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Raising the Roof

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Hooman Majd examines the possibility of democracy in Iran's future. Then, Bill Bryson looks at the bizarre history behind the everyday things we take for granted in our homes. Also, Alia Malek discusses the difficulties Arab Americans face when trying to integrate into this country. Plus, Please Explain is going to be a real trip—it’s all about psychedelic drugs!

Democracy and Iran

Hooman Majd, the grandson of an esteemed ayatollah, discusses a group of influential ayatollahs in Iran who still believes in the Iranian republic, and explains their notion of “Islamic democracy." In The Ayatollah’s Democracy: An Iranian Challenge, he introduces top-level politicians, clerics, and ordinary Iranians who express pride for their ancient heritage and fierce independence from the West.

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Bill Bryson on At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Bill Bryson explains the history behind the place we call home, and shows how each room has figured in the evolution of private life. In At Home: A Short History of Private Life, he set out to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

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Arab Roots, American Stories

Alia Malek looks at the last 40-plus years of American history through the eyes of Arab Americans. A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories includes timeless stories of an immigrant community becoming American, the nostalgia for home, and the alienation from a society sometimes as intolerant as its laws are generous.

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Please Explain: Psychedelic Drugs

Please Explain takes a look at LSD and psychedelic drugs. Dr. Nicolas Langlitz, assistant professor of Medical Anthropology at the New School, and Dr. Stephen Ross, Assistant Professor at NYU Medical Center, Departments of Psychiatry and In-Patient Service, explain how psychedelic drugs affect the brain, how hallucinogens work, and new research into therapeutic uses for psychedelic drugs.

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Guest Picks: Bill Bryson

If Bill Bryson had one day left, how would he spend it in New York City? Find out what he told us after his recent appearance on The Leonard Lopate Show.

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