Melting Pot

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

On today’s show: We’ll look at the complicated issues that arise when once-endangered species like wolves return to populated areas. Filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick discuss their new Showtime documentary series, and companion book: The Untold History of The United States. Christopher Bonanos tells the history of the Polaroid! Plus, we’ll examine the future of the New York waterfront post Sandy.

How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds

Jim Sterba explains how Americans came to live in closer proximity to more wild animals and birds in the eastern United States than we have in 400 years. In Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds, Sterba looks at how how efforts to protect animals allowed wild populations to burgeon out of control, causing damage costing billions, degrading ecosystems, and touching off disputes that polarized communities.

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The Untold History of the United States

Director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick discuss the Showtime documentary series and the companion book The Untold History of the United States, which challenge the traditional history books in a thoroughly researched and rigorously analyzed look at the dark side of American history in their account of the rise and decline of the American empire.

The 10-part series Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States airs every Monday night at 8pm on Showtime.


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The Story of Polaroid

During the 1960s and '70s, Polaroid was the coolest technology company on earth. Christopher Bonanos tells how Polaroid, led by its founder, Edwin Land, grew from a 1937 garage start-up into a billion-dollar pop-culture phenomenon. In Instant: The Story of Polaroid, he tells the tale of Polaroid's first instant camera to hit the market in 1948 to its meteoric rise in popularity and adoption by artists such as Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close, to the company's dramatic decline into bankruptcy and its unlikely resurrection in the digital age.

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The Future of New York's Waterfront

We take a look at the future of New York’s waterfront post-Sandy and discuss some innovative ways to protect the harbor and city. Guests include: Justin Davidson, classical music and architecture critic at New York magazine; Eric Sanderson, author of Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City and a Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society;Catherine Seavitt Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York and co-author of On The Water: Palisade Bay.

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Interviews with Award Winners

The 2012 National Book Award winners were announced today, and both have been on the show to talk about their books! Louise Erdrich won for her novel The Round House, and Katherine Boo won for her masterful portrait of life in the slums of Mumbai, India, Behind the Beautiful Forevers.



And R. A. Dickey, Mets' knuckleballer won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the National League.




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