On the 4th of July, we're broadcasting our conversation with writer Nathaniel Philbrick about George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Arnold has long been regarded as the archetypal American traitor. But before he betrayed his country, he was actually one of Washington’s favorite and most trusted generals. In his book, Philbrick examines the complicated relationship between the two men. Ultimately, he says, it’s about their different reactions to a dysfunctional Congress that was driven by self-righteous opportunism. (Rebroadcast)
The next documentary in our Through the Lens series is a true story of desperation, scams, and goat testicles. Director Penny Lane joins us to talk about John Romulus Brinkley, a man who claimed to have a cure for impotence and many other ailments in 1920s Kansas. He took to newfangled radio to tout his unorthodox treatments, but soon found his nemesis in one Morris Fishbein, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Lane’s film is called NUTS!