Smart Cities; Jesmyn Ward on Race, Poverty, Life and Death; David Bromberg Performs; Slavery and Universities

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Monday, September 30, 2013

On today’s show: we’ll look into the forces that have shaped the planning and design of great industrial cities from the 19th century to the present. Jesmyn Ward talks about how the deaths of five young men who were close to her, prompted her to look at the role race and poverty played in cutting their lives short. Flat picking guitarist and vocalist David Bromberg performs live. And we’ll discuss the long, complex history that many of our oldest colleges and universities have had with slavery and emancipation.

Building Smart Cities

Urbanist and technology expert Anthony Townsend takes a broad historical look at the forces that have shaped the planning and design of cities from the 19th century to today. Today, cellular networks and cloud computing tie together tens of millions of people. In Smart Cities, Townsend examines how cities are using technology to improve urban life.

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Jesmyn Ward on Men We Reaped

Jesmyn Ward talks about losing five young men in her life to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the problems poverty brings, particularly for black men. In Men We Reaped she writes of the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends and of her exploration into the forces that shaped their lives and led to their deaths—the racism and economic struggles that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships.

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David Bromberg Performs Live

David Bromberg performs live in our studio. He’s a master of American vernacular music as a guitarist and vocalist, fluid in country blues and Dixieland, bluegrass and fingerpicking folk. His new album, “Only Slightly Mad,” shows the full range of his Americana roots.

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Race, Slavery, and America’s Universities

A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed its complex and contested involvement in slavery, setting off a nationwide controversy. But Brown’s troubling past was far from unique. Many of America’s revered colleges and universities—from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Rutgers, Williams College, and UNC—had been dependent on slavery and were breeding grounds for the racist ideas. Craig Steven Wilder reveals the history of oppression behind the institutions often considered the cradle of liberal politics and his new book Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities.

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Tributes: Marcella Hazan

If Julia Child taught Americans how to cook French food, Marcella Hazan taught them how to cook Italian food. She taught herself to cook when she and her husband Victor came to the US in 1955 and soon Hazan was teaching New Yorkers how to cook noodles, meat sauce, and risotto, enjoying their work during lunch at the end of class. In 1970 New York Times food editor Craig Claiborne came to one of the lunches. The rest, as they say, is history. Her popular cookbooks were known for their simple, straightforward recipes. She died recently at the age of 89. You can hear 2 of her conversations with Leonard.

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