Culture

Culture, Ideas, Religion

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/3366563115">Beverly & Pack</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Some political observers say the United States is a global superpower on the wane. They see the rise of China and America's increasing failure to get its way in the world as signs of decline. Robert Kagan, a foreign policy commentator, disagrees. He says the size and influence of America's economy, its unparalleled military might and its global political clout position it to remain the world's predominant power. Kagan joins Doug on Wednesday to discuss America's present and future status. (Rebroadcast)

Friday on RadioWest the historian Will Bagley is with us to talk about his epic quest to chronicle the westward migration of American settlers. Bagley's book tells the story of the Overland Trails that brought more than half a million Americans to the far West of Oregon and California. It's the story of families and fortune hunters and the effect that all of it had the native people who for centuries had already been calling the West home. (Rebroadcast)

Wednesday on RadioWest, we're rebroadcasting our conversation about Maurice Sendak's classic children's book "Where the Wild Things Are." The brilliant writer and illustrator died yesterday at the age of 83. His book changed children's literature when it was first published in 1963. Like most good art, it was seen as subversive and outrageous. We'll talk about translating it into a movie - but mostly, our fond memories of Max and his extraordinary adventure. (Rebroadcast)

Vibrator Rx

May 7, 2012
From New York's "The Syracuse Herald," 1919

In 1978, technology historian Rachel Maines was researching needlework when she came across ads for vibrators in 19th century magazines. They were sold as medical treatment for women with "hysteria." Symptoms were depression, irritability, confusion and more. Maines' research is the basis of a play on stage in Salt Lake and a Hollywood film that opens here next month. Tuesday, we'll talk to Maines about the history of the vibrator and what it can still tell us about women's roles in society.

God's Jury

May 3, 2012
Edward Sorel's illustration from the cover of God's Jury

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. But not everybody really knows what it is, either. The writer Cullen Murphy has written a book about the Catholic Church's 700-year persecution of its enemies, both real and imagined. And he says the "inquisitorial impulse" lives on - in America's massive surveillance and routine use of torture in the wake of 9/11, for example. Murphy joins Doug on Friday to remind us the Inquisition isn't something safely relegated to the past (Rebroadcast)

From "Bully"

Thursday, we’re joined by Lee Hirsch, director of the troubling and powerful film “Bully.” It’s the latest in our Through the Lens documentary series. Hirsch has said he wanted to bring the hidden lives of young people who are bullied out in the open. He spent a year following five families – including two trying to find some resolution after their sons took their own lives. We’ll talk to Hirsch about the film and present free screenings at 4:35 and 7:10 at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/merydith/5882357227/">Will Merydith</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Wednesday, farming and gardening experts, young and old, join Doug to help ring in the 2012 growing season. Local farming guru Fred Montague and ecologist Gary Paul Nabhan will discuss soil health – because good food starts with good soil – and the increasing need for small, local gardens to help counteract the ill side effects of industrial food production. Then we’ll switch gears to explore the rise of America’s new crop of farmers who are adapting old techniques to fit their new agricultural ethos.

Revelations

Apr 26, 2012
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/scotiamade/5114890900/ ">Wry&Ginger</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

For many, The Book of Revelation lays out a terrifying vision for the end of days: war, famine and plague visited on the Earth. Religion scholar Elaine Pagels says that with its symbolic language, the Bible’s final book has been subject to a range of interpretations though. She says it’s about hope as much as fear. Pagels’ latest book is called “Revelations” and Friday she joins us to explain what ancient prophecies can teach us not just about good and evil, but about humankind as a whole.

 

The past 200 years haven’t been kind to the American buffalo. Once the basis for the cultures and economies of Native Americans on the Great Plains, bison were nearly eradicated in the 19th century. Conservation efforts saved the animals from extinction, but they no longer roam freely on their old range. In a new documentary, the filmmaker Doug Hawes-Davis chronicles the history of human relations with the American bison. He and Western historian Dan Flores join Doug on Tuesday.

Inside Scientology

Apr 19, 2012
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/astroot/4809263036/ ">Aaron Stroot</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Friday, we're talking about Scientology with the journalist Janet Reitman. To its adherents, Scientology is the "fastest growing religion in the world." Its critics though call it a "cult" and even a "mafia" pointing to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that believers can pay for salvation. Reitman spent five years investigating the group and joins us to discuss her book "Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion." (Rebroadcast)

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