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Upheaval and Unrest

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

On today’s show we’ll examine the social and political collapse of Congo and its 15 years of unending war and violence. Then, we'll take a look at how making mistakes in life and being wrong can sometimes be a good thing. Plus, short story author Karen Russell talks about her debut novel Swamplandia! New York Times Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid shares what happened when he and three colleagues were captured and held by the Libyan government for six days.

The Leonard Lopate Show is live in the Greene Space April 13 at 7 pm! Find out more and get tickets here!

The Collapse of the Congo

Jason Stearns talks about the brutal war that has raged in Congo since 1996, costing millions of lives. Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa tells the story of this misunderstood and overlooked conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He spoke with key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as—and was a direct consequence of—the genocide in Rwanda.

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Better by Mistake

New York Times columnist Alina Tugend describes how embracing mistakes can make us smarter, healthier, and happier. In Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong she examines the tension between the idea that we must make mistakes in order to learn and the reality that we often get punished for making mistakes, and thusly avoid them at all costs. She looks at cutting-edge behavioral studies―such as the high-stakes world of health care and aviation, where mistakes can cost lives―how to craft a sincere apology and how to accept responsibility for mistakes.

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Karen Russell's Swamplandia!

Karen Russell, author of the celebrated short-story collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, discusses her debut novel Swamplandia! It tells the story of Ava Bigtree, of the Bigtree alligator-wrestling dynasty, who lives in the Florida Everglades, which is in decline and is being encroached upon by a sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness. When her family in disarray, Ava is left to manage 98 alligators as well as her own grief.

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Anthony Shadid on Covering Libya

Anthony Shadid, Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times, talks about covering the unrest in Libya and being captured by the Libyan government and held for six days, along with his colleagues Lynsey Addario, Stephen Farrell and Tyler Hicks. 

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