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A Monumental Undertaking

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Monday, May 07, 2012

On today’s show: Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich discusses what he thinks can be done to redress the current state of wealth inequality in the United States. Teju Cole joins us to talk about Open City, the latest pick of the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club. The latest installment of the BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects takes a look at a broadsheet that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Plus, Robert Caro talks about the fourth installment of his monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson.

Robert Reich Looks Beyond Outrage

Robert Reich explains why an increasing share of income and wealth is going to the top and argues that income inequality has hobbled jobs and growth and undermines our democracy. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, and in Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong with our Economy and our Democracy, and How to Fix It, he provides ideas for solving the problems income inequality is creating.

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May's Book: Open City, by Teju Cole

Teju Cole's debut novel, Open City, is about a young Nigerian doctor who wanders around Manhattan reflecting on his relationships, recent breakup, and his past. Although it's set in busy, crowded New York City, the novel explores themes of isolation, dislocation, and identity. The New Yorker called Open City "Beautiful, subtle—and original...A prismatic debut," and it was awarded the 2012 PEN/Hemingway Award.

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Robert Caro on Lyndon Johnson's Passage of Power

Robert Caro talks about The Passage of Power, book four of his monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson. It follows Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most successful periods of his career—1958 to1964, when traded his powerful position as Senate Majority Leader for what became the powerlessness of the vice presidency in an administration that didn’t trust him, and then had the presidency thrust upon him when President Kennedy was assassinated.

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Guset Picks: Amy Herzog

Playwright Amy Herzog (along with actors Mary Louise Wilson and Gabriel Ebert) was on the Lopate Show. She also told us what she's been listening to recently.

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Guest Picks: Gabriel Ebert

Actor Gabriel Ebert was on the Leonard Lopate Show (along with co-star Mary Louise Wilson and playwright Amy Herzog) to discuss the play, "4000 Miles." He also told about his love of artichokes. Find out what else he's a fan of!

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Guest Picks: Mary Louise Wilson

Mary Louise Wilson was on the Lopate Show (along with co-star Gabriel Ebert and playwright Amy Herzog) to talk about the play "4000 Miles." She also told us what she's been reading recently.

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Video: Questions for Teju Cole

Teju Cole is an art historian and a photographer as well as a writer. Find out what artists and writers influence him.

See Teju Cole's photographs on Flickr—in color and in black and white. You can also visit his web site to find out more about his work.

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