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Turning Wheels

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On today’s show: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Ingrassia looks at America’s long love affair with the automobile—from the Model Ts to minivans. László Krasznahorkai, one of Hungary’s leading writers, talks about his new novel Satantango, about what happens when a charismatic figure returns to a decaying Hungarian village. Spy novelist Alan Furst describes his latest book, set in Paris on the eve of WWII. Roger Thurow discusses how poor farmers in Kenya deal with what they call “the Hunger Season.”

Paul Ingrassia Tells a History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Paul Ingrassia tells the story America’s vehicular history—from the assembly lines of Henry Ford to the open roads of Route 66, from the lore of Jack Kerouac to the sex appeal of the Hot Rod. In Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars, Ingrassia explores how cars have both propelled and reflected the American experience.

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László Krasznahorkai on Satantango

Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai discusses his novel Satantango. It’s set in desolate Hungarian town, and when a charismatic man named Irimias returns, the villagers fall under his spell.

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Alan Furst's Latest Novel, Mission to Paris

Spy novelist Alan Furst talks about his new book, Mission to Paris, and the art of writing spy thrillers. It is set in the late summer of 1938, when Europe is about to explode, and a Hollywood film star is on his way to Paris to make a movie. The Nazis have their eye on him, but they don’t know is that he’s part of an informal spy service being run out of the American embassy in Paris.

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A Year in an African Farm Community

Roger Thurow tells the story of a group of smallholder farmers in western Kenya who took an enormous risk to try to change their lives against the backdrop of our looming global challenge to feed the world’s growing population. The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change is about how this community deals with the wanjala—the hunger season that can last up to eight or nine months at a time.

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Guest Picks: László Krasznahorkai

Celebrated Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai was on the Lopate Show recently to discuss a new translation of his novel, Satantango. He also told us what he's been reading, listening to and looking at.

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Guest Picks: Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson was on the show to talk about his city, and how it's remained a world capital for centuries. He also told us what he does when he's not running London.

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Tony Award

Leonard Talks to This Year's Tony Winners

The 2012 Tony Awards were presented on June 10, and you can hear Leonard’s conversations with some of the winners!

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