Profiles

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Tuesday, Utah reporter Rod Decker is our guest. Decker just retired after 37 years at Utah CBS affiliate KUTV Channel 2, and he’s got a lot of stories to tell. Decker is known for his unique delivery and for jumping head-long into a story, whether it meant antics to get the viewers’ attention or blunt questions to get a politician’s answer. We’ll discuss his observations on Utah politics and culture, how serving in Vietnam made him skeptical of liberals, and the fact he doesn’t watch TV.

Memory's Last Breath

Sep 5, 2017

In 2010, Gerda Saunders learned that she has dementia. She was 61 years old at the time, and soon had to leave her post teaching at the University of Utah. So, Gerda started writing what she calls her field notes on dementia. She said she wanted to be like an anthropologist documenting a tribe. The result is a memoir. It’s called Memory’s Last Breath, and in it Saunders examines what losing her memory is doing her identity. Tuesday, we're rebroadcasting an interview with Saunders about her book and her life. (Rebroadcast)

Defying the Nazis

Aug 31, 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)

Friday, biographer Kate Clifford Larson is with us to talk about the life of Rosemary Kennedy. She was a sister of John F. Kennedy, a vivacious beauty, and also intellectually challenged. As the Kennedy family’s power grew, her parents were anxious to keep her from the public eye. So at 23, she was lobotomized and institutionalized. Larson joins us to explain what Rosemary’s story reveals about the way we once dealt with disabilities, and how her life eventually inspired the Kennedys’ activism. (Rebroadcast)

 

Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich grew up in Sugar City, Idaho, and in the late Fifties, 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, and joins Doug on Thursday. (Rebroadcast)

 

Tuesday, we’re telling the story of the incredible life and work of naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. At the turn of the 19th century, Humboldt trekked across Latin America, exploring rain forests, mapping rivers, and climbing volcanoes. The journey led him to a groundbreaking vision of nature and a prediction of human-induced climate change. Doug’s guest is historian Andrea Wulf, whose new book combines biography and science to remember the man she calls the father of the environmental movement. (Rebroadcast)

Public domain

 

“Few came so far, so fast, and so alone,” writes John Farrell in a new biography of President Richard Nixon. Nixon was an idealistic dreamer when he returned from World War II, and he quickly scaled the political ladder. After winning the presidency in 1969, he and his staff pursued progressive reforms and opened relations with China. But Nixon, says Farrell, had another, darker legacy: a divided and polarized America. Farrell joins us Monday to discuss Richard Nixon and the world he made. (Rebroadcast)

Kelsie Moore | KUER

Bishop Oscar Solis has no idea why Pope Francis plucked him from sunny Los Angeles and sent him to lead the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. Maybe God, he says, has the answer. The first Filipino to lead an American diocese, Solis entered the seminary at 11 years old, speaks four languages, loves golf, and brings abundant humor to his ministries. He joins us Thursday to talk about where his faith in God has led him in life, and to discuss the challenges facing the modern Catholic Church.

Devil's Bargain

Aug 14, 2017

To understand Donald Trump’s path to the White House and Hillary Clinton’s downfall, journalist Joshua Green says you have to begin with Steve Bannon. In only a few months, Bannon went from the alt-right powerhouse leading Breitbart News, to the CEO of Trump's campaign, and finally to his current position as White House Chief Strategist. Green joins us Monday to tell Bannon’s story - how a brilliant and charismatic man from the fringe of American politics helped “storm the presidency.”

The "Monkey" Trial

Aug 10, 2017
Smithsonian Institution Archives, siarchives.si.edu

Thursday, we’re telling the story behind the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. You know the basics: the agnostic Clarence Darrow and the Bible-thumping William Jennings Bryan faced off in a court room in a battle about teaching evolution in public schools. Our guest is the historian Jeffrey Moran who says the trial came as American culture was shifting and fundamentalists were freaking out about Charles Darwin. It was the trial of the century.

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