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Across the Divide

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On today’s show: Social scientist Jonathan Haidt looks at why people are so divided by politics and religion. Violinist Philippe Quint and singer-songwriter Nellie McKay discuss their roles in the new film “Downtown Express.” A History of the World in 100 Objects is about a tughra, the official signature of the ruler of the Ottoman Empire. Annalena McAfee discusses her debut novel, The Spoiler. Plus, Michael Lind explains how and why Americans, since the earliest days of the republic, have continuously reinvented our economy.

Jonathan Haidt on The Righteous Mind

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions, from our intuitions to our morality to our “groupishness.” In The Righteous Mind he investigates Why our political leaders can’t seem to work together to deal with threats and problems and why people so readily assume the worst about their fellow citizens.

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“Downtown Express"

Violinist Philippe Quint and singer-songwriter Nellie McKay discuss their roles in the new film “Downtown Express.” Set in the world of Russian immigrants living in New York City, the film explores the clash of old world values and the lure and excitement of a new country. It’s the first time that a classical musician has been featured as the lead in an American film. “Downtown Express” opens April 20 at the Quad.

 

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Annalena McAfee on Her Novel, The Spoiler

Annalena McAfee discusses her novel The Spoiler, set in London in the late 1990s during the height of the newspaper wars. The story is about two women at different times in their careers: One, a legendary war correspondent now in her eighties, is determined to hide the dark details of her personal life from the other, a young feature writer for a newspaper gossip magazine.

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Michael Lind on Land of Promise

Michael Lind describes how a weak collection of former British colonies became an industrial, financial, and military colossus. His book Land of Promise demonstrates how Americans, since the earliest days of the republic, have reinvented the American economy—and have the power to do so again.

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Pulitzer Medal

Pulitzer Prize Winners on the Lopate Show

The 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday, and a few of the winners have been on the Lopate Show discussing their work.

John Lewis Gaddis won for his biography George F. Kennan: An American Life. Kennan set the strategy of containment that defined U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union, and was an architect of the Marshall Plan. He discussed Kennan's life and influence of Kennan with Leonard in December.

Stephen Greenblatt's book The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, also won. He was on the Lopate Show in December talking about how a nearly forgotten manuscript by the Roman philosopher Lucretius sparked the Renaissance and changed the world.

Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan, and Chris Hawley, of The Associated Press, won for their investigation of a New York Police Department surveillance of mostly Muslim neighborhoods. Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman were on the show in February to talk about investigative reporting.

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