A Whole New World

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Monday, February 21, 2011

On today’s Leonard Lopate show: we’ll look into the militarization of foreign assistance and nation-building. Then, Joyce Carol Oates talks about her memoir, A Widow’s Story. Also, Brian Bedford discusses what it's like to direct and star in an acclaimed new production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Plus, humans have changed the planet so much that some have suggested we’ve created an entirely new geologic epoch, the “Anthropocene.” Elizabeth Kolbert explains what that means.

Armed Humanitarians

Nathan Hodge looks at how our failure to establish peace in Iraq prompted a fundamental change in our foreign policy: shifting the U.S. military’s focus to counterinsurgency and the rebuilding of failed states. In less than a decade, foreign assistance has become militarized, and humanitarianism has been armed. Armed Humanitarians: The Rise of the Nation Builders follows this experiment in armed social work from Afghanistan and Iraq to Africa and Haiti.

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Joyce Carol Oates on A Widow's Story

Joyce Carol Oates discusses her new memoir, A Widow's Story, about coming to terms with her husband’s sudden death and coping with the reality of widowhood, for which she was totally unprepared. 

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Brian Bedford on "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Brian Bedford talks about directing and starring in “The Importance of Being Earnest.” He plays the formidable Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s comedy of mistaken identity, which ridicules codes of propriety and etiquette.  “The Importance of Being Earnest” has been extended 17 weeks, and is playing through July 3 at the Roundabout Theater Company.

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The Age of Man and Climate Change

Elizabeth Kolbert explains how climate change caused by humans—building cities, changing the land through agriculture and deforestation, and carbon emissions from cars and industry—has risen to the level of geologic significance. Her article “Enter the Anthropocene—Age of Man” looks at the “Anthropocene,” the new epoch defined by humans’ massive impact on the planet. It appears in National Geographic magazine’s March issue.

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