Monday's Show

From book cover, Open Midnight

Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet

Monday, our guest is writer and environmental advocate Brooke Williams. Williams spent a year alone verifying maps of the southern Utah desert, where he felt a deep connection to the landscape. He wanted to understand that connection, and found an answer in the imagined story of his ancestor William Williams. Nature and wilderness, he concludes in his book, are part of his DNA. Brooke Williams joins Doug to talk about listening to the “archaic whisper” of the past, and how saving the land can save us. (Rebroadcast)

Read More

Benjamin Bergen is a cognitive scientist and he loves swearing. He actually studies it for a living. In a fascinating book, Bergen examines why we use swear words, why they’re so powerful, and how they work in our language and on our minds.  Swearing, he says, can be useful, funny, and cathartic. It also helps us express the strongest human emotions. Friday, we’re airing that conversation, but don’t worry: we’ve bleeped all the swear words. (Rebroadcast)

Lorie Shaull

Hillary Clinton was regarded as the front-runner in the lead up to 2016 election. She was arguably the most experienced presidential candidate in history, running against a man with no political experience. So how did she lose? In a new book, reporters Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes try to answer that question. Yes, she faced external challenges, but Parnes and Allen place much of the blame on the candidate herself. They’ll join us to explain how Clinton made her sure-thing victory an uphill battle.

 

Wherever you turn these days, commercials, sponsored social media, and other advertising efforts await your attention. The influential thinker Tim Wu says we have the “attention merchants” to thank for that. In a new book, Wu argues that the concerted efforts of advertisers to attract our attention at every opportunity has made us more distracted and less focused than ever before. Wu joins us to explore the rise of the attention merchants and the human costs of their efforts. [Rebroadcast]

Tuesday, we’re talking about conservatism and whether today’s Republican Party is living up to the label. Our guest is journalist and BYU law student Sara Jarman, who has just published a book which argues true conservatism is contemplative and measured, principles that have been lost over the years. Jarman says that whatever your views, this matters because a healthy political system requires a balance between conservative and progressive forces. Her book is called “Elephants on the Rampage.”

Thomas Wirthlin McConkie is a descendent of two highly influential Mormon leaders.  And yet, his close ties to the LDS Church didn’t insulate him from questioning his faith. He left the church as a teenager and found spiritual fulfillment in Zen Buddhism. After almost 20 years, he returned to Mormonism, and he wants to help others navigate their own faith crises. McConkie joins us Monday to discuss how the tools of developmental psychology can help guide us through faith transitions.

Major James B Pond, University of Virginia Library, http://bit.ly/2a0uRqV

 

Friday, we’re telling the story of what author Richard Zacks calls Mark Twain’s “raucous and redemptive round-the-world comedy tour.” Twain was once America’s highest paid writer, but he was also a remarkably bad businessman. In 1895, with his career on the rocks and with what today would be millions in debt, Twain embarked on a 5-continent speaking tour he hoped would save him. Zacks joins Doug to talk about Twain’s wildly popular humor, his missteps, and what drove his quest for redemption. (Rebroadcast)

Dave Newman via Flickr/CC BY 2.0) / http://bit.ly/2rrnaCr

Thursday, we’re talking about President Donald Trump’s relationship with the country’s intelligence agencies. Our guest is Tim Weiner, who has written books about the FBI, CIA, and President Richard Nixon. He warns that Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and his crusade to stop leaks have historical precedents in Nixon’s ultimately self-defeating actions. We’ll talk about that, and explore what Trump’s leak of classified information to Russia could mean for national security.

Messy

May 17, 2017
Andy Elk via Flickr/CC BY 2.0 http://bit.ly/2rn6yf7

In his new book, the journalist and economist Tim Harford makes an argument that’s a tough sell for a culture hooked on neatness, structure, and tidying up. Harford comes to the defense of messiness, of inconvenient situations, clutter, and difficulty.  They’re not as bad as we might think, he says, and in story after story he shows how disorder can spur creativity, nurture resilience, and bring out our very best. Harford joins us Wednesday to explore the messy foundations that often underlie success.

The First Love Story

May 16, 2017
Public domain

Tuesday, we’re talking about the oldest relationship in the Christian world: Adam and Eve. The writer Bruce Feiler says the two don’t get the credit they deserve, and in a new book he aims to redeem them for a new generation. According to Feiler, the tale of Adam and Eve is a timeless myth that still has much to teach us. They confronted the ultimate human fear—loneliness—and defeated it with the ultimate human expression—love. Feiler joins us to explore the meaning of the first love story.

Overdressed

May 15, 2017

Try to imagine 18 tons of clothes. It’s the image journalist and author Elizabeth Cline said surprised her the most while researching her book about the way Americans dress. That’s because that pile represented three-days of donations to one thrift store in one U.S. city. And what’s the impact of the cheap fashion we buy and toss on such a regular basis? Cline is coming to Utah, and Monday she joins Doug to explain what it means for our economy, our environment, and for our culture.

Pages

Tuesday's Show

The Moth: The Art & Craft of Storytelling

Everyone has a story, and a good one well told can be captivating. The Moth is a venue for great stories. It has given people around the world a stage for their stories, and its producers and presenters know what it takes to weave a compelling tale. It’s about vulnerability, authenticity, living the story as you tell it, and whisking the audience, however large or small, along for the ride. The Moth is in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, and they’ll join us to explore the art and craft of storytelling.

Read More

Calendar of Events

Heard it on RadioWest

A guide to the lectures, screenings and other happenings you've heard on the show.

Read More

Utah Profiles

Conversations with passionate and thoughtful people that make Utah unique.

LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

About RadioWest

Listen weekdays at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1