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History

The Takeaway

The True Story of the Man Behind '12 Years A Slave'

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thanks to the new movie “12 Years a Slave,” many people around the world are learning for the first time about a man named Solomon Northup. A free-born African American man, Northup was kidnapped in 1841, trafficked to the south, and forced into slavery—eventually regaining his freedom in 1853. Renee Moore, founder of the annual Solomon Northup Day in Saratoga Springs, joins The Takeaway to shed light on the real Solomon Northup.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Wine

Friday, October 18, 2013

Humans have been drinking wine for 8,000 years. On this week’s Please Explain Paul Lukacs tells us all about wine and its long, rich history. He’s the author of Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasures.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Measuring and Mapping Space

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dr. Roberta Casagrande-Kim, guest curator, and Dr. Jennifer Chi, exhibitions director and chief curator, talk about the exhibition Measuring and Mapping Space: Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity, focused on ancient cartography and the ways in which Greek and Roman societies perceived and represented both the known and unknown worlds. It’s on view at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University through January 5, 2014.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Lessons of 1945

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ian Buruma, author and professor of human rights and journalism at Bard College, looks at how Europe and Asia rebuilt after the war's devastation to people, infrastructure and institutions in his new book Year Zero: A History of 1945 (Penguin Press, 2013).

→Ian Baruma will talk about Year Zero with Martin Amis tomorrow at NYPL.  

 

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The Takeaway

President Taft's Surprisingly Modern Diet Struggle

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Newly unearthed letters and diaries of President William Howard Taft show that the famously "corpulent" president pursued several modern dieting techniques, including keeping a food diary and seeking the council of a "physical culture man"—his year's version of a personal trainer. Dr. Deborah Levine, assistant professor of health policy and management at Providence College, discusses her findings about President Taft.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Senate Exit Poll; Tech in the City; Open Phones: Open Phones

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

John Dickerson, chief political correspondent for Slate, gives updates on the fluid situation in Washington. Then, the 30 Issues in 30 Days election series continues with a look at the tech industry from independent mayoral candidate Jack Hidary and New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi. Plus: your calls on today's NJ Senate special election; Ian Buruma on the significance of 1945; your suggestions on open phones segments; and how do you encourage girls to be self-confident?

The Brian Lehrer Show

Jim Lehrer on the Kennedy Assassination

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

On November 22, 1963, Jim Lehrer was a reporter in Dallas covering President Kennedy's visit. Now the executive editor of PBS NewsHour, Lehrer discusses his 21st novel Top Down in which he writes about what would have happened if Kennedy wasn't assassinated on that fateful day in 1963.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Wendy Lower gives a stunning account of the role of German women on the World War II Nazi eastern front, arguing that we have ignored the reality of women’s participation in the Holocaust. Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields makes the case for the massive complicity, and participation, of the 500,000 young German women in the killing fields of the Third Reich.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Terry Lenzner, the Investigator

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Investigative lawyer Terry Lenzner has uncovered facts that have shaped policy and influenced major legal battles. At the Justice Department in 1964, he investigated the murder of three civil rights workers. As a counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, Lenzner investigated Nixon and followed the money trail that led to the Watergate burglary and cover-up; he was the first person to deliver a congressional subpoena to a sitting U.S. president. He helped identify the Unabomber, investigated the circumstances of Princess Diana’s death, and cleared Hugo Chavez of false corruption charges. In his memoir, The Investigator: Fifty Years of Uncovering the Truth, he tells stories from his varied career and high-profile cases for the first time.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Chris Matthews Remembers Tip O'Neil, Ronald Reagan, and Political Compromise

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

From 1980 to 1986, Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill waged a principled war of political ideals with President Reagan. The two men made compromises that shaped America’s future and became one of history’s most celebrated political pairings—and they remain a prime example of how ideological opposites can get things done. Chris Matthews was a top aide to Tip O’Neill, and in his book Tip and the Gipper, Matthews tells how the two leaders fought over the major issues of the day—welfare, taxes, covert military operations, and Social Security—but found their way to agreements that reformed taxes, saved Social Security, and brought peace to Northern Ireland.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Malcolm Gladwell on "David and Goliath"

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Why do we value big and strong over small and agile? Malcolm Gladwell, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the new book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants talks with Brian Lehrer about the psychology, history and politics of lopsided conflicts. He also tells Brian about the "Gladwellian" lessons of his own story, and responds to critics who say he over-simplifies academic research, which he finds "inaccessible."

