Major Players

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Dick Van Dyke starts off the show today, talking about his trailblazing sitcom and his many film roles. Joshua Kendall tells us about the life of Noah Webster—from his creation of the dictionary which bears his name to his hobnobbing with the founding fathers. Anatol Leiven discusses Pakistan and its relationship to the U.S. and the rest of the South Asian region. Geraldine Brooks talks about her latest novel Caleb’s Crossing. Plus, Rob Lowe!

Dick Van Dyke: Song and Dance

Dick Van Dyke, known for his smile, physical dexterity, and comic timing, talks about his long career. His influential television show “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s, and it introduced Mary Tyler Moore. He also starred in the films “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” among others. His memoir My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business looks at his life as a performer who still thinks of himself as a “simple song-and-dance man.”

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Noah Webster, Forgotten Founding Father

Joshua Kendall talks about the life and legacy of Noah Webster, In The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture, he reveals that there’s more to his story than the dictionary he created—he was a young confidant of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, he started New York City's first daily newspaper, he influenced early copyright law, he helped found Amherst College, served as a representative for both Connecticut and Massachusetts, and was an ardent supporter of a unified, definitively American culture.

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Anatol Lieven on Pakistan

Anatol Lieven, professor in the War Studies department at King’s College, London, and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation talks about Pakistan’s increasing importance to south Asia and to the United States. He’ll discuss the rise of Islamic extremism and the Taliban in the area, and U.S. relations with Pakistan in the war on terror, the search and discovery of Osama bin Laden, and the war in Afghanistan. His latest book is Pakistan: A Hard Country.

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Geraldine Brooks on Her Novel Caleb's Crossing

Geraldine Brooks talks about her latest novel, Caleb’s Crossing. The story is based on a sliver of fact: in 1665, Caleb, a young man from Martha's Vineyard, became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. The narrator is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny Puritan settlement of Great Harbor. She and Caleb forge a tentative secret friendship that changes both their lives.

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Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe, former teen idol, founder of the Brat Pack and one of Hollywood's top stars, talks about being a misunderstood child actor in Ohio who moved to the West Coast to pursue a career in Hollywood. Stories I Only Tell My Friends chronicles his career—from “The Outsiders” to “The West Wing” to “Parks and Recreation.” He tells stories of the wild excesses that marked the 1980s, leading to his quest for family and sobriety, and talks about his successes, disappointments, and relationships.

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Guest Picks: Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke is a fan of computer animation. Find out what else he told us by reading more!


Tony Award

The 2011 Tony Nominations

On Tuesday morning, the 2011 Tony Award Nominations were announced. You can hear Leonard's conversations with some of this year's nominees below!

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