Big Impressions

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Annette Gordon-Reed, author of “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” says the wrongdoings of our past continue to haunt our present. (Eric Foltz/Getty)

Pulitizer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham discusses the complex life and personality of Thomas Jefferson. Then Evan Thomas talks about President Eisenhower’s brilliance as a political tactician. Barbara Kingsolver tells us about her latest novel, Flight Behavior. Celebrated film editor Walter Murch discusses his translation of Curzio Malaparte’s work.

Jon Meacham on Thomas Jefferson

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham discusses the complex Thomas Jefferson, who he calls the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history. In Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Meacham shows that Jefferson’s understanding of power and human nature enabled him to move men, learn from his mistakes, and prevail.

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Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World

Evan Thomas reveals President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a master of calculated duplicity. In Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World, he shows that behind the bland smile and apparent simple-mindedness, Eisenhower was a brilliant, intellectual tactician. Facing the Soviet Union, China, and his own generals, Eisenhower made boldest and riskiest bets.

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Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior

Barbara Kingsolver discusses her latest novel, Flight Behavior, which takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time—climate change. In the language of her native Appalachia, Kingsolver unearths the modern complexities of rural existence and dissects the motives behind denial and belief in a precarious world.

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Walter Murch on the Work of Curzio Malaparte

Film editor Walter Murch, discusses translating the work of Curzio Malaparte, an Italian of German heritage who was a journalist, dramatic, novelist and diplomat whose writing attacked totalitarianism and Hitler’s reign. As a correspondent for Corriere della Sera, the Milan daily, he wrote dispatches of the war in the early 1940s that were suppressed by the Italian government, but reverberated among readers. Murch translated and adapted Malaparte into prose or blank verse poems in The Bird that Swallowed Its Cage; The Selected Writings of Curzio Malaparte.

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Guest Picks: Walter Murch

Film historian Walter Murch was on the Leonard Lopate Show recently to talk about translating the work of anti-totalitarian WWII journalist and writer Curzio Malaparte. He also told us about his love of particle physics and English muffins! Find out what else Walter Murch is up to these days.

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