Culture

Culture, Ideas, Religion

Thursday, we continue our Through the Lens series on documentary films with an on-the-ground account of the occupation last year of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. For 41 days, protestors and right-wing militia members, held the refuge hostage in open defiance of the federal government. Director David Byars’s film documents their ultimately quixotic demonstration, from its inception to its dramatic demise. His film is called No Man’s Land, and he’ll join us to talk about it.

The Perfect Horse

Jun 20, 2017
Judy Fahys

Tuesday, the story of a daring rescue of horses caught up in the Third Reich’s vision for genetic supremacy. Horses still played a role in the military, and Hitler aimed to use stolen purebreds to create the ideal war horse. But with the stud farm under imminent threat from the starving Russian army, the Nazi officer in charge asked General Patton himself for help. Author Elizabeth Letts joins us to explain why soldiers set aside alliances and risked their lives to save The Perfect Horse. [Rebroadcast]

Biblical Literalism

Jun 16, 2017

Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong presents a provocative idea in his latest book. Reading the Bible literally, he says, is heresy. He bases his argument on a close reading of the Gospel of Matthew, which he argues was written by Jews for Jews. Spong says the gospel was not written as a literal account of Christ’s life, but rather as an interpretative portrait of God’s love. Spong joins us Friday to talk about biblical literalism and his uniquely progressive approach to Christianity. (Rebroadcast)

Greg Westfall (cropped), via CC/Flickr, https://goo.gl/GWoald

 

For years, Daniel Kunitz lived the life of the mind. His body though “became a trash depot.” Then he started running, which led to swimming, weightlifting, and eventually CrossFit. His health and his life steadily improved. Kunitz’s personal quest got him wondering how fitness culture has changed through the years. Why were the Greeks so buff? Why do guys do dumbbell curls? How have women changed exercise as we know it? Kunitz joins us to share what he’s learned about the evolution of fitness. (Rebroadcast at 7 p.m. MDT)

American Nations

Jun 5, 2017
Used with permission: Colin Woodard and Tufts University

You don’t need to be a scholar or veteran political observer to see that America is divided, but journalist and historian Colin Woodard says this is really nothing new. Woodard argues that America has always been divided, because we’re actually eleven distinct regional nations, with different cultures and ideas about how the world works. He joins us Monday to explain the historic roots of these nations, and how that past is still influencing the country today. (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]

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.

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