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A Big Deal

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Julie Burstein fills in for Leonard today. Michael Lewis discusses his investigation of economic bubbles around the world. Susan Orlean takes a look at the life and times of Rin Tin Tin, the legendary German shepherd who became a top-grossing movie star. Jesse Browner talks about his new novel Everything Happens Today. Plus, the authors of The Dictators Handbook explain bad behavior is often good politics.

Guests:

Julie Burstein

Michael Lewis on Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

Michael Lewis looks at how the tsunami of cheap credit across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering societies—from Iceland to Greece to Ireland—the chance to indulge and take risks. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World investigates of bubbles abroad and here at home in California and Washington, DC.

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Susan Orlean on Rin Tin Tin

Susan Orlean talks about the life and times of Rin Tin Tin, tracing his journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend begins on a battlefield in France during World War I, when an American soldier discovered a newborn German shepherd in the ruins of a bombed-out dog kennel. He took the dog back to California, where he became Hollywood’s number one box office star.

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Jesse Browner’s Everything Happens Today

Jesse Browner talks about his novel Everything Happens Today, about a single day in the life of Wes, a 17-year-old who lives in Greenwich Village and attends Manhattan’s Dalton School.

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The Dictator’s Handbook

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith look at politics, starting with a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power; they don’t care about the “national interest”—or even their subjects—unless they have to. The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics shows that the difference between tyrants and democratic leaders isn’t as great as you might think.

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Guest Picks: Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean was on the show to discuss the legacy of dog and movie star Rin Tin Tin. She also revealed, among other things, her love of turkeys!

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