European Union, particularly Greece’s debt problems and Russian aggression and about how Latvia gained its independence through song.