Profiles

from "The Zookeeper's Wife," Focus Features

Monday, the acclaimed naturalist and writer Diane Ackerman talks about the story she uncovered of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, a zookeeper and his wife. The couple ran the Warsaw Zoo during the brutal Nazi occupation of World War II, and they were able to save more than 300 people destined to be exterminated by the Nazis. Ackerman’s book has been made into a film, so we’re rebroadcasting our conversation with her about the role of nature in kindness and savagery. (Rebroadcast)

The Immortal Irishman

Mar 17, 2017

Friday, journalist Timothy Egan joins us to tell the story of Irish revolutionary Thomas Francis Meagher. Egan first encountered Meagher as a statue on the Montana Capitol grounds, but tracing his life took Egan from the brutal occupation of Ireland and the famine which killed a million people, to the fields of America’s civil war and to the American frontier. We’ll talk about Meagher’s transformation from romantic to rebel to leader, and what it reveals about the journey. (Rebroadcast)

Gage Skidmore (cropped; http://bit.ly/2mgrjqD) via CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://bit.ly/1dsePQq)

Late last week, Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana took the job of Secretary of the Department of the Interior. As the administrator of roughly a fifth of America’s land, his influence will be widely felt, especially in the West. But who is he? And where does he stand on important issues like state control of public lands, or on the contentious designation of national monuments? Utah Congressman Rob Bishop will be among our guests Wednesday as we examine Zinke’s appointment and what it means for Utah.

Wayne Miller

Tuesday, we’re talking about the life of poet and activist Maya Angelou. A documentary airing on PBS' American Masters tells the story of Angelou’s journey past racism and abuse to become one of our greatest voices. But filmmaker Rita Coburn Whack says she didn’t want this film to be just about what Angelou did in her life, but also about who she was and how she loved. Whack and co-director Bob Hercules join Doug to explain how Maya Angelou’s story gives us a sense of who we all are as Americans. (Rebroadcast)

Courtesy Hachette Books

Thursday, Doug’s guest is long-time LGBT activist Cleve Jones. In the early 1970s he and thousands of young gay people were drawn to San Francisco where they were able to find refuge and community. As a protégé of Harvey Milk, Jones became part of the movement he says saved his life twice: once as a teenager who felt like “the only queer in the world,” and again when his body was devastated by AIDS. Jones is coming to Utah, and joins Doug to talk about his life in the LGBT movement.

Downwind

Feb 3, 2017

Friday, we’re talking about the effects of nuclear weapons on people who lived near uranium mines and downwind from testing sites during and after the Cold War. Historian Sarah Alisabeth Fox says that all wars happen where people live, grow their food and raise their children. So to understand what happened, she talked to ranchers, farmers, and housewives who suffered from cancer and economic ruin. Her book is called "Downwind: A People’s History of the Nuclear West.” (Rebroadcast)

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by David Peterson

Monday, Doug is joined by filmmaker Laura Dunn, whose new documentary looks at rural America through the eyes of the writer, farmer, and activist Wendell Berry. The film's title comes from Berry’s daughter, who says that as a child her father would challenge her to notice things, to pay attention. He told her to “Look and See.” So that's what Dunn does. She weaves Wendell Berry’s own observations with those of family and neighbors for a deep look at the industrial and economic changes in agrarian life.

Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich grew up in Sugar City, Idaho, and in the late 50s, she figured she would just “get married and have children.” So it may surprise you to hear that she coined the phrase “well-behaved women seldom make history.” Ulrich is a Mormon, a feminist, a Harvard professor, and a Pulitzer Prize-winner. She’s dedicated her career to telling the stories of early American women and helping modern women find their voices. She’s in Utah, and joins Doug on Monday.

Defying the Nazis

Jan 6, 2017
Andover Harvard Theological Library

In January 1939, Unitarian minister Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha received a call: would they travel to Europe to help Jewish dissidents and refugees under threat of Nazi persecution? While few Americans were paying attention to Hitler’s growing power, the Sharps agreed to the dangerous mission. Their grandson, the filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky, created a documentary that explores their incredible work. He joined us to talk about how the Sharp’s actions saved hundreds and altered the course of their own lives. (Rebroadcast)

Public domain

If you’ve ever seen paintings by the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, such as The Garden of Earthly Delights, you’ve probably wondered what they mean and what kind of person could have imagined such fanciful scenes. Problem is, we know very little about Bosch’s personal story. That leaves the paintings, which present their own puzzles. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death, and Tuesday, art historian Gary Schwartz joins us to discuss the fearless artist’s life and his inventive art. (Rebroadcast)

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