Podcast

Bill de Blasio’s Civic Experiment – Is It Working?

Mayor Bill de Blasio marches in the Puerto Rican Day Parade on Fifth Avenue

Journalist Eric Alterman talks about his new book, Inequality And One City: Bill de Blasio and the New York Experiment. It’s about how the New York mayor is using city government to implement his agenda on inequality, the forces arrayed against him and the contradictions he faces. And then, we hear poems from Richard Wilbur and Jonathan Wright. Continue reading

Podcast

Social Insecurity: 401k’s & The Retirement Crisis

In 2008, WV guest James W. Russell got a big shock, like hundreds of thousands of other Americans who thought their 401k’s were going to give them a comfortable retirement. His retirement portfolio took a big hit, so he decided to investigate just why our retirement system is so insecure.

What he found out, he’s put into his explosive book, SOCIAL INSECURITY: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis. We spend the hour talking with Russell about 401k’s, pension plans, and social security — and what can be done to make sure we don’t end up poor in our old age. Continue reading

Podcast

Meditation For The Rest Of Us

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ABC anchorman and meditator Dan Harris talks about his book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story. Then, renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without A Thinker Mark Epstein discusses his latest book, The Trauma Of Every Day Life. It’s about how Buddhist meditation can help us heal from trauma and use it to achieve greater wisdom. Continue reading

Podcast

Rebel Girls & Boys

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Historian Lara Vapnek talks about her biography of the great labor organizer and champion of civil liberties, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. And later, we talk with civil liberties lawyer and journalist, Bill Newman about his collection of essays reprising his long engagement with civil liberties and social justice, When The War Came Home.

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Podcast

Master Thieves & Lethal Legacies

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Stephen Kurkjian talks about his new book Master Thieves. It’s about the record-breaking art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990 and who might have done it.

Then, forty years after the end of the Vietnam War, its lethal legacy continues. We talk with George Black about his story, “The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War” in the March 16 issue of The Nation. Continue reading

Podcast

The Difference Between Men & Women? The Freedom To Choose

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Investigative journalist Jenny Nordberg talks about her book, THE UNDERGROUND GIRLS OF KABUL: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan. It’s about how some young girls in Afghanistan are disguised as boys — an ancient practice in a gender-apartheid society.

And feminist writer Katha Pollitt discusses how access to safe, legal abortions is under threat in America and what that means for women’s rights. Her book is PRO: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. Continue reading

Podcast

The Amherst Affair: Austin, Mabel & Emily, Too

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William Nicholson talks about his new novel, AMHERST. It’s about the passionate affair between Emily Dickinson’s brother Austin and Mabel Todd. And later we re-air part of our 2007 interview with Debby Applegate about her biography of another 19th century figure associated with Amherst, Massachusetts: fiery evangelical preacher Henry Ward Beecher. Her book is THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA. Continue reading

Podcast

The Power of Asking Questions: Ethel Payne, First Lady Of The Black Press

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Acclaimed biographer James McGrath Morris discusses his just-released biography, Ethel Payne, First Lady Of The Black Press. Few Americans today have ever heard of Ethel Payne, much less understood the giant role she played in reporting the story — and advancing the agenda — of the civil rights movement in America. Through Payne’s riveting personal story, Morris takes the reader on an inspiring journey through the civil rights movement — and to a greater understanding of issues that continue to resonate strongly today. Continue reading

Podcast

Superstorms of the 21st Century: The Battle To Save The Coasts

Aerial photos of New Jersey coastline in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Kathryn Miles talks about her gripping moment-by-moment account of the biggest Atlantic storm ever recorded, Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy (Dutton 2014).

And beachfront homeowners are trying to save their property from sea level rise and storm surge by building hard structures to keep the ocean at bay. But at what cost to the public? And does it even work? Marine scientist Doug Hardy talks about his report for his local conservation advisory council, The Starvation of Southold’s Beaches.” It’s got lessons for every coastal resident — and every US taxpayer. Continue reading

Podcast

What’s Wrong With Environmentalism (And How To Make It Better)

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Former E.P.A. official E. G. Vallianatos talks about his book, Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and The EPA. And we have a conversation with pioneer environmentalist James “Gus” Speth. He co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council and founded the World Resources Institute. His new memoir, Angels By The River, looks back on his life in public policy — and also toward the future of the environmental movement. Continue reading

Podcast

Kids and Character Building: What Works Best?

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Psychologist Walter Mischel talks about his new book The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control (Little, Brown, September 2014). It’s about his famed experiment testing delayed gratification in kids and what it can teach all of us.

And grownups everywhere complain that our kids are spoiled — but is that really true? Or is it just a case of conservative ideology going mainstream? Alfie Kohn talks about his latest book, The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting (Da Capo Lifelong Books, March 2014.)

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Web Extras

Web-only Extra: Alfie Kohn on the Common Core

Alfie_Kohn11WV interviewed Alfie Kohn about his book, The Myth Of The Spoiled Child (Da Capo Lifelong Books, March 2014.) 

We also asked Kohn about his views on the Common Core and alternative education, but weren’t able to include it in the show. Here’s that segment.

Alfie Kohn is a frequent lecturer on the topics of education and parenting, and the author of twelve previous books, including The Homework Myth, Punished by Rewards, and Unconditional Parenting. His work has been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and USA Today, and he has appeared on CNN, BBC, and numerous NPR shows. His website is at alfiekohn.org.

Listen here to the full radio interview.