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Memoir

The Leonard Lopate Show

Swoosie Kurtz: Part Swan, Part Goose

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Actress Swoosie Kurtz looks back on her life and career. Her new memoir, Part Swan, Part Goose is a combination of personal misadventure and showbiz lore. She candidly reflects on the right choices that empowered her, the wrong choices that enlightened her, and her experience caring for an aging parent.

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Selected Shorts

Gary Shteyngart Talks with Hannah Tinti

Friday, April 25, 2014

Gary Shteyngart spoke with SHORTS literary commentator Hannah Tinti about how food helped link him to America, about his writing, and the making of his memoir Little Failure, for the SELECTED SHORTS program “Wish Fulfillment,” hosted by Parker Posey.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How a Head Injury Created a Math Genius

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jason Padgett had never made it past pre-algebra, but after being struck in the head during a mugging, his ability to understand math and physics increased markedly, and he developed the ability to draw complex shapes he saw everywhere in the world around him.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Preserving a Family Farm and the Environment

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Julene Bair talks about inheriting part of a farming empire in Kansas's beautiful Smoky Valley and her hopes to preserve it for the next generation. She also has to come to terms with the ecological harm the Bair Farm has done: each growing season her family—like other irrigators—pumps over two hundred million gallons out of the rapidly depleting Ogallala aquifer. Her new memoir is The Ogallala Road.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

My Father the Marijuana Smuggler

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tony Dokoupil's dad rose from hippie pot dealer to multi-ton smuggler. His memoir is a chronicle of pot-smoking, drug-taking America from the perspective of the generation that grew up in the aftermath of the Great Stoned Age.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Strong Convictions: Unshakable Faith and Covering Poverty

Monday, April 21, 2014

Anna Sale fills in for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: Journalist Will Storr discusses tracking down climate change skeptics, devout creationists, and Holocaust deniers for his book, The Unpersuadables. Our Strapped series continues with a look at how the media reports on poverty and why the issue remains largely under-covered. Tony Dokoupil tells how his father went from small-time pot dealer to smuggling multiple tons of marijuana in the 1980s, exploding his life in the process.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Rob Lowe on How to Love Life

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"When you’re a puppy, you’ve got to move over and let the big dogs eat," and other things Rob Lowe learned has learned from Warren Beatty and from life in Hollywood.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Bob Saget, Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Bob Saget played the sweet, neurotic father on “Full House,” and the wisecracking host of “America's Funniest Home Videos,” but he also has a darker, dirtier side, as fans of the film "The Aristocrats" know.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Barbara Ehrenreich on Mystical Experiences and the Search for Answers

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Barbara Ehrenreich recounts her quest—which began in childhood—to find "the Truth" about the universe and everything else. In middle age, she rediscovered the journal she had kept during her tumultuous adolescence, which records an event so strange, so cataclysmic, that she had never written or spoken about it to anyone. Until now. In Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for Truth about Everything, she reconstructs her childhood mission, bringing an older woman's perspective to a young girl's impassioned obsession with the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Carol Leifer Tells How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

For years, television comedy was an exclusive all boys’ club—until comedian Carol Leifer blazed a trail for funny women everywhere. She’s written for and/or performed on “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Seinfeld,” “The Ellen Show,” and “Modern Family.” She tells us about her three-decade journey through show business, illuminating her many triumphs and some missteps along the way—and offering valuable lessons for women and men in any profession. Her book How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying is part memoir, part guide to life, and offers tips and tricks for getting ahead and finding your way.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Bicycling Alone Across the Country

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

New York Times obit writer Bruce Weber made the trip by himself at the age of 57, and wrote about it as it unfolded mile by mile. He talks about the challenges and rewards of strenuous physical effort — and the pleasures of a 3,000-calorie breakfast.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Internet and Capitalism; Biking Alone Across the Country; Errol Morris on Donald Rumsfeld; Passing the Civil Rights Act

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Jeremy Rifkin explains how the Internet is helping to make some goods and services almost free, and how that may lead to the eclipse of capitalism. Bruce Weber of the New York Times talks about his solo bicycle ride from coast to coast. Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris discusses his new film about Donald Rumsfeld, “The Unknown Known.” Clay Risen tells the story of how grassroots activism, stirring speeches, and backroom deal-making all helped ensure the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

WNYC News

The Man Behind The New Yorker's Cartoons

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff has a new memoir called How About Never—Is Never Good for You?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Corporate Idealists; "Tales from Red Vienna"; Investigating a Family Mystery

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Former BP employee Christine Bader talks about being part of a silent army of “Corporate Idealists” who fight for more responsible business practices inside some of the world’s biggest companies. Kathleen Chalfant and Nina Arianda discuss their roles in the off-Broadway play “Tales from Red Vienna,” set in post-World War I Austria. Michael Hainey tells the tale of investigating the real cause of his father’s death. Plus, we’ll look at the very rich, very conservative Koch brothers.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Drug-Resistant TB; History of the Jews; Poverty and the Social Safety Net; Walter Kern and the Rockefeller Imposter

Monday, March 24, 2014

On today’s show: We’ll find out why tuberculosis has been making a speedy, drug-resistant comeback—with 8 million new infections each year. Simon Schama traces the Jewish experience across 3,000 years. Our series Strapped: A Look at Poverty in America continues with Michael Katz and Olivia Golden discussing the social safety net and the government programs designed to help the poor. Walter Kirn tells us about his odd 15-year friendship with a man who turned out to be an imposter, kidnapper, and murderer.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Murder, Mystery, and a Masquerade

Monday, March 24, 2014

In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn—then an aspiring novelist—set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a 15-year relationship that drew Kirn into the world of an eccentric man who ultimately would be revealed as an impostor, child kidnapper, and murderer. Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade is Kirn’s story of being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Imprisoned in Iran

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Three American hikers were held in Iran's Evin Prison for two years on charges of espionage tell their story of isolation and survival.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Americans Imprisoned in Iran; What Happened to Michael Rockefeller?; Diaries of a Cold War Diplomat; Defying the Draft

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On today’s show: we’ll talk with Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, and Sarah Shourd—the three Americans who were captured by Iranian forces while they were hiking and were held for two years. Carl Hoffman explains how he uncovered new evidence about the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961. We’ll look at the never-before-published diaries of George F. Kennan, who devised the policy of containment during the Cold War. Bruce Dancis talks about becoming an anti-war activist in the 1960s—and going to prison for resisting the draft during Vietnam.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Protest and Prison During the Vietnam War

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bruce Dancis became the first student at Cornell to defy the draft by tearing up his draft card and soon became a leader of the draft resistance movement in the 1960s. He was the principal organizer of the first mass draft card burning during the Vietnam War. Dancis spent 19 months in federal prison in Ashland, Kentucky, for his actions against the draft. Dancis gives us an insider's account of the antiwar and student protest movements of the 1960s and at the prison experiences of Vietnam-era draft resisters. He writes about it in Register: A Story of Protest and Prison During the Vietnam War.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Sixty Years at Columbia University

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

According to the New York Times, "If any one person is responsible for Columbia's recovery, it is surely Michael Sovern." In his memoir, An Improbable Life: My Sixty Years at Columbia and Other Adventures, Sovern, who served as the university's president from 1980 to 1993, talks about growing and improving the university, addresses key issues in academia, and tells of his own life adventures.

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