"Pippin"; "Here Lies Love"; "Frances Ha"; and Please Explain: Neuroaesthetics

Friday, May 31, 2013

Three stars from “Pippin,” Andrea Martin, Patina Miller, and Terrence Mann, talk about their Tony-nominated roles in the Broadway revival of this beloved musical. David Byrne talks about bringing his disco musical “Here Lies Love,” to the Public Theater, and its star, Ruthie Ann Miles, talks about playing Imelda Marcos. Director Noah Baumbach and star Greta Gerwig discuss their new film, “Frances Ha.” And this week’s Please Explain is about neuroaesthetics and the science of how we perceive beauty.

Helping Women in Africa; The Dramatic End of WWII; A Billion Dollar Online Poker Empire; Amazon and Taxes

Thursday, May 30, 2013

We’ll talk with Molly Melching, who went to Senegal as an exchange student and has stayed for almost 40 years, trying to improve the lives of women and girls there. Rick Atkinson talks about the conclusion of his monumental Liberation Trilogy, The Guns at Last Light, which chronicles the fight in Europe from D-Day to VE Day. Plus, the story of six college friends who turned their weekly poker game into a billion-dollar online gaming empire. And we’ll take a look at Amazon’s fight not to charge its customers state sales tax.

Finding Your Element; "Hannah Arendt"; "Shadow Dancer"; Vietnamese Migration

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ken Robinson’s TED talk on finding your passion is the most-watched of all time, and he talks about how to discover what your talents are and how to nourish them. Director Margarethe von Trotta and actor Barbara Sukowa discuss the new biopic “Hannah Arendt.” Director James Marsh and stars Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough talk about their film, “Shadow Dancer,” about a Northern Irish woman who chooses to spy on her own family rather than go to prison. And we’ll look at the largest mass migration in human history—the more than one million people who left Vietnam by boat between 1975 and 1996.

Publishing the Pentagon Papers; the novel The Son; Prosecuting Rape in Pakistan; the Last of the Doughboys

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

James Goodale, chief counsel for the New York Times when it published the Pentagon Papers, talks about the debate over whether publishing those documents was in the country's best interest. Philipp Meyer describes his new novel, The Son, set it Texas and spanning more than a century. We’ll find out about the challenges of prosecuting rape cases in Pakistan, the subject of the documentary “Outlawed in Pakistan.” And Richard Rubin discusses finding and interviewing find dozens of WWI veterans to capture their stories of the Great War before they died.

Clive Davis; Why Things Catch On; the Novel Frances and Bernard; Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church

Monday, May 27, 2013

Legendary music producer Clive Davis talks about working with some of music’s biggest names over the last five decades, including Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Kelly Clarkson.  Marketing professor Jonah Berger helps us understand why some products and ideas catch on while others don’t. Carlene Bauer talks about her latest novel, Frances and Bernard. Plus, one woman’s experience growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its high-profile protests and extreme beliefs.

Pollution and Cancer in Toms River; Paul Anka; Elizabeth Graver's New Novel; Big Data Revolution

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dan Fagin talks about how Toms River, New Jersey, was a dumping ground for cancer-causing industrial pollution for decades. Paul Anka looks back at his life and his career in music, working with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Barnum & Bailey Circus acrobats. Elizabeth Graver talks about her latest novel, The End of the Point. And we’ll look at big data and how it will affect our economy, scientific discovery, and revolutionize our daily lives.

The Life of Margaret Thatcher; Paul Theroux in Africa; "Fill the Void," a Film

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On today’s show: we’ll look at Margaret Thatcher’s early life, her early political career, and her first years as Britain’s only female prime minister. Celebrated travel writer Paul Theroux describes returning to Africa after 50 years of traveling around the world. The star and director discuss Israeli film “Fill the Void,” which follows a young Orthodox Hasidic woman who is preparing to marry when tragedy strikes. And we’ll take a look at how Apple is just one of many corporations trying to avoid paying corporate taxes by moving its money out of the United States.

George Packer on the Unwinding of America; Alex Gibney on Wikileaks

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

George Packer discusses the social, political and economic upheaval the United States has experienced over the past generation. And Alex Gibney talks about his documentary “We Steal Secrets: the story of Wikileaks.”

The Cool War with China; Peter Hessler on Dispatches from China

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On today’s show, New Yorker staff writer Peter Hessler talks about his time reporting in China and in the West. And Noah Feldman explains why he thinks the United States is entering a Cool War with China—a contest for alliances, resources, and economic dominance. 

David Sedaris; Paul Farmer of Partners In Health

Monday, May 20, 2013

David Sedaris talks about writing about his family, living abroad, cleaning up roadside rubbish, and keeping a diary. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health, talks about healthcare and social justice.

Food Styling; Danny Meyer on Staff Meals, Please Explain Pasta

Friday, May 17, 2013

Today is the final episode of our Food Fridays series! First, we’ll find out what food stylists do to make food look good on film. Then Danny Meyer tells us about the staff meal traditions in his great restaurants. And this week’s Please Explain is all about pasta!

Colin Quinn Unconstitutional; Jim Gaffigan on Fatherhood; Alan Cumming in "Macbeth"; "The Trip to Bountiful"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Colin Quinn talks about his new comedy, “Colin Quinn Unconstitutional,” about what our founding fathers might think of our country today. Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan shares stories about fatherhood. Alan Cumming discusses his acclaimed one-man production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” And we’ll find out about a new production of Horton Foote’s classic play “The Trip to Bountiful.”

