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A Look Back

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Monday, May 28, 2012

For today’s Memorial Day show we’re replaying some favorite past interviews. Arthur Goldwag traces populist fear-mongering—from the 18th Century to today’s Birther movement. And Pico Iyer talks about the great English writer Graham Greene. We have the final installment of the BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects. Edward St. Aubyn tells about his latest novel, At Last. Plus, we’ll look at the contributions of American gay writers in the 20th century, including Gore Vidal, Tony Kushner, and others.

The Rise of Populist Fear Mongering

From “Birthers” who claim that President Obama was not born in the United States to those who believe that the Constitution is in danger of being replaced with Sharia law, conspiratorial beliefs have become increasingly common in our public discourse. Arthur Goldwag explores the ideas and rhetoric that have animated extreme, mostly right-wing movements throughout American history. His new book is The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right.

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Pico Iyer Talks About Graham Greene

Pico Iyer examines the closeness he has always felt to the English writer Graham Greene.  In The Man Within My Head, he follows Greene’s trail from his first novel, The Man Within, to his later classics like The Quiet American looking at all he has in common with Greene: an English public school education, a lifelong restlessness and refusal to make a home anywhere, a fascination with the complications of faith.

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Edward St. Aubyn's At Last

Edward St. Aubyn talks about his latest novel, At Last, which begins as friends, relatives, and foes trickle in to pay final respects to his returning character Patrick’s mother, Eleanor.

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The Gay Writers Who Changed America

Novelist Christopher Bram chronicles the rise of gay consciousness in American writing in the years following World War II to the present day. Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America begins with a first wave of major gay literary figures-Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, and James Baldwin, pioneers who set the stage for new generations of gay writers.

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