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Society And Culture

The Leonard Lopate Show

Ben Zimmer on the Origin of the Word "Jazz"

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Ben Zimmer, language columnist for the Boston Globe and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, will talk about the first known use of the word “jazz”—and its surprising link to baseball.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Search for the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes

Friday, March 23, 2012

Scott Wallace tells the tale of a journey into the deepest recesses of the Amazon to track one of the planet's last uncontacted indigenous tribes. In The Unconquered: The Search for the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes, Wallace journeys into the Amazon's uncharted depths to observe the mysterious flecheiros, following a researcher who seeks to protect them.

Comments [8]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Losing a Job, Finding a Life

Monday, March 19, 2012

James Kunen chronicles his adventures on the road to finding meaning in work and life. His memoir Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, Finding a Life is the story of a 1960s radical turned corporate PR man who finds himself, along with his fellow baby boomers, in a place he calls “too young to retire and too old to hire.”

Comments [6]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The 10 Objects that Tell the Story of New York

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dr. Sarah Henry, chief curator of the Museum of the City of New York, and Ellen Lupton, Cooper-Hewitt’s senior curator of contemporary design, discuss the results of our contest to find the top 10 objects that tell the story of New York

 

 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

An American Mother on the Wisdom of French Parenting

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Journalist Pamela Druckerman compares the French and American ways of parenting. In Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, Druckerman reveals the secrets behind French parenting—from their parenting philosophy to their different view of what children are.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy

Monday, February 27, 2012

Maggie Anderson talks about her family’s yearlong experiment to buy only from black-owned businesses, a decision she made because she says most African Americans live in economically starved neighborhoods, black wealth is about one tenth of white wealth, and black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial groups in every measure of success. In Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy, she draws on economic research and social history as well as her personal story.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Londoners

Monday, February 27, 2012

Writer and editor Craig Taylor discusses putting together a vibrant narrative portrait of a the city if London. Londoners features stories told by the real people who make the city hum—the rich and poor, old and young, native and immigrant, men and women.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The American Way of Eating

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tracie McMillan examines why we eat the way we do in America and how we can change it. She describes what it was like to work, eat, and live alongside the working poor to see how Americans eat when price matters. In The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Wal-Mart, Applebee’s, Farm Field, and the Dinner Table she links America’s approach to eating not just to farms and kitchens but to wages and work.

Comments [16]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Katherine Boo on Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Slum

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo tells the story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a slum in Mumbai, India. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity is based on three years of reporting, and it gives a glimpse into the lives of Annawadi residents, including Abdul, a Muslim teenager who scavenges for recyclables; Asha, who is seeking a route to the middle class through political corruption; and her daughter Manju, who will soon become Annawadi’s first female college graduate. When terrorism and the global economic recession shake Mumbai, suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Science of Yoga

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

William Broad talks about yoga, a practice thousands of years old. His book The Science of Yoga describes what’s uplifting and beneficial about the practice of yoga and what’s flaky and even dangerous. He looks at the burgeoning global yoga industry, which attracts true believers and charismatic hustlers.

Comments [25]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Jamal Jospeph on His Life of Rebellion and Reinvention

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Jamal Jospeph tells the story of his personal odyssey from the streets of Harlem to Riker’s Island and Leavenworth to Columbia University. In Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention he reveals what it meant to be a soldier inside the militant Black Panther movement in the 1960s. After being entenced to more than twelve years in Leavenworth, he earned three degrees there and found a new calling, turning his life around.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Howard Markel and Amanda Smith discuss Addiction

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.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Merle Hoffman on the Front Lines of the Feminist Fight

Monday, January 30, 2012

Merle Hoffman talks about her career as a crusader for women's right to choose. Her memoir Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Ally to the Board Room chronicles her experiences on the front lines of the feminist movement and in the battle for choice.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Green Card Stories

Monday, January 30, 2012

Immigration lawyer Stephen Yale-Loehr talks about putting together the book Green Card Stories, which presents portraits of today’s hardworking immigrants looking to contribute to U.S. society. The book features personal stories by Randolph Sealy and Angela Andrade, two immigrants, and they’ll discuss the debate over immigration in America, which has grown increasingly heated in recent years.

Comments [8]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Good News Club

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Journalist Katherine Stewart talks about the Good News Club, which is sponsored by the Child Evangelism Fellowship and bills itself as an after-school program of “Bible study.” When it came to her children’s public school she decided to investigate. Her book The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, shows that there is more religion in America’s public schools today than there has been for the past 100 years.

Comments [52]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Stephen Fry

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stephen Fry tells about arriving at Cambridge University as a convicted fraudster and thief, an addict, liar, fantasist, and failed suicide, convinced he would be sent away. Instead, he befriended bright young things like Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie, and emerged as one of the most promising comic talents in the world. The Fry Chronicles  is his story of his journey to stardom.

Comments [5]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Lost Kingdom of Hawaii

Monday, January 23, 2012

Julia Flynn Siler tells of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rise and fall, and about the clashes between the Polynesian people and relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. In Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, The Sugar Kings and America’s First Imperial Adventure, she describes royalty and rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries.

Comments [23]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Inquisition and the Modern World

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We think of the Inquisition as a holy war fought in the Middle Ages, but Cullen Murphy, Vanity Fair editor at large, shows that not only did its offices survive into the 20th century, in the modern world its spirit is more influential than ever. He traces the Inquisition and its legacy in  God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World, traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantánamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, and he shows that the Inquisition pioneered surveillance and censorship and “scientific” interrogation.

Comments [8]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Matilda Cuomo and Mayor Cory Booker on Their Mentors

Monday, January 16, 2012

Matilda Raffa Cuomo discusses the updated and expanded edition of her book, The Person Who Changed My Life: Prominent People Recall Their Mentors. She’s joined by Newark mayor Cory Booker, who is featured in the book, and who talks about the people that made a difference in his life. The book includes stories by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joe Torre, Rosie O’Donnell, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Nora Ephron, General Colin Powell, and many others.

Is there a person who has been a mentor to you and has changed your life? Let us know!

Comments [8]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Family, France, and the Meaning of Food

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Adam Gopnik talks about the meaning of food in our lives, from 18th-century to the kitchens of the White House, the molecular meccas of Barcelona, and beyond. The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food reveals that what goes on the table has never mattered as much to our lives as what goes on around the table- families, friends, lovers coming together.

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