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The Leonard Lopate Show

How Brothers John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles Shaped the World

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

At the peak of the Cold War in the 1950s, two powerful brothers—Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and CIA director Allen Dulles —led the United States into a series of foreign conflicts whose effects are still felt around the world today. Historian Stephen Kinzer explains how they were both propelled by what he calls a quintessentially American set of fears and delusions. In  The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War, Kinzer, looks at their campaigns that pushed countries from Guatemala to the Congo into long spirals of violence, led the United States into the Vietnam War, and laid the foundation for decades of hostility between the United States and other countries.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Family Meeting: Our Noisy Lives

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Brian Lehrer Show hosts a two-hour special on NOISE -- from annoying noises, NYC's ever-changing soundscape, and the hidden social history of noise. From 10am to noon, live on WNYC.

The Brian Lehrer Show

Noise and Creativity Throughout History

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

David Hendy, media historian at the University of Sussex, host of the thirty-part BBC Radio series, Noise: A Human History, and the author of Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening, talks about the social history of noise and kicks off the call-in on the question of sound and creativity.  What sounds sparks your creativity or do you need absolute quiet?

 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Good and Evil; the Story of Dancer Tanaquil le Clercq; Roddy Doyle's Novel, The Guts; Brothers Who Shaped History

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

On today’s show: Cognitive scientist Paul Bloom explains why he thinks that a moral sense of good and evil is hardwired into our brains from birth. Director Nancy Biurski talks about her documentary about Tanaquil le Clercq, the ballet star who was a muse to George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins before she was paralyzed by polio at the age of 27. Roddy Doyle discusses his new novel The Guts, which picks up the story of his bestseller, The Commitments, almost 30 years later. And we’ll look at how John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen Dulles led the United States into foreign conflicts in the 1950s and how we’re still feeling the aftereffects today.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Black Barbershops and the Civil Rights Movement

Friday, January 31, 2014

Historian Quincy T. Mills chronicles the cultural history of black barbershops as businesses and civic institutions. He talks about how barbers played a significant though complicated role in 20th-century racial politics. His book Cutting Along the Color Line: Barbershops is a sweeping history of an iconic cultural establishment that shows how black entrepreneurship was linked to the struggle for equality.

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Indian Country Sets Priorities With State Of Nations Address

Friday, January 31, 2014

Just days after President Obama delivered his State of the Union, National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby gave the annual State of Indian Nations address. Host Michel Martin speaks to Cladoosby about the issues facing Indian country this year.

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The Takeaway

Russian Weapons Removal & The Cold War Backpack Bomb

Friday, January 31, 2014

After the Cold War, MIT Physicist Thomas Neff developed a program to allow Moscow to sell the uranium from its retired weapons and dilute it into fuel for electric utilities in the U.S. He explains the program today. New details about portable nuclear weapons designed by the U.S. military during the Cold War describe a weapon small enough to be strapped on a backpack, but still powerful enough to potentially cause devastating damage. Adam Rawnsley of Foreign Policy magazine has the details.

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Egypt: 'A Very Divided Nation Right Now'

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The third anniversary of the Egyptian uprising finds its democratically elected president on trial. So where does that leave the rest of the country? Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR's Cairo Bureau Chief Leila Fadel about the latest in Egypt.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Greg Grandin on The Empire of Necessity

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Greg Grandin tells the story of a remarkable slave rebellion that occurred in 1805. Off a remote island in the South Pacific, Captain Amasa Delano, a New England seal hunter, climbed aboard a distressed Spanish ship carrying scores of West Africans he thought were slaves. They weren’t. Having earlier seized control of the vessel and slaughtered most of the crew, they were staging an elaborate ruse, acting as if they were humble servants. The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World explores this extraordinary event, which inspired Herman Melville’s masterpiece Benito Cereno.


