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Changing History

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Miles O’Brien fills in for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg tells us about his exclusive interview with Fidel Castro! Also, legendary documentary filmmaking team D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus talk about their film about the world of French dessert making, titled “Kings of Pastry.” Then, Tom McCarthy talks about his novel, C. Plus, our latest Underreported segments look at the problem illiteracy in Afghanistan poses for building up security forces there, and we’ll examine the situation Uighurs in China face a year after a major crackdown.

Interviewing Fidel Castro

Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg discusses his exclusive interview with Fidel Castro. Among the revelations from his reporting are Castro’s criticisms of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Castro’s doubts about his own behavior during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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Kings of Pastry

Legendary documentary filmmaking team D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus discuss the world of fantastical French pastry. Their film "Kings of Pastry" documents the competition for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, France’s highest honor in the art of patisserie. They’re joined by chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago’s French Pastry School. The film follows him as he journeys to his childhood home of Alsace to practice for the contest. "Kings of Pastry" is playing at Film Forum through September 28.

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Tom McCarthy’s Novel, C

Acclaimed writer Tom McCarthy talks about his latest novel, C. Set in England at the turn of the twentieth century, it tells the story of a boy named Serge Carrefax, whose father spends his time experimenting with wireless communication while running a school for deaf children. Serge grows up amid the noise and silence aside his troubled older sister, Sophie: with whom he shares an intense sibling relationship.

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Underreported: Uighur Update

New York Times reporter Andrew Jacobs discusses the ongoing tensions between the Han Chinese and the Uighur population in Western China. He’ll recount the violence that erupted and killed nearly 200 people last July, and look at what’s happened since.

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Underreported: Teaching the Afghan Army to Read

The American-led strategy in Afghanistan relies on training local Afghan forces so they’re able to take over their own security. Only 18 percent of those 243,000 Afghans in the army and police have more than a Kindergarten-level ability to read. Noah Shachtman, contributing writer for Wired magazine, discusses the US military’s efforts to teach Afghan security forces to read as well as to fight.

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