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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

On today’s show: Mother Jones senior editor Nick Baumann tells the story of an American expat who was cleared of having ties to terrorism but still feels the effects of the government’s suspicions. Writer and director Michael Maren talks about his film, “A Short History of Decay,” with Bryan Greenberg and Harris Yulin, who star in it. Former Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl on her first novel, called Delicious! We’ll talk to two editors of Civil Eats, a daily news source about America’s food system that just won James Beard Award for Publication of the Year. And opera legend Jessye Norman looks back on her childhood in Georgia and her career in music.

Targeted by the FBI

Mother Jones senior editor Nick Baumann discusses his article  "There's No Law For Me Here," which tells the story of Naji Mansour, an American expat who came under suspicion of having ties to terrorism. Mansour was interrogated, held in squalid conditions, and forced into exile, unable to see his children for years. Family members and recorded conversations with U.S. law enforcement agents suggest that Mansour was targeted for refusing to serve as an FBI informant. His article "There's No Law For Me Here" is in the June 2014 issue of Mother Jones.

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A Short History of Decay

Michael Maren talks about writing and directing “A Short History of Decay,” along with Bryan Greenberg and Harris Yulin, who star in the film. It is based on Maren's personal family story. Greenberg plays Nathan Fisher, a 30-something Brooklyn writer whose career is stalled. When his father falls, he plans a quick visit to his parents that turns into an extended stay during which he discovers that his aging parents are actually in much better control of their lives than he is. "A Short History of Decay" opens May 16 at the Village East Cinema.

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Delicious! Ruth Reichl's Novel

Former New York Times restaurant reviewer and Gourmet magazine editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl talks about her first novel, Delicious! It tells the story of Billie Breslin, who moves from California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. When the magazine is abruptly closed, Billie stays on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints. The lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery—she finds a cache of old letters written to the legendary chef James Beard.

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Civil Eats: Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

Paula Crossfield, editor-at-large of Civil Eats, and Naomi Starkman, editor-in-chief, discuss creating the web site, which is a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system and was just awarded the Publication of the Year Award by the James Beard Foundation. Founded in January 2009, Civil Eats is a community resource of over 100 contributors who are shifting the conversation around sustainable agriculture in an effort to build economically and socially just communities.

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Learning to Stand Up and Sing

As a child she sung in church, but when she saw a documentary about the legendary Marian Anderson, opera star Jessye Norman realized that singing could be a profession.

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Guest Picks: Ruth Reichl

Former Gourmet editor-in-chief and best-selling memoirist Ruth Reichl was on the Leonard Lopate Show to talk about writing her first novel. She also told what her favorite comfort food and the one thing she couldn't live without. 

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