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Frogs And Puffins! 1730s Menus Reveal Royals Were Extreme Foodies

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A rare collection of menus detailing the meals served to King George II and his queen contain plenty to offend our modern, squeamish sensibilities. But the manuscript, which sold at auction Wednesday, also reflects bigger shifts afoot in how food was sourced and prepared. The result? Tastier British cuisine.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Cars and Cities; Frank Langella and "King Lear" at BAM; the Story of a Slave Rebellion

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson looks at what cities with fewer cars can tell us about driving and density. Frank Langella on playing King Lear in the new production of Shakespeare’s tragedy at the BAM. Jamie Ford talks about his latest novel, Songs of Willow FrostGreg Grandin discusses an 1805 slave rebellion aboard a ship in the South Pacific. and what it reveals about anti-slavery views.

The Takeaway

The State of the Union Through an Artist's Eyes

Monday, January 27, 2014

Artist, composer and performer R. Luke DuBois developed his signature style through data mining. In his 2008 piece, "Hindsight is Always 20/20," DuBois isolates the most frequently mentioned words from State of the Union Addresses that span from George Washington to George W. Bush. As President Barack Obama prepares for the 2014 State of the Union Address, DuBois examines word patterns in State of the Union Addresses over time, and describes how a president's rhetoric reflects their era.

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Conjugal Visits: Costly And Perpetuate Single Parenting?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mississippi was the first state in the country to offer prisoners conjugal visits. Now the state is set to end the program, citing high costs as the main reason. Host Michel Martin speaks with Heather Thompson of Temple University about the history of conjugal visits and why prisoners' families are upset about the change.

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Fresh Air

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But in The Pope and Mussolini, historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime.

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What Does 'Sold Down The River' Really Mean? The Answer Isn't Pretty

Monday, January 27, 2014

Being "sold down the river" means you've been betrayed. It used to mean something far worse. NPR's Code Switch traces the history of the phrase and spells out its original meaning in the first half of the 19th century.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Burglary that Revealed J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI

Monday, January 27, 2014

Betty Medsger tells the full story of a group of unlikely activists who broke into an FBI office outside Philadelphia to steal files, which they sent to journalists and members of Congress. Those files revealed J. Edgar Hoover’s “secret counterintelligence program” COINTELPRO, set up in 1956 to investigate and disrupt dissident political groups in the United States, many of them legal civil rights organizations and antiwar groups that Hoover found offensive—as well as black power groups, student activists, antidraft protestors, conscientious objectors. In The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI Medsger gives a full account of the break in and how it changed the FBI and the country.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How Roger Ailes Built Fox News; June Squibb on "Nebraska"; Kim Fu's Debut Novel; Betty Medsger on the 1971 FBI Break-in

Monday, January 27, 2014

On today’s show: Gabriel Sherman talks about Fox News founder Roger Ailes and how he’s built the most influential television news empire today. June Squibb on her Oscar-nominated performance in the film, “Nebraska.” Kim Fu discusses her debut novel, For Today I Am a Boy, about the only son in a family of 4 kids who’s pretty sure he’s really a girl. And Betty Medsger tells the story of how a 1971 break-in at a Pennsylvania FBI office confirmed that J. Edgar Hoover was running a shadow agency that targeted civil rights activists and antiwar groups.

For Persian Jews, America Means 'Religious Pluralism At Its Best'

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Judaism has a rich history in Iran dating back millennia. But in the late 1970s, thousands of Iranian Jews fled to the U.S. in search of a new home. They have integrated their ancient Persian heritage into American life.

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Once, Cold Weather Came And Stayed — For Years

Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's been a bitterly cold winter in much of the country, but hey, it could be worse: You could have been alive in the 6th century. Starting in 536 A.D., scholars wrote of a cold snap that lasted not days, but years. Journalist Colin Barra speaks with NPR's Jacki Lyden about scientists' quest to determine what caused the epic cold spell.

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Why Kenya's Best-Known Writer Decided To Come Out

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Binyavanga Wainaina made the announcement in an online essay on his 43rd birthday. He says the recent anti-gay legislation in Uganda and Nigeria influenced his decision to speak out now.

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