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Great Measures

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Canadian Ambassador and former CIA station chief Ken Taylor discusses his involvement in a secret mission to rescue some Americans who were being held during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Also, writers Siobhan Fallon and Lily Burana discuss the challenges of being married to men in the military. Then, the great pianist Byron Janis tells about his extraordinary life in music, coping with arthritis, and the influence of Chopin on his work. Plus our latest Backstory segment looks at the long and violent history of Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti.

Our Man in Tehran

Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor talks about his involvement with the rescue missions to free the hostages in Iran in 1981. His work as the “de facto CIA station chief” has just recently been declassified. He is the subject of Our Man in Tehran: The True Story Behind the Secret Mission to Save Six Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Foreign Ambassador Who Worked with the CIA to Bring Them Home, written by Robert Wright, which looks at pre-revolutionary Iran, the hostage crisis, and Taylor’s role in freeing the hostages.

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Military Wives

Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone, a series of loosely interconnected stories about military wives in Fort Hood, Texas, and Lily Burana, author of the memoir: I Love a Man in Uniform, discuss the challenges of being married to a man in the military, the preconceptions of military wives, the stress of war, and coping with distance and injury.

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Pianist Byron Janis

Classical pianist Byron Janis, talks about his life and career. His discovery of two long-lost Chopin scores made headlines around the world, and he is known for his remarkable performances of some of the most exciting and challenging works for piano. His writes about how music has shaped his life in his memoir Chopin and Beyond.

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Backstory: The Latest On Burma

We’ll look at the political situation in Burma, and the problems presenting opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. We’ll speak with New Yorker writer Joshua Hammer, his article "A Free Woman," appears in the January 24 issue of the New Yorker.

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Backstory: The Duvaliers

This week “Baby Doc” Duvalier unexpectedly returned to Haiti after decades in exile. We’ll speak with Amy Wilentz, contributing editor for The Nation and the author of numerous books on the Duvaliers and their long and brutal history in Haiti. 

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