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Chris Matthews; Mariusz Kwiecien on "Eugene Onegin; Soldiers at Home; Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Between the looming fiscal cliff, a government shutdown, and ideological differences, relationship between President Obama and the Speaker of the House John Boehner has been rocky for months. On today’s show: Hardball host Chris Matthews talks about how President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill worked together throughout the 1980s. Baritone Mariusz Kwiecien on singing the title role in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “Eugene Onegin.” David Finkel shares stories of being embedded with an infantry battalion in Iraq—and again when they returned home. Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, suggests ways to use the power of the Web to do good in the world.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Jill Lepore on the Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Benjamin Franklin, who wrote more letters to his sister than he wrote to anyone else, was the original American self-made man; his sister spent her life caring for her 12 children. Historian Jill Lepore shows that Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister was, like her brother, a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and an astonishingly shrewd political commentator. Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin brings Jane Franklin to life in a way that illuminates not only one woman but an entire world.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Guest Picks: Jill Lepore

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Historian Jill Lepore came to the Lopate Show studios on October 1, 2013, to talk about her new book, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin, about Benjamin Franklin's sister, Jane. She shared her guest picks with us.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Iran and the U.S.; Elizabeth Gilbert's New Novel; Mao and the Chinese Transformation; the Life of Jane Franklin

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

On today’s show: former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack talks about the significance of the more moderate rhetoric that we’ve been hearing from Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani—and whether the US can ever resolve the Iran nuclear question. Elizabeth Gilbert discusses The Signature of Things, her first novel in 13 years. We’ll look at the rise of Mao Zedong and the price that was paid in his attempts to transform the Chinese into “The New People” at whatever cost. Historian Jill Lepore introduces us to Benjamin Franklin’s sister Jane, who was a gifted writer and a shrewd political commentator.

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Chinese Revolution 1945-1957

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Frank Dikötter chronicles Mao Zedong’s ascension and his campaign to transform the Chinese into what the party called New People. Due to the secrecy surrounding the country’s records, little has been known before now about the eight years preceding the massive famine and Great Leap Forward. In The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957, Dikötter draws on hundreds of previously classified documents, secret police reports, unexpurgated versions of leadership speeches, eyewitness accounts of those who survived to reveal the horrific policies they implemented in the name of progress.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Building Smart Cities

Monday, September 30, 2013

Urbanist and technology expert Anthony Townsend takes a broad historical look at the forces that have shaped the planning and design of cities from the 19th century to today. Today, cellular networks and cloud computing tie together tens of millions of people. In Smart Cities, Townsend examines how cities are using technology to improve urban life.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Race, Slavery, and America’s Universities

Monday, September 30, 2013

A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed its complex and contested involvement in slavery, setting off a nationwide controversy. But Brown’s troubling past was far from unique. Many of America’s revered colleges and universities—from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Rutgers, Williams College, and UNC—had been dependent on slavery and were breeding grounds for the racist ideas. Craig Steven Wilder reveals the history of oppression behind the institutions often considered the cradle of liberal politics and his new book Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Smart Cities; Jesmyn Ward on Race, Poverty, Life and Death; David Bromberg Performs; Slavery and Universities

Monday, September 30, 2013

On today’s show: we’ll look into the forces that have shaped the planning and design of great industrial cities from the 19th century to the present. Jesmyn Ward talks about how the deaths of five young men who were close to her, prompted her to look at the role race and poverty played in cutting their lives short. Flat picking guitarist and vocalist David Bromberg performs live. And we’ll discuss the long, complex history that many of our oldest colleges and universities have had with slavery and emancipation.

The Takeaway

1945: The Year that Shaped the World

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The year 1945 was a seminal moment for the world. From the bombing of Hiroshima, the end of World War II and the United Nations Charter, to Perry Como and Gandhi, a history began in 1945 that we're living today. Ian Baruma’s new book is called “Year Zero: A History of 1945.” He joins The Takeaway to discuss the ways the year 1945 came to shape global dynamics.

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