Trial of Endurance

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On today’s show: We’ll look at why the military is suffering from a suicide epidemic and what can be done to address it. Environmentalist, Harvard Business School graduate, and priest Bob Massie on his memoir A Song in the Night. Pablo Medina discusses his new novel about a city that’s been shaped by jazz musicians. Novelist Uzodinma Iweala gives us a non-fiction account of the terrible toll the HIV/AIDS crisis has taken in Africa.

Military Suicides

While only 1 percent of Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan—they account for 20 percent of U.S. suicides; an active duty soldier commits suicide every day on average, about as many as are dying on the battlefield. Mark Thompson, Time Deputy Washington Bureau Chief, and Nancy Gibbs, Time Deputy Managing Editor, discuss the situation, which they call the military's "ultimate asymmetrical war," and one it is losing.  Thompson and Gibbs spoke with two widows of soldiers who killed themselves a continent apart on the same day—March 21, 2012. The army had clear warning signs that these men were at risk. Their article “The War on Suicide” appears in the July 23 issue of Time.


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Bob Massie on His Memoir

Bob Massie, an environmental leader, author, Episcopal priest, and former anti-apartheid activist, discusses his memoir A Song in the Night. He recounts his struggles with classical hemophilia, of losing and then regaining the ability to walk, contracting HIV and hepatitis through transfusions for hemophilia, speaking out against South African apartheid, and creating  the world's leading standard for corporate sustainability.

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Pablo Medina's Cubop City Blues

Pablo Medina talks about his novel, Cubop City Blues, set in a New York City shaped by jazz masters, refugees, and storytellers. A nearly blind storyteller tells his ailing parents imaginative stories populated by both well-known musical figures like Chano Pozo and Jelly Roll Morton along with invented characters.

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A Continent’s Challenge, a Country’s Hope

Novelist Uzodinma Iweala discusses his non-fiction account of the AIDS crisis in Africa, Our Kind of People: A Continent’s Challenge, a Country’s Hope. It tells the stories of the extraordinary people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria—the sick and the healthy, doctors, nurses, truck drivers, sex workers, shopkeepers, students, parents, and children. The book introduces readers to individuals and communities that are struggling daily to understand both the impact and meaning of HIV/AIDS.

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