Friday's Show

The Gunning of America

Historian Pamela Haag says there’s a mythology around American gun culture. The conventional wisdom is that since the Revolutionary War we’ve had some primal bond with our firearms. But Haag argues that our guns were once just another tool of everyday life, and that the gun industry convinced us we needed to be armed. In a new book, she follows the rise of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the marketing campaign she says created our gun culture. Haag joins us Friday to tell the story.
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Custer's Trials

Apr 28, 2016

Even in his lifetime, George Armstrong Custer was controversial. He was ambitious and flamboyant as well as courageous and talented. Though largely remembered for his death at the Little Bighorn, T.J. Stiles' paints a fuller picture of Custer's colorful and complicated life. Stiles says Custer lived at a “frontier in time.” He helped usher in the modern American era, but couldn't quite adapt to the modernity he helped create. Stiles joins us Thursday to talk about his new book "Custer's Trials." (Rebroadcast)

How to Be a Tudor

Apr 27, 2016

 

To understand how our forebears lived, of course you’ll read period records, diaries and literature. There would still be things you wouldn’t fully grasp though, like how they smelled. So when historian Ruth Goodman wanted to understand 16th century English life, she “tudored.” She skipped bathing, brushed her teeth with soot, and slept on rushes. The result of her adventure is a new book called How to Be a Tudor, and Wednesday she joins Doug for a dawn-to-dusk guide to Tudor life. (Rebroadcast)

  This month, The Salt Lake Tribune has been following the story of BYU students who say they’ve been punished under the school’s honor code because they reported sexual assaults. Some of the questions these women are facing have been experienced around the country: will they be believed, shamed or blamed for being a victim? Tuesday, we’re asking how LDS culture and theology of chastity complicates this, and if there are lessons from the Mormon experience that might help challenge assumptions about rape in America.

Monday, biographer Kate Clifford Larson is with us to talk about the life of Rosemary Kennedy. She was a sister of John F. Kennedy, a vivacious beauty, and also intellectually challenged. As the Kennedy family’s power grew, her parents were anxious to keep her from the public eye. So at 23, she was lobotomized and institutionalized. Larson joins us to explain what Rosemary’s story reveals about the way we once dealt with disabilities, and how her life eventually inspired the Kennedys’ activism.

Nature Needs Half

Apr 22, 2016

For centuries, humans have used technology to alter the planet, with dramatic consequences for the environment. Some think technology can also be used to manage our way out of these problems. It’s an approach that places humans at the center of everything. But conservationist Harvey Locke builds his work around a different idea: we do not control the world; we are part of it. Locke advocates a "wiser" relationship with nature. He joins Doug to talk about his goal to conserve half the world’s land and water. (Rebroadcast)

Edgar Zuniga Jr. via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1Swv7Bp

News broke Wednesday that the family of Utah billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr. has agreed to purchase the Salt Lake Tribune from its hedge-fund owners. The mood was cautiously upbeat in the paper’s newsroom when the deal was announced. If all goes as planned, years of speculation about the Trib’s finances could be at end. And yet, there are some who say that Huntsman ownership of the paper may have its drawbacks. Thursday, we’re discussing the deal and asking what the Trib’s future may look like under new ownership.

American Character

Apr 20, 2016

  Journalist Colin Woodard says there’s a theme running through disagreements in American history: the struggle between individual rights and the good of the community. It started when the Mayflower limped onto shore and continues in today’s political rancor. Woodard argues though that democracy works best when we find the “sweet spot” between libertarianism and collectivism. Wednesday, he joins us to talk about these two impulses in our character and the risks of moving too far to either extreme.

      

As public support for same-sex marriage gained momentum, some polygamists saw a chance to decriminalize their relationships. TV personality Kody Brown and his four wives sued Utah County, saying bigamy laws violate their right to privacy and religious freedom. They won that case in U.S. District court, but the 10th Circuit overturned the decision last week. Tuesday, we’re asking whether the recognition of gay marriage opened any doors for polygamy and what the legal future of plural marriage may be.

Jan Willemsen via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1SchCBc

Dan Buettner has been working for years to identify hot spots around the globe where people enjoy exceptionally long, happy, and healthy lives. He calls these places “Blue Zones.” People living in Blue Zones often grow old without suffering chronic diseases like cancer, obesity, and diabetes. There are just five of these places in the world, but Buettner thinks the habits and practices common to Blue Zones can be adapted by people everywhere. He joins us Monday to explore the Blue Zones recipe for longevity.

Stuffocation

Apr 15, 2016

Friday, we’re talking about your “stuff” and whether it makes you happy. The writer and futurist James Wallman says that over the 20th century we moved from a problem of scarcity to a problem of “stuffocation.” It’s that overwhelmed feeling when you open your bursting closet or walk into a room stacked with belongings. Wallman argues that we’re reaching a tipping point though, and he joins Doug to explain how more people are focusing on what they do rather than what they have to bring them joy. (Rebroadcast)

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