The Leonard Lopate Show : August 2013

The CIA's Shadow War; Mary Williams; Philipp Meyer's The Son; Interviewing the Last WWI Veterans

Friday, August 30, 2013

We're replaying some favorite recent interviews. First, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Mark Mazzetti explains how the line between soldiers and spies has been blurred, and what that means for America’s national security. Mary Williams talks about growing up in the Black Panther movement and then being adopted as a teenager by Jane Fonda. Philipp Meyer describes his novel, The Son, set it Texas and spanning more than a century. And Richard Rubin discusses finding and interviewing find dozens of WWI veterans to capture their stories of the Great War before they died.

Conspiracy Theories; Voyage in the South Pacific; Jane Gardam's Last Friends; Trash into Energy; Doctors without Borders

Thursday, August 29, 2013

We’ll start today’s show with a history of conspiracy theories from colonial America to the current War on Terror. J. Maarten Troost describes leaving rehab and gradually reawakening to life as he retraced the journey that Robert Louis Stevenson made through the South Pacific. Novelist Jane Gardam talks about Last Friends, the final installment in the Old Filth trilogy. We’ll talk to the inventor of a new technology that turns our trash into energy. Plus, find out why Doctors Without Borders is pulling out of Somalia and what its staff is seeing in Syria after the alleged chemical attack over the weekend.

Fifty Years After the March on Washington; Fifty Years of the Mets

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today, we’ll mark the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Jonathan Rieder talks about Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” We’ll discuss a documentary about Dr. King’s life and work, from the beginnings of his campaign for civil rights to his assassination in 1968. We’ll look at the role civil rights activist Bayard Rustin played in the movement. He was marginalized for being openly gay. We’ll joined by his partner, Walter Naegle. And we’ll discuss another 50 year anniversary with former New York Times columnist Ira Berkow and the time he’s covered the NY Mets.

Bloomberg's New York; an Instruction Manual for Life; Ben Zimmer on the word "Bubble"; Architecture Critic Rowan Moore

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

As the race for Mayor heats up, The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta looks back at 12 years of Michael Bloomberg and his legacy. Tom Shadyac, the director of the films “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “Patch Adams,” explains how a brush with death made him change the way he lives his life. Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer on the word “bubble” and how it’s used on Wall Street. Rowan Moore, architecture critic for The Observer, talks about how our emotions are the most powerful force behind the design of buildings.

"Glickman"; Gerard Lordahl on Gardening; the Big Apple Circus; Our Social Lives and Our Genes

Monday, August 26, 2013

Director James L. Freedman talks about his documentary “Glickman,” about the Jewish-American athlete who was banned from the 1936 Berlin Olympics and went on to become a revered sportscaster. Former senator—and former basketball player—Bill Bradley, who’s featured in the film, also joins us. Then Gerard Lordahl takes your calls on gardening matters and shares tips on how to get the most out of your plants as the weather starts to get cooler. Big Apple Circus founder Paul Binder describes what it’s like to work under the Big Top. Plus, we’ll look at epigenetics and how our social lives can affect our genes.

Capital Punishment in the U.S.; Wong Kar War on His New Film; Amy Grant; Please Explain

Friday, August 23, 2013

On today’s show, we take a look at two of the most consequential—but largely forgotten—Supreme Court decisions on capital punishment. Director Wong Kar Wai talks about his long-awaited film “The Grandmaster.” Singer-songwriter Amy Grant discusses collaborating with James Taylor, Carole King, and others on her first album in 10 years. Plus, inspired by this week’s blue moon, Please Explain is all about the moon!

Events in Egypt; Algebra; Muhammad Ali Outside the Ring; the Sequester; Temple Grandin

Thursday, August 22, 2013

On today’s show: a live report on the latest events in Egypt. Nicholson Baker explains why he thinks that advanced algebra shouldn’t be a high school requirement. Director Bill Siegel talks about his documentary “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” about the legendary boxer’s life outside the ring. New York Times reporter Ron Nixon explains how the sequester is affecting the nation as a whole. And with grain prices on the rise, Temple Grandin describes what cattle farmers are feeding their herds to keep costs low, and its dramatic effects.

