In 1942 the Japanese army forced about 70,000 US and Philippino prisoners of war to march some 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula on the way to a prison camp. More than 10,000 died or were summarily executed along the way. Among the survivors was Gene Jacobsen - who published a book about the ordeal. Jacobsen died in 2007 at the age of 85. Today, we're rebroadcasting his story of three and a half years as a prisoner of war. (Rebroadcast)
A few years ago, the government of Uganda tried to pass a law that would criminalize homosexuality and punish even those who simply know gay people. The Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Roger Ross Williams wanted to learn what was behind this draconian proposal, who was driving it. So he went to Uganda. What he learned there led him back to America’s Heartland, from where, he says, Christian Evangelicals have long been working to alter Uganda’s culture and faith. Williams documents this 21st-century crusade in his new film God Loves Uganda, and we're rebroadcasting our conversation with him about it on Friday. (Rebroadcast)
In Utah, the maxim "write what you know" often means writing about Mormons and the LDS Church's influence in the state. But satirizing a faith or building characters around your family and neighbors can be tricky territory. Just ask playwright Miguel Santana. He was raised LDS, but was surprised by what he saw when he moved here. He's turned his experiences into a play about Mormon housewives, and Thursday, he and others join us to talk about the challenges and opportunities of putting Utah culture on stage.
The current local food trend has spurred the growth of farmers markets and local food producers. It’s also given rise to a movement called urban homesteading. That’s a mix of citified agriculture – think backyard chickens, bees and gardens – and the preservation and relearning of the skills of older generations, stuff like canning, root cellaring and wild foraging. Wednesday, we’re examining the rise of the urban homesteaders, here in Salt Lake and around the country, and we want to hear from our listeners. Why do you keep chickens or tend a beehive or collect rainwater for your garden? And would you call yourself an urban homesteader?
Tuesday, we return to our series on the nature of God and why tragedy is part of the human condition. Our guest is the Baptist theologian Albert Mohler. For Mohler, the answer can be summarized in one word: sin. Moral evil, he says, is the direct result of man's revolt against God's authority and the responsibility for tragedy lies squarely on human shoulders. Dr. Mohler joins Doug to explain how asking why God allows suffering is the wrong question and how he understands mercy and redemption as God's answer to tragedy.
The science writer Brian Switek knows adults aren’t supposed to like dinosaurs. And yet, they’re why he chose to move to Utah from New Jersey. In the decades since Switek’s dino-crazy childhood, dinosaurs have undergone incredible change. Once thought to be scaly reptilian ancestors, scientists now suspect they were warm-blooded avian relatives covered with fuzz. In his new book, Switek attempts to explain that change to casual dinosaur fans and to rectify the animals scientists study with their pop-cultural image. Switek joins us on Monday.
The journalist Lesley Hazleton says that early sources on the prophet Muhammad are infuriatingly vague. He’s described as “neither tall nor short,” “neither dark nor fair,” and “neither thin nor stout.” Hazleton, a longtime Middle East reporter and an agnostic Jew, wanted to understand the man whose legacy continues to shape our world. Her biography is called “The First Muslim,” and she joins Doug to explain how a man from humble beginnings rose to be the voice and leader of his people. (Rebroadcast)
Josh Hanagarne stands 6 feet 7 inches tall and can bend horseshoes with his bare hands. He has Tourette’s syndrome and is given to noisy verbal tics. It may seem unlikely, but Hanagarne is also a librarian at Salt Lake City’s Main Library. The job fuels his inner bookworm. It also compels him to consistently maintain silence and self-control. Hanagarne has written a memoir about his struggles with the physical and mental challenges of Tourette’s, and he joins us on Thursday to talk about it.
Wednesday, Doug's guest is researcher S.J. Wolfe who joins us to tell the story of Mormon founder Joseph Smith and the four mummies he bought in 1835. What really interested Smith were the accompanying papyri, but since the owner would only sell them together, Smith raised what today would be more than $64,000 to complete the deal. It wasn't just the Mormons who were fascinated; people flocked to traveling mummy exhibits around the country. We'll talk about Smith's mummies and about ancient Egypt's appeal to 19th-century Americans.
Tuesday, the literary scholar Kirk Curnutt joins us to explore F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. It’s been called the American masterwork, but when it was first published, Fitzgerald’s crowning achievement saw mixed reviews and mediocre sales. Today, the tale of Jay Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy Buchanan and high society sits near top of the bestseller list. Curnutt calls The Great Gatsby “verbal jewelry” and says it might have more in common with romance novels than we’re comfortable admitting.