On September 11, 2012, terrorists attacked a U.S. State Department compound and a CIA building in Benghazi, Libya. Those events have been the subject of immense scrutiny and hearsay, with some saying they lay the grounds for impeaching President Obama. In a new book, the writer Mitchell Zuckoff tells the story of a team of security contractors who fought to repel the attackers in Benghazi. He joins us Tuesday to tell the story of what happened during those 13 hours of mystery and controversy.
Monday, Doug’s guest is renowned filmmaker Ken Burns. His new PBS documentary chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. It’s not just about the deeply significant influence each had on American political life. It’s also the story of flawed, yet courageous individuals and of a complicated family. Burns has called it an “American Downton Abby, with the added virtue of being true.” The 7-part series begins Sunday night on KUED Channel 7.
Philosopher Alain de Botton gets his news the way many of us do these days: in bed, in the bath, in the car, at a desk. "News" is a force so powerful that de Botton says it's like a religion. It shapes our worldview, forms our ideas of right and wrong, and when we ignore it, we risk a sort of heresy. De Botton has written a book he calls a user's manual for the news and he joins us Friday for a conversation about what the news is, how it affects our lives and what it could one day be. [Rebroadcast]
Thursday, Doug is joined by Mormon scholars Terryl and Fiona Givens. Their latest book is an exploration of faith and doubt in religious life. It’s a conversation we’ve had throughout the summer, as Mormon feminists and progressive Mormons faced disciplinary action for publicly challenging theology. For the Givens, who have an orthodox perspective, there’s nothing wrong with doubt. They say the problem comes when those questions are based on flawed assumptions. Their book is called “The Crucible of Doubt.”
After her father suffered a debilitating stroke, the journalist Katy Butler became his caretaker. Doctors gave him a pacemaker and other medical devices meant to keep him alive, but past a certain point, they were only sustaining his suffering. At the end of life as he wanted to live it, his doctor’s refused to turn off the gadgets and let him die “naturally.” Butler joins us Wednesday to share her family’s struggle and to talk about what it means to die a “good death” today. [Rebroadcast]
Tuesday, our guest is journalist Colin Woodard, whose book "The Republic of Pirates" is the basis for a forthcoming TV series starring John Malkovich. Woodard tells the story of the Flying Gang, an 18th century coalition of men like Blackbeard and "Black Sam" Bellamy who were more than just criminals on the high seas. In age of oppressive governments and influential commercial interests, they had their sights set on social and political upheaval. We'll talk about the "golden age" of piracy and the mark it left on our world. [Rebroadcast]
A troubling statistic has been making a lot of headlines recently: 20% of college women are sexually assaulted in the US. So Monday, we’re asking if there is something inherent in the structure of college life that puts students at risk. Sociologist Elizabeth Armstrong says many students think they deserve a social experience that’s more about partying than academics, and competition for tuition dollars has universities providing them with what they want over what they need. She'll join us to talk about what this means for women and men.
Friday, we're rebroadcasting one of our conversations with the late writer and journalist Charles Bowden. Bowden's body of work includes his observations about the American psyche, essays on the natural world, and gritty stories about drug violence and other crimes. Many of these stories come from his home in the desert southwest. Bowden died last week at the age of 69. He was regarded as one of the most powerful writers of our time. (Rebroadcast)
Since the 1950s, a war has been waged in America against an accused dietary culprit: fat. Avoid fat, we were told, and you’ll live longer and healthier. However, as the investigative journalist Nina Teicholz discovered, there isn’t solid evidence of the benefits of a low-fat diet nor of the dangers of fat. In a new book, Teicholz reviews the science and history of the war on fat and she joins us Thursday to explain how America’s nutrition was derailed by personal ambition, bad science, and politics.
As the Nobel-winning playwright, Harold Pinter was known for his intense, uncomfortable, and dark works. But he was also a poet, and in 2005, he asked the actor Julian Sands to step-in for a reading Pinter was too sick to perform. Sands says what he found was the work of a sensitive man of immense love. After Pinter’s death, Sands created a one-man show from his prose and poetry. He’s bringing it to Utah, and Tuesday, he joins Doug to talk about his “Celebration of Harold Pinter.”