Something in the Air

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Junot Diaz at WNYC, September 11, 2012 (Melissa Eagan)

On today's show: We're replaying some of our favorite interviews from the past year. Kurt Eichenwald looks at how some of the decisions made in the first 500 days that followed the 9/11 attacks have dramatically reshaped the world in the years since. Junot Diaz talks about his new book of short stories, This Is How You Lose Her. Luis Rodriguez tells us how he escaped from gang life. And William Bryant Logan talks about air—life would not exist without it, yet we take it for granted.

Kurt Eichenwald on the Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars

Kurt Eichenwald recounts the first 500 days after 9/11, looking closely at the decisions, deceptions, and delusions of the 18 months that changed the world forever, as leaders raced to protect their citizens in the wake of 9/11. In 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars, he moves from the Oval Office to Number 10 Downing Street, from Guantanamo Bay to the CIA headquarters, from the al-Qaeda training camps to the torture chambers of Egypt and Syria.

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Junot Diaz on This Is How You Lose Her

Pulitzer Prize-winner and MacArthur Fellow Junot Diaz talks about his book of stories, This Is How You Lose Her. It’s about love—obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. At the heart of these stories is Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness—and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses.

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Luis Rodríguez on It Calls You Back

Luis Rodríguez tells of his journey from drug-abusing gang member to writer and activist. His memoir It Calls You Back: An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing tells the story of Rodríguez’s attempt to start over, at 18, after his final stint in jail and nearly a decade of gang life. He describes his challenges as a father, and his difficulty leaving violence, crime, and addiction behind.


The Shape of the Air

William Bryant Logan takes a close look at the air that surrounds us—what it is and what it does. In Air: The Restless Shaper of the World is an examination of the air we breathe, from the pure to the polluted.


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