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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Today we're re-airing a few favorite interviews. We'll find out about the global race to gobble up the earth’s last natural resources. Novelist Jeanette Winterson talks about her memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Today's installment of our week-long series American History XX is about the "Witch of Wall Street," Hetty Green, called America’s first female tycoon. Dr. Ira Byock looks at ways to reform end-of-life care. Plus, James Kunen tells us about being laid off from a corporate PR job and, as a result, finding a life.

The Race for the World’s Last Resources

Michael Klare discusses an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion facing the world. He argues that the problem that goes beyond “peak oil” to include shortages of coal and uranium, copper and lithium, water and arable land, and that the hunt for resources has led to exploration in areas once considered too remote or dangerous. In The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources Klare examines the consequences and argues that we must change our consumption patterns.

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Jeanette Winterson: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Jeanette Winterson talks about her memoir about her life’s work to find happiness. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? recounts her journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother.

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American History XX: Hetty Green

Today's edition of American History XX is about Hetty Green, who has been called America’s first female tycoon. At the time of her death in 1916 she had amassed a huge fortune that rivaled Carnegie, Rockefeller, and the male titans of the Gilded Age. Green bought and sold real estate, railroads, mines, and whole city blocks, and she even bailed out a number of cities—including New York—when they ran into financial trouble. She was also a notorious miser. Author Charlie Slack tells the story of the so-called “Witch of Wall Street.”

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The Best Care Possible

Palliative-care physician  Dr. Ira Byock argues that end-of-life care is one of the biggest national crises facing us today, and that politics has trumped reason when it comes to addressing the issue. In The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care through the End of Life Dr. Byock explains what palliative care is and why he believes we must reform our health care system and move past our cultural aversion to talking about death.

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Losing a Job, Finding a Life

James Kunen chronicles his adventures on the road to finding meaning in work and life. His memoir Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, Finding a Life is the story of a 1960s radical turned corporate PR man who finds himself, along with his fellow baby boomers, in a place he calls “too young to retire and too old to hire.”

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