Hannah Nordhaus, AMERICAN GHOST & Russell Powell, APPLES OF NEW ENGLAND


Hannah Nordhaus, author of The Beekepper’s Lament,  talks about her latest book, a wonderful history/slash memoir of her ancestor Julia Staub. It’s called American Ghost: A Family’s Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest.

And if apple pie is a symbol of America, apples may be a symbol of New England. Russell Steven Powell talks about his book, Apples of New England: A User’s Guide. Continue reading


Reimagining History: Medieval & Modern


David Flusfeder discusses his novel, John The Pupil. It’s about a medieval journey that prefigures the Renaissance era to come. And then another work of fiction that reimagines a historical figure: urban philosopher David Kishik talks about his book, The Manhattan Project. It imagines what Walter Benjamin would have written about New York had he succeeded in escaping to the US from Nazi-dominated Europe. Continue reading

Web Extras

Web Extra: Extended Interview with David Kishik

David Kishik

david-kishik-new-crop-2014Urban philosopher David Kishik talks about his book, The Manhattan Project. It imagines what Walter Benjamin would have written about New York had he succeeded in escaping to the US from Nazi-dominated Europe. Continue reading


Why Diets Don’t Work And Supplements May Be Bad For You

help diet

Catherine Price talks about her book VITAMANIA: Our Obsessive Quest For Nutritional Perfection (Penguin). Then food psychologist Traci Mann tells us why diets don’t work and how we can get to — and stay at — our leanest live-able weight. Her book is Secrets from the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again. Continue reading


Overpopulation: Ecological Elephant In The Room?


Tom Butler of the Foundation for Deep Ecology talks about a gorgeous — and disturbing — new coffee table book of photojournalism, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot.

And women mystery writers have gone from being ignored to being stars of the genre. We talk with mystery writer Sara Paretsky about women’s changing position in the genre and about her own socially conscious mystery writing. Then we congratulate Elizabeth Kolbert on her Pulitzer Prize for The Sixth Extinction. Continue reading

Web Extras

Web Exclusive: Per Espen Stoknes, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming

what_we_think_aboutThe more we know about climate change, the less we do about it. It’s the “climate paradox.” That’s why we need a new psychology of climate change, according to Norwegian author and economist, Per Espen Stoknes.

His new book, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming, tackles the climate paradox head on in an eminently readable book that should be obligatory reading for all who care about our future and are frustrated at the slow pace of action. Continue reading


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


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


Meditation For The Rest Of Us


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


Rebel Girls & Boys

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.

Continue reading


Master Thieves & Lethal Legacies


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


The Difference Between Men & Women? The Freedom To Choose


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