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Getting into College; Guastavino Architectural Work; Inventing the News; Justice for a Khmer Rouge Torturer

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On today’s show: Brooklyn high school guidance counselor Joshua Steckel talks about what happened to some of his students once they achieved their dream of going to college. Then, we’ll find out about the remarkable architectural work by Rafael Guastavino and his son, and where to find it around New York. Andrew Pettegree talks about the invention of the news—from before the printing press was invented to the Internet Age. Journalist Thierry Cruvellier on the 2005 trial of the Khmer Rouge’s chief prison official.

A Brooklyn Guidance Counsellor on Getting Students Into College and Out of Poverty

Since Joshua Steckel began work at a Brooklyn public high school as its first-ever college guidance counselor, every one of the hundreds of graduates he has counseled has been accepted to college, many to top-flight schools with all expenses paid. He’s joined by two former students, Aicha Diallo and Nkese Rankine. Steckel tells their stories in his book Hold Fast to Dream: A College Guidance Counselor, His Students, and the Vision of a Life Beyond Poverty, about their challenges navigating the landscape of college in America.

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Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile

A new exhibition showcases the architectural beauty and engineering strength of spaces created by Spanish immigrants Rafael Guastavino and his son, Rafael Jr., who immigrated from Barcelona in the late 19th century.

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The Invention of the News

Long before the invention of printing, people wanted information. Andrew Pettegree tracks the history of news in ten countries over the course of four centuries—from gossip, civic ceremony, sermons, and proclamations to printed pamphlets, edicts, journals to the local and worldwide news as we know it today. In The Invention of the News: How the World Came to Know About Itself, Pettegree investigates who controlled the news and who reported it, news as a tool of political protest and religious reform, issues of privacy and titillation, reliability and trust.

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The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer

On April 17, 1975, the communist Khmer Rouge, led by its secretive prime minister Pol Pot, took over Cambodia. They cut the nation off from the world and began systematically killing and starving two million of their people. Thirty years after their fall, a man named Duch, who had served as Chief Prison officer at the regime's central prison complex, stood trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Journalist Thierry Cruvellier takes us into the dark heart of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, using the trial to tell the horrifying story of this terrible chapter in history. The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer is an account of a Chief Interrogator's trial for war crimes.

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