Melissa Clark Talks Eggplant; Bomb-Sniffing Dogs; Lost Cats; Shocking Experiments

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New York Times Dining Section columnist Melissa Clark is here with some suggestions of ways to prepare eggplant! Then we’ll talk to a trainer of bomb-sniffing dogs about how canines are taught to work in hazardous situations and why their noses are so sensitive. Nancy Davidson tells the tales behind some of the missing cat posters we see around the city. And Gina Perry on the full story behind the controversial 1961 psychological experiment in which subjects were administer electric shocks to another person when they were ordered to.

Security at the New World Trade Center; Banjo Master Béla Fleck; Marisha Pessl's Night Film; Famous Figures in Physics

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On today’s show, Scott Raab talks about the challenges of dealing with security at the new World Trade Center. Grammy Award-winning banjo player Béla Fleck plays music from his new album, “The Impostor,” live in our studio. Marisha Pessl talks about Night Film. And we’ll find out about symmetry and the physicist Emmy Noether, whose work in symmetries has been called as important as Einstein’s theory on the speed of light.

Rebuilding at Ground Zero; Peter von Ziegasar's Memoir; "Short Term 12"; "The Butler"

Monday, August 19, 2013

Urban anthropologist Elizabeth Greenspan talks about the tension between commerce and commemoration at Ground Zero. Peter von Ziegesar talks about growing up among Long Island’s Gilded Age families and becoming the keeper of his homeless, schizophrenic step-brother. Then, the director and the star of the film “Short Term 12,” about the employees of a facility for at-risk teens. And director Lee Daniels and screenwriter Danny Strong discuss their new film, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” about a black man who worked at the White House over the course of eight administrations, covering much of the civil rights era.

Entrepreneurship in the Middle East; Junot Díaz and the Lopate Show Book Club; the Saga of John Fahey; Please Explain

Friday, August 16, 2013

We’ll find out how entrepreneurship is shaping the Middle East. Junot Díaz joins us for this month’s Leonard Lopate Show Book Club to talk about The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. James Cullingham talks about his documentary about John Fahey, who’s been called the father of American primitive guitar, and who helped preserve the sound of the Delta blues and New Orleans jazz. And before you go for a hike this weekend, listen to this week’s Please Explain—it’s all about ticks!

Moving Oil; the Cloisters Anniversary; a New Novel; Drone Attacks; Ten Years After the Blackout

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On today’s show, find out about the Enbridge pipeline. Like the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, it will transport oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but hasn’t received much attention. The mayors of two Illinois towns share their concerns about the safety hazard posed by the oil that travels by train. We’ll mark the 75th anniversary of the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum’s Medieval art collection. Peter Mattei talks about his novel The Deep Whatsis. We’ll  look at United States policy on compensating the families of civilians killed in drone strikes. And 10 years after the major Northeast blackout, we’ll find out what’s been done to improve our power grid.

Women Opting Out, Returning to Work; Architect Hugh Hardy; "Hopper Drawings" at the Whitney; the Gurus of How-To

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On today’s show, Judith Warner talks about the experiences of women who left their careers to stay at home with their young children and are now trying to restart their professional lives. Hugh Hardy reviews his 50-year career in architecture and the challenges, strategies, and human concerns that have influenced his design. Carter Foster discusses the exhibition of drawings by Edward Hopper, now on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art. And Al and Larry Ubell, our gurus of how-to, answer home repair questions from you, our listeners!

The Foster Care System; Religion in Prison; Dying Bees; Economic Uncertainty and the Working Class

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On today’s show: Foster mother Cris Beam talks about her experience and what she learned about the intricacies of the foster care system. Then, we’ll hear about four inmates at Pennsylvania’s Graterford Prison who work together in the chapel there. Time magazine’s Bryan Walsh investigates what’s causing the mass death of honey bees and what the possibility of their extinction would mean for all of us. Plus, a look at how working-class men and women are making the transition to adulthood in a time of economic uncertainty.

