Watching Closely

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Eric Bogosian fills in for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: Tracie McMillan discusses what she learned about the American food system by going undercover on a farm, at a Wal-Mart, and a Brooklyn Applebee’s. Writer and editor Craig Taylor discusses his book about life in London. A History of the World in 100 Objects looks at a stone head of the Roman Emperor Augustus. Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about directing and starring in a new radio play production of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” in WNYC’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. And Maggie Anderson talks about the challenges faced by black-owned business.

The American Way of Eating

Tracie McMillan examines why we eat the way we do in America and how we can change it. She describes what it was like to work, eat, and live alongside the working poor to see how Americans eat when price matters. In The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Wal-Mart, Applebee’s, Farm Field, and the Dinner Table she links America’s approach to eating not just to farms and kitchens but to wages and work.

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Writer and editor Craig Taylor discusses putting together a vibrant narrative portrait of a the city if London. Londoners features stories told by the real people who make the city hum—the rich and poor, old and young, native and immigrant, men and women.

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Ruben Santiago-Hudson on "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

Ruben Santiago-Hudson discusses directing and acting in the first ever radio play/production of Zora Neale Hurston’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God,” which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the original publication. It is being performed on February 29 and March 1, at 7 pm, in WNYC’s Greene Space and will be broadcast nationally in September.


One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy

Maggie Anderson talks about her family’s yearlong experiment to buy only from black-owned businesses, a decision she made because she says most African Americans live in economically starved neighborhoods, black wealth is about one tenth of white wealth, and black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial groups in every measure of success. In Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy, she draws on economic research and social history as well as her personal story.

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Guest Picks: Stephanie Blythe

Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe spoke to Leonard Lopate recently about her three roles this season at the Metropolitan Opera. She also revealed that she's a big fan of birding. Find out what else Stephanie's a fan of!


Video: Questions for Téa Obreht

Téa Obreht tells us that her absolute favorite book is The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulkagov, and that she's very superstitious.


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