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Monday, September 24, 2012

Ricki Stern, Phil Niekro, and Tim Wakefield at WNYC, September 20, 2012 (Melissa Eagan)

On today’s show: Major League Baseball pitchers Tim Wakefield and Phil Niekro explain the strange art of the knuckleball, along with Ricki Stern, who directed the documentary “Knuckleball!” Jacques Berlinerblau defends the virtues of secularism. Kevin Powers, a veteran of the war in Iraq, discusses his novel, The Yellow Birds, a harrowing story of two young soldiers fighting for their lives. Pankaj Mishra tells us about the great thinkers whose ideas shaped contemporary China, India, and the Muslim world.

“Knuckleball!"

Major League Baseball pitchers Tim Wakefield and Phil Niekro talk about being some of the few pitchers in the entire history of baseball who mastered the art of the knuckleball, a pitch so slow and unpredictable that no one trusts it. They’re joined by Ricki Stern, director of the new documentary “Knuckleball,” which follows the Major League’s only knuckleballers in 2011, Boston Red Sox Tim Wakefield and Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey. “Knuckleball!” is playing at the IFC Center.

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Secularism and Freedom of Religion

Jacques Berlinerblau argues for a return to America’s secular tradition. His book How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom makes the case that the best way to protect religious diversity and freedom is to prevent the encroachment of each into the other.

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Kevin Powers on The Yellow Birds

Kevin Powers, a veteran of the war in Iraq, tells about his novel, The Yellow Birds, the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive during a bloody battle in Al Tafar, Iraq.

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The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia

Pankaj Mishra tells the stories of the thinkers whose ideas shaped contemporary China, India, and the Muslim world. In From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia Mishra explores the lives and work of Tagore, Gandhi, and later Nehru in India; Liang Qichao and Sun Yatsen in China; Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Abdurreshi al Ibrahim in the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

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Guest Picks: Karl Ove Knausgaard

Writer Karl Ove Knausgaard was on the Lopate Show recently to discuss his book, "My Struggle." He also told us why he has no more secrets -- and about his love of chocolate ice cream

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Guest Picks: Volker Schlondorff

Filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff was on the Lopate Show recently to talk about a new director's cut of his film, "The Tin Drum," as well as a new documentary, featuring conversations with director Billy Wilder. He also told us what his favorite comfort food is. (We were not exactly surprised.)

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Guest Picks: Damien Echols

Guesthost Elliott Forrest spoke with Damien Echols. One of the Memphis Three, Echols was convicted of murdering 3 girls in 1993 and served almost 20 years of his sentence for a crime he didn't commit. He told us what he's been reading, watching and eating since his release.

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