From 1999 to 2006 he was Attorney General of the state of New York. In 2006, he won his bid for the New York governorship by one of the largest margins in state history. But in the spring of 2008, his name was best known for its involvement with prostitution. A documentary about Eliot Spitzer's meteoric career in politics, called “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” is out in limited release now.
Walter Mosley is widely known for his best-selling historical mysteries featuring Easy Rawlins — a hard-boiled black detective and World War II veteran living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. But Mosley's writing spans a number of genres, including science fiction, graphic novels, young adult literature, and political non-fiction. His newest book is called “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.” It centers on 91-year-old Ptolemy Grey, an African American living alone in violent South Central L.A.. Suffering from dementia and poor health, Ptolemy seems ready to give up on life, until he meets a 17-year-old girl who may be able to help him recover his lucidity...at a cost.
David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works, written numerous scores for Broadway and film, authored three books, and played dozens of instruments from over 25 countries, including the jazz French horn, an unusual instrument/genre pairing in which he has long been considered a pioneer. The artists Amram has collaborated with are some of the greatest names in the music and entertainment: Langston Hughes, Dizzy Gillespie, Dustin Hoffman, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Tito Puente, Charlie Parker, Jack Kerouac, and Leonard Bernstein, who chose him as The New York Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966.
Try to imagine the world two hundred million years ago, when the earth's original landmass began to break apart into the continents that we know today. That moment made way for the mighty Atlantic ocean.
Author, geologist and journalist Simon Winchester fell in love with the Atlantic when he made his first trans-Atlantic voyage in the early 1960s. That voyage inspired his latest book: "Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories."
John Legend has racked up six Grammy awards and gathered a loyal fan base. His long time projects with The Roots have given him a place in the contemporary music scene that most musicians would envy, and his nods to influences like Stevie Wonder give him crossover power for an older audience as well. Legend joins us to discuss his latest and more pointedly political album, "Wake Up," on which he and The Roots collaborated yet again.
It's a debate that's been around for as long as the Internet has been around: How do we keep the information superhighway open and beneficial for the public in a world that seems increasingly driven by corporations? The question has inspired plenty of debate about modern treatment of older principals, but author Tim Wu insists this debate isn’t new. He says it’s been around as long as communication structures have existed — from the telephone and radio to television.
We all know the words unemployment and underemployment, but are you familiar with the term "malemployment?" Chances are, even if you don’t know the word, you know some who’s suffering through it. Malemployment, unlike underemployment, isn’t about workers having too little work. It’s about college degree holders working jobs that don’t require college degrees.
Kristen and Rafer discuss the upcoming "127 Hours," films primarily about single characters, and the exact circumstances under which Kristen thought she might lose her lunch during the film.
President George W. Bush has promised readers that his new memoir, "Decision Points," is unconventional. But is it really unique? Will readers be surprised? Or will his book, like so many presidential memoirs and biographies, fall flat?
Karen Holt joins us; she has written about other presidential biographies. She’s a former deputy editor of Publishers Weekly and contributes book reviews to O: The Oprah Magazine and Essence. She shares her opinions on "Decision Points," and presidential memoirs in general.
For generations, Sibera has served as a metaphor for exile, whether social, political, romantic, or geographic. Consider political thinkers like Lenin, who were forced to serve time — often years — in Siberia, or romantic heroes like Dr. Zhivago, cruelly separated from those they love and sent to the region's icy tundra. Even people who commit crimes of etiquette in their social circles inadvertently exile themselves to social Siberia.
But is this place of exile really so much like a prison? Ian Frazier doesn’t think so.
Danny Boyle started off as an edgy, indy filmmaker with such hits as “Shallow Grave” and “Trainspotting.” But after several more well-received mainstream films, he launched into international superstardom with his Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire.” No doubt his newest movie "127 Hours" will continue to keep his names on everyone’s radar. It’s already getting a ton of buzz — including rumors of audience members passing out and vomiting during each screening.
Tech writer and Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly has a new book. It’s called “What Technology Wants” — and even more intriguing than the title are the ideas inside. One chapter in particular that’s been getting a lot of buzz is about Amish hackers. Yes, you read that right: The same Amish famed for their barns and bonnets, in fact, know a thing or two about technology.
Kelly joins us to explain more about that, and some other surprising theories about how technology works, and what it wants.
A look ahead to the movies coming out over the holiday season, some of them hoping for love at The Oscars. Rafer and Kristen start from Saw-3D and quickly move on to the (better) films they're looking forward to in the next few months.
He descends from American music royalty, and is a celebrated recording artist in his own right, having fronted the Grammy-award winning Wallflowers and sold over six million records.
His name is Jakob Dylan, and he joins us in studio to talk about his second solo album, called “Women and Country.”
If you're familiar with Oscar-nominated performances, then you know the name Melissa Leo. In 2008, she starred as an impoverished single mother, trying to hold onto her home in “Frozen River.” Desperate and almost destitute, her character eventually takes to smuggling undocumented immigrants over a frozen river between the U.S. and Canada. The role earned Leo an Oscar nomination.
Leo also starred as Detective Kay Howard on “Homicide: Life on the Street” for most of the '90s and currently stars on HBO's "Treme." She has several movies that are soon to be released, including “The Fighter,” opposite Mark Wahlberg, and “Welcome to the Rileys,” which opens today.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States. During his two terms, he enlarged Social Security, signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, and declared racial discrimination a national security issue. And, of course, before all that, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II.
Widely considered a great president and a great Republican, many people still can’t help but like Ike.
During the months leading up to the current end-of-campaign-season frenzy, it’s become commonplace for politicians and passionate Americans to invoke the Founding Fathers and the original Constitution. But as recent debates and high profile interviews have demonstrated, a lot of these same people don’t necessarily know the rights and responsibilities that the Constitution secures.
What is mental illness, and what causes it? Can it be mere stress? Recreational drug use? A cheating girlfriend? A vitamin imbalance?
Mark Vonnegut proposed all these possibilities in his 1975 bestseller “The Eden Express.” A memoir of counter-culture, coming of age, and living with schizophrenia, The New York Times said it was "required reading for those who want to understand insanity from the inside."
Nortec Collective is a band from Northern Mexico that’s known for pushing boundaries and blurring our notions of what constitutes borders.
Whether performing instrumentals, like “Tijuana Bass,” or singing electronic songs filled with mixed English and Spanish, they demonstrate that fences can do little to prevent the exchange of ideas and cultures, and may, in fact, do a lot to inspire them.
(Check out their new single, "I Count the Ways," after the jump.)
There’s a new movie hitting theatres this week called “Strange Powers.” It follows a band that, according to the film’s disclaimer, is iconic to some and completely unknown to others.
The band is called The Magnetic Fields. And though they’ve been making albums since 1989, their founding member, Stephin Merritt, is still a mystery to many.
Meritt and Claudia Gonson (who provides vocals and instrumentals for the band, and also serves as the band's manager) join us in studio, to give us a small glimpse into their lives, their music, and the film.
After the jump, an extended version of our studio interview with Merritt and Gonson.