Dreams and Reality

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

On today’s show: James Gilligan explains why he thinks some politicians are more dangerous than others. Journalist Kati Marton talks about the loss of her husband, the diplomat Richard Holbrooke. David Randall discusses his adventures in the science of sleep. Backstory takes a look at the sometimes shady world of for-profit colleges, plus, we'll have our latest Underreported segment.

Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others

Psychiatrist and author James Gilligan explains his findings that in times of high unemployment, recession, and other forms of social and economic distress, the United States has experienced high rates of violent death, including suicide and homicide. His book Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others demonstrates why he believes that politicians and the political process, even in democratic countries, can have tragic consequences for everyone.

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Kati Marton on Love and Paris

Journalist and author Kati Marton discusses love, loss, and life after loss. Her memoir Paris: A Love Story talks about the sudden death of her husband, Richard Holbrooke, her 15-year marriage to Peter Jennings, and the beauty and excitement of Paris she’s found at every stage of her life.

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The Science of Sleep

David K. Randall talks about his investigation into the strange science of sleep. In Dreamland: Adventures in the Science of Sleep, he explores the research into what goes on when we close our eyes. He takes readers from military battlefields to children’s bedrooms to show that sleep isn't as simple as it seems.

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Backstory: For-Profit Colleges

Village Voice contributor Chris Parker looks at the multibillion dollar world of for-profit colleges on today’s first Backstory segment. A number of for-profit colleges have been known to charge premium rates for a questionable education. Parker's article "For-Profit Colleges Only a Con Man Could Love" appears in the August 1 issue of the Village Voice.

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Backstory: What Happened at Standard Chartered

Earlier this week, the British bank Standard Chartered announced that it would pay $340 million in civil penalties to a New York State regulator to end an inquiry into whether the bank had processed $250 billion in transactions with Iran. On today’s Backstory, Thomas Easton, New York Finance and Economics Correspondent for the Economist, explains what happened at Standard Chartered, why other agencies are now investigating what happened, and what this and recent incidents tell us about bank regulation today.

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