A Big Adventure

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Friday, August 31, 2012

On today’s show: First, a wrap up of the Republican National Convention, and a look at who swing voters really are and what both parties are doing to win their votes in November. We’ll find out about the 1927 race to fly across the Atlantic. California winemaker Randall Grahm, the eccentric founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard talks about the world of wine. Plus, this week’s Please Explain is about that spongy, industrial foodstuff: packaged white bread!

Swing Voters

Forty percent of all American voters are Independents. They make up the largest voting bloc in the nation and have determined the outcome of every election since World War II. Linda Killian talks about the swing voters around the country—who they are and what they want from their government and elected officials. She’s the author of The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents.

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The Race to Cross the Atlantic

From April 14 to May 21, 1927—the world held its breath while 14 aviators took to the air to capture a $25,000 prize offered to the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean without stopping. Joe Jackson discusses this race. In Atlantic Fever he writes about the lives of the big-name competitors—the polar explorer Richard Byrd, the French war hero René Fonck, the millionaire Charles Levine, and the race’s eventual winner, Charles Lindbergh—and those who have been forgotten.

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Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard

California winemaker and founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard, Randall Grahm, discusses the state of wine today. His book Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology offers a glimpse into the history of the Rhône Ranger wine movement and of Bonny Doon itself.

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Please Explain: Wonder Bread

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, author of White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf and professor of politics at Whitman College, explains the colorful history of white bread and tells us what makes it so soft, so white, and have such a long shelf life. He’ll also discuss how the kind of bread you eat has defined social status for centuries.

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