Monday, June 11, 2012
Mark Sundeen tells about Daniel Suelo, who in 2000 left his life savings—all thirty dollars of it—in a phone booth and has lived without money ever since. In The Man Who Quit Money Sundeen gives an account of how he learned to live, sanely and happily, without earning, receiving, or spending a single cent.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Director Philip Kaufman talks about his film “Hemingway and Gellhorn.” It recounts the passionate love affair and tumultuous marriage of Ernest Hemingway and the war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, who were one of the first celebrity “power couples.” As witnesses to history, they covered all the great conflicts of their time, but they couldn’t survive was the war between themselves. “Hemingway and Gellhorn” airs Monday, May 28, on HBO.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Jeff Himmelman talks about the career and influence of Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post during Watergate. Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee traces Bradlee’s 45-year career—from his early days as a press attaché in postwar Paris through the Pentagon Papers, Richard Nixon’s resignation, the Janet Cooke fabrication scandal, and beyond.
Monday, May 07, 2012
Robert Caro talks about The Passage of Power, book four of his monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson. It follows Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most successful periods of his career—1958 to1964, when traded his powerful position as Senate Majority Leader for what became the powerlessness of the vice presidency in an administration that didn’t trust him, and then had the presidency thrust upon him when President Kennedy was assassinated.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Actress Michelle Yeoh and filmmaker Luc Besson discuss their film “The Lady,” a biography of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the quiet and determined head of Burma’s democracy movement. The film took years of work, and sometimes subterfuge, to make it. At one point, Yeoh was even deported from Burma. “The Lady” opens on April 11 at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
John Campbell discusses his biography of Margaret Thatcher and examines her impact on the 20th century. From her humble, small-town upbringing to her rise to power as the United Kingdom's first female prime minister, to her dramatic fall from grace after more than three decades of service. The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher, from Grocer’s Daughter to Prime Minister delves into Thatcher’s life and legacy.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Elizabeth Dowling Taylor tells the story of Paul Jennings, who was born into slavery on the plantation of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia, and later became part of the Madison household staff at the White House. Her book A Slave in the White House is based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, and reveals attitudes toward slavery of the 19th century.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Howard Markel and Amanda Smith discuss the evolution of the term “addiction.” Howard Markel's An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine traces the story of two Sigmund Freud and William Halsted, a New York surgeon. The book analyzes their powerful addiction to cocaine and how they ultimately changed the world in spite of it—or because of it. One became the father of psychoanalysis; the other of modern surgery. Amanda Smith is the author of Newspaper Titan: The Infamous Life and Monumental Times of Cissy Patterson, which touches upon the drinking life of Patterson's daughter Felicia, who, in 1943, was one of the first women to enter Alcoholics Anonymous.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Paula Broadwell embedded with General Petraeus, his headquarters staff, and his soldiers on the front lines of fighting and at the strategic command in Afghanistan to chronicle the experiences of this American general in the crucible of war. Her biography All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, calls him the most transformative leader the American military has seen since the generation of Marshall. She looks at Petraeus's career, his intellectual development as a military officer, and his impact on the U.S. military.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
William Doyle tells the story of Captain Travis Patriquin and his role in turning the tide of violence in the Iraq war. An Arabic linguist, Patriquin set out to establish a crucial network with tribal leaders. In 2006, he unleashed a diplomatic and cultural charm offensive—the Sunni Awakening, the tribal revolt against Al Qaeda that led to a dramatic drop in violence. A Soldier's Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq is a tribute to him.
Monday, January 02, 2012
Classicist James Romm tells the story of Alexander the Great, who united his empire and his army by the force of his will. His death at age 32 spelled the end of that unity, and Romm focuses on the dramatic saga of the empire’s collapse in his book Ghosts on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
Rosamund Bartlett talks about the life and legacy of Leo Tolstoy. At the time of his death, he was the most famous man in Russia, with a growing international following, and more revered than the tsar. Bartlett’s biography, Tolstoy: A Russian Life is a portrait of the brilliant, maddening, and contrary man who made a lasting impression on literature and culture.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis talks about George Kennan, troubled Cold War mastermind. In the late 1940s, George Kennan wrote two documents that set the strategy of containment that defined U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union for the next four decades. He was also an architect of the Marshall Plan and would become an outspoken critic of American diplomacy, politics, and culture. George F. Kennan: An American Life took almost 30 years to write, is based on interviews with Kennan and his voluminous diaries and other personal papers.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Nils Hanson talks about Lillian Lorraine, who was in Ziegfeld's 1910 Follies and went on to become one of the most famous entertainers—and target for tabloid gossip—in America. The biography Lillian Lorraine: The Life and Times of a Ziegfeld Diva recounts her meteoric rise and fall from grace.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Massie tells the story of Catherine the Great, an obscure young German princess who rose to become the Empress of Russia, one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Massie’s biography Catherine the Great tells the story of her life and legacy.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Spanish filmmaker Edmon Roch talks about his new film, “Garbo the Spy.” It’s about Juan Pujol Garcia, clever enough to fool both the Nazis and the Allies as the ultimate double agent. He was code named GARBO because he was considered a master thespian by the Allies. He was responsible for the successful outcome of D Day, and he wrote endless journals that have helped explain the movement of the war.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Ann Beattie discusses Mrs. Nixon, an imagining of the life of one of our most mysterious and intriguing public figures, the only modern First Lady who never wrote a memoir. Beattie reconstructs dozens of scenes in an attempt to see the world from Mrs. Nixon’s point of view, to explore what it must have been like to be married to such a spectacularly ambitious and catastrophically self-destructive man.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Acclaimed biographer Mary Gabriel brings to light the story of Karl and Jenny Marx's marriage. In Love and Capital, she follows them as they roam Europe, on the run from governments amidst an age of revolution and a secret network of would-be revolutionaries. Gabriel paints Karl not only as an intellectual, but as a father and loving husband, a revolutionary, a jokester, and a man of tremendous political and personal passions.