From Haiti to Hawaii

« previous episode | next episode »

Monday, January 23, 2012

It’s been two years since an earthquake destroyed much of Haiti. Laurent Dubois joins us to look at what has happened to this troubled country in the light of its long and difficult history. We’ll find out about the story of the last queen of Hawaii and her conflicts with missionaries, sugar barons, and other Western settlers. The BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects continues with a look at a 10,000 year-old Japanese pot. Ben Marcus talks about his new novel, The Flame Alphabet. Plus, our resident safety expert Monona Rossol is joined by a woodworker who has invented a new device that makes it nearly impossible to be injured by a table saw.

Haiti: The Aftershock of History

Even before the devastating 2010 earthquake, Haiti was known for its poverty and corruption. Laurent Dubois discusses the maligned and misunderstood nation that has long been blamed by many for its own wretchedness. In Haiti: The Aftershock of History, he shows that Haiti's troubles can only be understood by examining its complex past.

Comments [9]

The Lost Kingdom of Hawaii

Julia Flynn Siler tells of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rise and fall, and about the clashes between the Polynesian people and relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. In Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, The Sugar Kings and America’s First Imperial Adventure, she describes royalty and rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries.

Comments [23]

Ben Marcus on The Flame Alphabet

Ben Marcus talks about his novel The Flame Alphabet, about what happens when the sound of children’s speech becomes lethal and causes an epidemic. Parents across the country are struck down by illness at the sound of their children’s voices, and many flee, leaving their children to fend for themselves.

Comments [2]

Table Saws and Preventing Injuries

In 1999, woodworker Steve Gass invented a device that makes it nearly impossible to be seriously injured by a table saw. His invention would prevent some 32,000 serious injuries—including 4,000 finger amputations—per year, but power tool companies resisted the change. Steve Gass and our resident safety expert, Monona Rossol, talk about why it's taken so long to have this and other safety devices accepted into everyday use.

Comments [23]

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.