Covering Crimes in Syria; a Slave Plantation on Long Island; Peter Gethers' Novel, Ask Bob; Traveling for Cheaper Health Care

Monday, August 12, 2013

Journalist Janine di Giovani talks about how rape is being used as a weapon of war by both sides in the Syrian conflict. We’ll look at Long Island’s Sylvester Manor, which was founded as a northern slave plantation more than 300 years ago. Peter Gethers talks about his novel, Ask Bob, about a veterinarian who should follow the advice he shares in his weekly newspaper column. And New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal discusses the latest installment in her year-long series about the cost of health care in the US.

Talking Trash; "Punk: Chaos to Couture"; "Love's Labour's Lost"; Please Explain

Friday, August 09, 2013

New York City generates an average of 11,000 tons of household trash each day, and on today’s show an anthropologist and three sanitation workers explain how the Dept. of Sanitation handles all of that waste. Andrew Bolton, curator of the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, talks about the exhibition “Punk: Chaos to Couture.” Rachel Dratch and composer Michael Friedman tell us about Shakespeare in the Park’s production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Plus, this week’s Please Explain is about in vitro fertilization.

Mayoral Candidates and Funding for the Arts; Compulsives in America; Babayaga, a Novel; Time Warner v. CBS

Thursday, August 08, 2013

We’ll find out what 14 of the candidates for mayor said at a recent forum on funding for arts education and culture in New York. Then, find out how compulsive people have shaped American history—from Thomas Jefferson to Steve Jobs. Toby Barlow talks about his latest novel, Babayaga. Plus, a look at the spat between Time Warner Cable and CBS—and the future of television.

Social Media and Justice; Dinosaur Fossils for Sale; Brewster, a Novel; the Fight over Slavery

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy talks about how social media and online communities are changing how crimes are solved and prosecuted. We’ll look at the fossils of two dinosaurs locked in battle that were discovered in Montana in 2006 and are set to be auctioned to the highest bidder. Mark Slouka talks about his new novel, Brewster. Brenda Wineapple examines America in the mid-19th century, when people were settling the West and finding new freedom there, even as the country was fighting bitterly over slavery.

Reporting Civil Rights; Conserving Digital Art; Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; the Life and Times of Charles Manson

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Bill Kovach and Clayborne Carson, editors of a new anthology of writing about the civil rights movement, tell how James Baldwin, Robert Penn Warren, Gordon Parks and many others captured the struggle for equality. We’ll find how curators and conservators are preserving digital art. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about exploring race and identity in her latest novel, Americanah. Jeff Guin talks about interviewing Charles Manson’s sister and cousin to trace the roots of the infamous murderer’s criminal career.

Katarina Witt, "The Diplomat"; "Casting By"; Counting Calories; a Psychiatrist Reflects on Her Patients

Monday, August 05, 2013

Katarina Witt was the top international figure skater in the 1980s when she represented East Germany. She describes how she was also under constant surveillance by the Stasi. She’s be joined by the director of a new documentary about how she dealt with the unusual convergence of sports and politics. Tom Donahue talks about his new documentary about the unsung hero in filmmaking: the casting director. We’ll find out how posting calorie counts on menus can have surprising effects on our choices. And a psychiatrist talks about her most challenging patients and how they’ve deepened her commitment to her work.

"Prince Avalanche"; Drama and Intrigue at FSG; Instructions for a Heatwave, a Novel; Please Explain

Friday, August 02, 2013

Director David Gordon Green and actors Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch talk about their new film, “Prince Avalanche.” Then, a look at the sex, ego-stroking, and grudge matches that took place during the early days of the renowned publishing house, Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Maggie O’Farrell talks about her latest novel, Instructions for a Heatwave. And our latest Please Explain is all about pain medications!

Theater Director Jack O'Brien; Orson Welles Recordings; "Choir Boy"; Voting Rights in NC; Saving Florida's Oranges

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Jack O’Brien talks about his unexpected career, directing Broadway shows like “Catch Me If You Can” and operas at the Metropolitan Opera. Then, film historian Peter Biskind on newly found recordings of conversations between Orson Welles and fellow director Henry Jaglom. Jeremy Pope and Wallace Smith discuss their roles in the off-Broadway play, “Choir Boy.” Ari Berman takes look at a North Carolina bill that would change the state’s voting laws. And we’ll find out how genetic modification could save Florida’s oranges.