Apologies, Restaurant Reviews, the Documentary "Bidder 70"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dave Bry talks about how apologizing to everyone from his date to a junior high school dance to his cancer-stricken father has helped him come to terms with his past. Then, Raymond Sokolov on watching the food world change since 1971, when he was named food editor at the New York Times. And the directors of the documentary “Bidder 70” tell the story of Tim DeChristopher, who was sent to prison after he successfully bid against energy and mining companies to buy 22,000 acres of land in Utah with no intention of drilling on it. 

Actress Lauren Graham, Surviving a Stroke, Jared Cohen on Our Digital Future

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lauren Graham talks about her acting career and about writing her first novel. New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin talks about having a stroke nearly two years ago. Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas and a former advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, talks about how new technologies are making us re-evaluate all corners of public and private life.

The Philadelphia Chromosome; the Beatles in the USSR; Buddy & Jim; Photojournalists on War

Monday, May 13, 2013

We’ll hear the story of how the accidental discovery of the Philadelphia chromosome led to the first successful treatment of a cancer on a genetic level three decades later. Leslie Woodhead tells how the Beatles helped to inspire an entire generation of Soviet youth. Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale talk about their new album, “Buddy & Jim.” And Michael Kamber and photojournalists Alan Chin and Ashley Gilbertson talk about covering the Iraq War.

Food in NY, Lina Prokofiev, Please Exlain Olive Oil, Icelandic Writer Sjón

Friday, May 10, 2013

Author Robin Shulman, winemaker Latif Jiji, and slaughterhouse owner Imran Uddin on food and making food in NYC. Simon Morrison on the love and wars of Lina Prokofiev. Please Explain is all about olive oil. Icelandic novelist Sjón on The Whispering Muse.

Homeless Families, What Conductors Do, James Salter's New Novel, Stolen Disosaur Bones, Why Wall Street Wins

Thursday, May 09, 2013

In January, New York City’s homeless population topped 50,000. On today’s show: we’ll look into the increase in homeless families and talk with a woman about how this happened to her. Leonard Slatkin explains what it is that conductors do, from running rehearsals to raising a baton to start a performance. Celebrated writer James Salter talks about his latest novel, All That Is. Plus, we’ll discuss the case of a stolen Tyrannosaurus skeleton, which is being returned to Mongolia.

Frank Rich on Race and the GOP, Rescuing Italian Art, Bill Cheng's Novel, Patricia T. O'Conner

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

New York Magazine’s Frank Rich discusses the Republican Party’s efforts to remake its image in an effort to attract more minority voters. We’ll find out about the American soldiers who rescued some of Italy’s art treasures from destruction by the Nazis during World War II. Bill Cheng discusses his novel, Southern Cross the Dog, about how the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 upends the relationships of three childhood friends. Plus, our word maven Patricia T. O’Conner takes your calls and questions on English language and grammar.

Jaron Lanier and Eric Drexler on Technology and the Future, the Influence of Eric Fromm, Nathaniel Philbrick on Bunker Hill

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Jaron Lanier, who has been called the father of virtual reality, explains how technology continues to transform our culture. We’ll look at the life of philosopher Erich Fromm, who wrote about both political and personal relationships and was a major founder of Amnesty International. Nathaniel Philbrick talks about how the Battle of Bunker Hill ignited the American Revolution. Eric Drexler, the founding father of nanotechnology, discusses the future of that science.

Burt Bacharach, Saul Bellow's Life, The Great Gatsby, and "Venus and Serena"

Monday, May 06, 2013

On today’s show: Songwriter Burt Bacharach talks about his life and career in music. Greg Bellow looks at his complex relationship with his father, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Saul Bellow. We’re airing a conversation recorded in the Greene Space in March with the BBC World Book Club. on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Plus, “Venus and Serena,” a new documentary about how the Williams sisters broke new ground and came to dominate women’s tennis.

Mark Bittman, Philip Galanes, Wine and Beer Advice, the Science of Cooking

Friday, May 03, 2013

On today’s show: our Food Fridays series continues with New York Times columnist Mark Bittman’s tips on how to cook for the perfect dinner party—and how to lose weight. Social Q’s columnist Philip Galanes takes calls and questions on how to survive dinner party disasters. Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg help us pick the perfect wines and other drinks to serve at any dinner party. And on this week’s Please Explain, we delve into the science of cooking with Harold McGee!

Lead Wars, Hem Performs Live, Mars Rover, Nadeem Aslam's New Novel

Thursday, May 02, 2013

We’ll find out how the effort to protect children from lead poisoning became one of the most contentious and bitter battles in the history of public health. The Brooklyn-based band Hem perform songs form their new album “Departure and Farewell.” Adam Steltzner, the leader of the Mars Rover’s entry, descent, and landing team, and New Yorker staff writer Burkhard Bilger discuss the Mars Rover and the future of NASA. And Nadeem Aslam talks about his latest novel, The Blind Man’s Garden.

Mexican Drug War, Raising a Genius, Growing Up with Animals, Director William Friedkin

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Anna Sale fills in for Leonard. She talks to Kristine Barnett about raising her son, Jacob, who’s a math genius who many think could win the Nobel Prize in Physics one day. Then, Clare Balding tells us about growing up on an estate with more than 100 horses. Oscar-winning director William Friedkin talks about directing “The Exorcist,” “The French Connection” and “The Rules of Engagement.”