Streams

Drug-Resistant TB; History of the Jews; Poverty and the Social Safety Net; Walter Kern and the Rockefeller Imposter

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Monday, March 24, 2014

On today’s show: We’ll find out why tuberculosis has been making a speedy, drug-resistant comeback—with 8 million new infections each year. Simon Schama traces the Jewish experience across 3,000 years. Our series Strapped: A Look at Poverty in America continues with Michael Katz and Olivia Golden discussing the social safety net and the government programs designed to help the poor. Walter Kirn tells us about his odd 15-year friendship with a man who turned out to be an imposter, kidnapper, and murderer.

Tuberculosis on the Rebound

There are more than 8 million new tuberculosis infections every year—virulent new drug-resistant strains emerging faster than ever, outbreaks occurring across the world, and TB has become the second leading cause of death from an infectious disease on the planet. Jezza Neuman, producer, writer, and director of the new Frontline documentary “TB Silent Killer,” talks about traveling to Swaziland, the country with the world's highest incidence of TB, to create a portrait of the people living at the pandemic's epicenter. “TB Silent Killer” airs March 25 at 10 pm on PBS.

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The Story of the Jews

Simon Schama details the story of the Jewish experience, tracing it across three millennia, from their beginnings as an ancient tribal people to the opening of the New World in 1492. His book The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words 1000 BC–1492 AD spans the millennia and the continents—from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It’s a story of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians.

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Who Relies on the Social Safety Net?

The notions of the Welfare Queen and of unemployed poor people taking advantage of federal programs like welfare and food stamps are hard to shake in our society, but they don’t represent a real picture of who relies on these safety net programs and why.

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Murder, Mystery, and a Masquerade

In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn—then an aspiring novelist—set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a 15-year relationship that drew Kirn into the world of an eccentric man who ultimately would be revealed as an impostor, child kidnapper, and murderer. Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade is Kirn’s story of being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley.

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