Austerity and Tragedy

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Resource scarcity is often cited as a reason for military conflicts all over the world, and on today’s show we’ll look at the impact austerity and scarce resources are having on American politics. Shalom Auslander talks about his debut novel Hope: A Tragedy. The latest object in the BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects is an ancient stone carving of two lovers embracing. Broadway star Michael Cerveris on his other career as an indie singer/songwriter and guitarist. And, our resident word maven, Patricia T. O’Conner, answers your questions about the English language.

Thomas Byrne Edsall on the Age of Austerity

Thomas Byrne Edsall discusses why he believes battles over scarce resources will increasingly define American politics—and how we might mitigate the damage from these ideological and economic battles. His book The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics looks at the major issues of the next few years—long-term deficit reduction; entitlement reform, notably of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; major cuts in defense spending; and difficulty in financing a continuation of American international involvement.

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Shalom Auslander's Novel, Hope: A Tragedy

Shalom Auslander talks about his novel Hope: A Tragedy, a humorous and haunting examination of the burdens and abuse of history, and a compelling story of the hopeless longing to be free of those pasts which haunt our present lives.

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Michael Cerveris's "An Idea of South"

Michael Cerveris tells about his performance “An Idea of South,” a genre-defying recital/cabaret/hootenanny of songs ranging from the Carter Family and Johnny Mercer to Vic Chestnutt and Samuel Barber. “An Idea of South” is part of Lincoln Center’s “American Songbook” series, and Michael Cerveris is performing it on Saturday, January 21, at 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm.

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Word Maven Patricia T. O’Conner on Beautiful Words

Our word maven Patricia T. O'Conner talks about beautiful words and answers questions about English language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of her book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is now out in paperback, along with Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

Are there words you think are beautiful? Do you admire them for the way they sound or what they mean? Leave a comment or call us at 212-433-9692 to let us know!

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