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Left Behind

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

On today’s show: We’ll find out how professionals from insurance inspectors to scientists have become disaster experts, and how much they can really do to protect us from disaster. Paul Lioy explains what was in the dust that rained down after the World Trade Center collapsed. Tom Perrotta discusses his latest novel, The Leftovers, about those left behind after the Rapture. And Nadine Strossen, former head of the ACLU, looks at how civil liberties have changed in the decade since 9/11.

The Disaster Experts

Historian Scott Gabriel Knowles tells how a diverse collection of professionals—insurance inspectors, engineers, scientists, journalists, public officials, civil defense planners, and emergency managers—emerged as the authorities on risk and disaster and, in the process, shaped modern America. The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America offers historical context for understanding who the experts are that influence decisions, how they became powerful, and why they are only slightly closer today than a decade ago to protecting the public from disasters.

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Impressions of 9/11: Bill Moyers

This week, we’ve been bringing you the reflections of some of our guests over the last 6 months about how the events of September 11th changed them. Bill Moyers was on the show in May, and after our conversation with him on the air, we asked him about his impressions of 9/11 and how the attacks have changed the way we interact with each other.

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Dust

Paul Lioy, professor of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and one of the first scientists to take samples from Ground Zero after the destruction of the Twin Towers, shares his personal and professional perspectives on the World Trade Center dust. In Dust: The Inside Story of Its Role in the September 11 Aftermath, he investigates what the material was that rained down after the disintegration of those buildings and answers questions about the environmental effects, public policy initiatives, health outcomes and scientific findings that played a critical role in the aftermath of 9/11.

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Tom Perrotta's Novel The Leftovers

Tom Perrotta discusses his latest novel, The Leftovers. It tells what happens when neighbors, friends and lovers suddenly vanish in an event known as the Sudden Departure. It describes what the bewildered citizens of a town called Mapleton go through when people suddenly disappear, and how everything changes—marriages, friendships, as well as the relationships between parents and children.

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Impressions of 9/11: Henry Kissinger

This week, we’ve been bringing you the reflections of some of our guests over the last 6 months about how the events of September 11th changed them. Former Sec. of State Henry Kissinger was on the show in May, and after our conversation with him on the air, we asked him about how 9/11 has changed the world order.

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Civil Liberties After 9/11

Nadine Strossen, former head of the ACLU, joins us to talk about how civil liberties have changed since 9/11, from domestic surveillance, body scanners, and indefinite detention to an expansive national security establishment that remains largely hidden from view.

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Guest Picks: Tom Perrotta

What is Tom Perrotta listening to right now? Read more to find out.

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