Podcast

Fixing Our Broken Election System

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Can we get real democracy in the US? We talk with political scientist Patrick Barrett about his article, “Can We Change the Political System? Strategic Lessons of the Bernie Sanders Campaign”.

Then we re-air our 2008 interview with muckraking reporter Greg Palast about his book Steal Back Your Vote. We talk about how voters were disenfranchised by voter purging and other voter suppression methods in past elections — and what voters can do about it. Continue reading

Web Extras

Fighting Fracking’s “Corporate Marauders” In Pennsylvania & New York

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Francesca Rheannon of Writer’s Voice speaks with journalist and fractivist Maura Stephens about:

  • Fracking’s environmental and public health impact in Pennsylvania and New York
  • Use of eminent domain to take private property for fracking operations
  • How the TPP could override local, state and national sovereignty on the issue
  • The fight against fracking
  • The precarious status of New York’s moratorium on fracking and
  • The Democratic candidates’ differing positions on the issue.

Maura Stephens is a founding member of the Coalition to Protect New York and FrackBustersNY.org.

Read the story of the Holleran Farm, whose maple trees were cut down to make way for a natural gas pipeline.

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Podcast

Two Memoirs Celebrate Our Connection With The Earth & Its Creatures

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We talk with Elizabeth Marshall Thomas about her memoir, Dreaming of Lions: My Life In The Wild Places. She writes about her life with the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and other people of the Old Way.

And wildlife conservationist Dale Peterson discusses his latest book, Where Have All The Animals Gone? My Travels with Karl AmmannIt’s about his efforts to document the bushmeat trade and other human impacts threatening extinction for apes, elephants and giraffes. We also speak with him about another of his books, The Moral Lives of Animals. Continue reading

Web Extras

Historian Donna Murch on The Clintons’ War On Drugs, Mass Incarceration & The Black Vote

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Rutgers University historian Donna Murch speaks with Francesca about the impact of the 1994 crime bill passed by President Clinton and its devastating impact on communities of color.

Murch’s essay, “The Clintons’ War on Drugs: When Black Lives Didn’t Matter” appeared in the New Republic and is re-printed in False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton, a collection of essays by left feminists and edited by Liza Featherstone.  Continue reading

Podcast

Is Hillary Clinton Good For Women?

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Liza Featherstone talks about the collection of essays she’s edited, False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton (Verso Press, June 2016). Then we talk with one of the contributors to False Choices, Rutgers history professor Donna Murch. Her essay is titled, “The Clintons’ War on Drugs: When Black Lives Didn’t Matter.” Continue reading

Podcast

Backyard Building & The Soul of Shelter

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America’s First Couple of do-it-yourself building projects David and Jean Stiles talk about their latest book, Backyard Buildings: Tree Houses, Sheds, Arbors, Gates and Other Garden Projects. Then we replay our 2013 interview with Howard Mansfield about his profound and delightful book, Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter. Continue reading

Podcast

Ellen Meeropol: On Hurricane Island & Cecelia Tichi: Jack London

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Ellen Meeropol talks about her new novel, On Hurricane Island. It’s about what happens when an innocent American citizen is abducted to a domestic black site and tortured. Meeropol also discusses how being married to one of the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg has influenced her writing.

Then, a look back at one of the greatest writers and critics of America’s first Gilded Age and his relevance for today, Jack London: Cecelia Tichi talks about her biography of the great writer and democratic socialist, Jack London: A Writer’s Fight For a Better America.
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Podcast

Katy Simpson Smith, Mary Costello & Poet Amy Dryansky

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Katy Simpson Smith talks about her new novel, Free Men. Then in the second half of the show, we replay our 2014 interview with Smith about her acclaimed first novel, Story of Land And Sea. Also, we review Academy Street by Mary Costello and hear two poems by Amy Dryansky. Continue reading

Podcast

Cicero’s End, Dust Up over Sanders’ Plan, & Remembering Quentin Young

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We talk with novelist Robert Harris about the last book in his trilogy about the Roman statesman Cicero, Dictator. Then, economist James Galbraith tells us why he disagrees with the attacks on Gerald Friedman’s analysis of Senator Bernie Sanders’ economic plan. And finally, we pay tribute to Dr.Quentin Young, who passed away this week, with a clip from an interview Francesca did with him in 2009. Continue reading

Podcast

Lauret Savoy, TRACE: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape

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We talk with environmental earth scientist and writer Lauret Savoy about her stunning new book, Trace: Memory History, Race & The American Landscape. In it, Savoy examines how the country’s still unfolding history, and ideas of “race,” have marked her and the land — and what that history says about our relationships to each other and the places we inhabit. Continue reading

Podcast

The Koch Bros. & Their Billionaire Web

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We talk with New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer about her acclaimed book about the Koch Brothers and the network they’ve mobilized for political influence, Dark Money:The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.

Then, we replay our 2013 interview with filmmaker Tia Lessin, about the documentary she co-directed with Carl Deal, Citizen Koch. It’s about how the Koch Bros. and their rightwing advocacy organization, Americans For Prosperity, helped Wisconsin governor Scott Walker beat back a recall campaign after he devastated public employee union rights. Continue reading

Podcast

Linda Coleman: Radical Descent & Greg Guma on Bernie

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Linda Coleman talks about her memoir Radical Descent: The Cultivation of an American Revolutionary. Then, Vermont political writer Greg Guma gives WV his take on Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. He’s been writing about the Senator since the late 1980’s (and you’ll find out why Sanders calls himself a socialist — it’ll surprise you.)

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Web Extras

Greg Guma on Bernie Sanders’ “Insurgent” Run

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Most Americans have just been getting to know Bernie Sanders in the last few months, as his presidential bid has gathered a full head of steam. But journalist and author Greg Guma has known him since the 1980’s.  He talks about Sanders’ previous campaigns and and how Bernie Sanders’ current insurgent run has matured him as a candidate. Continue reading

Podcast

Simon Winchester, PACIFIC & Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, MIDNIGHT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT

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Are we seeing the dawning of Pacific century? And what can its past teach us about its future? We talk with two authors today that feature the Pacific Ocean: first, Simon Winchester talks about his award-winning book, Pacific.

Then we talk with Pamela Rotner Sakamoto about  Midnight in Broad Daylight. It’s the true story of a Japanese-American family sundered by the Pacific Ocean during World War II. Continue reading