August 21, 2012

Encore: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Guest: Rebecca Skloot.

She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—would become one of the most important tools of modern medicine, used to develop the polio vaccine, gene mapping, cloning, and more. Today on Focus, Rebecca Skloot joins the show to tell the story of Henrietta Lacks, the medical revolution that she unknowingly launched, and the ethics one must consider when it comes to our bodies and medicine.

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August 14, 2012

Showdown in the Sonoran Desert: Religion, Law, and the Immigration Controversy

Ananda Rose, Ph.D., Journalist

Host: David Inge

Every day, people from Mexico risk their lives to enter the United States. Many become lost in the desert. A few Americans have taken steps to help these undocumented people who would otherwise die of exposure, but that puts them in direct conflict with their fellow citizens and with the U.S. government. Poet and journalist Ananda Rose traveled to the Southwest to talk with people on both sides of the issue, those motivated by compassion and those by law. She’ll tell us what she learned. It’s all in her book "Showdown in the Sonoran Desert."

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 11 am


July 18, 2012

The Irish Way Becoming American in the Multiethnic City

James R. Barrett, Ph.D., Professor of History, History Department, University of Illinois

Host: Celeste Quinn

Historian James Barrett says America’s first ethnic group, its first immigrants, were the Irish.  As such, they laid the foundation for the immigrants who followed.  That foundation was at once hostile and welcoming. Barrett says, in the end, it led to a new sense of American identity that continues to influence today.

This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 11 am


July 10, 2012

Never In My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman's Life in Journalism

Belva Davis, Award-Winning Journalist

Host: David Inge

We talk to television news pioneer Belva Davis. She was the first black woman to work in television news on the West Coast. She has talked with some of the most notable figures of the 20th century and reported some of the biggest stories, including the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the birth of the Black Panthers and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. On a recent visit to the campus, she stopped by our studios to talk about how she got her start in broadcasting and to share stories drawn from her 40-year career. Recorded on April 17, 2012.

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


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


June 22, 2012

Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent

E. J. Dionne Jr., Columnist for the Washington Post; Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; and University Professor, the Foundations of Democracy and Culture, Georgetown University

Host: David Inge

Our guest will be political commentator E.J. Dionne. In his new book "Our Divided Political Heart," he tries to make sense of the current unhappiness that runs through American politics. He says our discontent is rooted in our inability agree on who we are.  American history, he says, is defined by the tension between two core values, love of individualism and reverence for community. He says we need to remember our greatness has always depended on a balance between our two core values.


June 18, 2012

The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon

William Adler, Writer

Host: David Inge

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 11 am

In 1914, Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Utah and executed by a firing squad. The result was an international controversy. People around the world believed he was innocent, and that he had been convicted for just one reason--he was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. In a program from the archives, William Adler tells the story of Joe Hill, the songwriter who became an American labor icon. That’s the subject of his book "The Man Who Never Died."


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