Profiles

Book of Love

Aug 24, 2012
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/2214450463/">Dennis Jarvis</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

When the Hindu philosopher Vatsayana wrote the Kamasutra some 2000 years ago, he said that he did so in a spirit of chastity and meditation – not for the sake of passion. So how is it that the treatise has become synonymous with sexual ecstasy and acrobatic positions? Friday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with the writer James McConnachie. He joined us earlier this year to tell the story of the Kamasutra’s journey from India to Victorian England and the role it has played in the West’s ongoing wars over sexuality and morality.

A few years ago, David Finch’s marriage was on the skids. Moments of joy and affection between he and his wife, Kristen, had become rare. One day, Kristen sprung a 150-question quiz on David. It was an informal test for Asperger syndrome, and David aced it. The diagnosis explained David’s long list of quirks and compulsions, and set him on a quest to better understand himself and to become a better husband. His book is called The Journal of Best Practices and he’ll talk with Doug about it.

Elna Baker

Aug 6, 2012

Three years ago, the comedienne and storyteller Elna Baker published her memoir, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance. It’s about being a twenty-something Mormon virgin in a town – New York City – that doesn’t take kindly to that type. A lot has changed for Elna Baker since 2009: now she’s an ex-28-year-old virgin and ex-Mormon comedienne. Elna joins Doug to talk about leaving the church, her journey to Siberia and the challenges of honest storytelling. (Rebroadcast)

Frank Sinatra called Spencer Tracy “The Gray Fox.” Some actors called him “The Pope.” The biographer James Curtis calls Tracy the greatest actor of his generation. Through the years, Tracy’s legacy has faded, eclipsed by that of Katharine Hepburn, one of his great loves. Curtis has written a biography of Tracy that refurbishes his story, detailing his relationship with his wife, Louise, his love affair with Hepburn, his drinking problem and his inimitable acting chops. (Rebroadcast)

Thursday, we're profiling a new KUED documentary that explores the life of a remarkable woman, Martha Hughes Cannon. Women in 19th-century Utah enjoyed rights unprecedented in other states: they could divorce their husbands, own their own property and vote. Cannon made the most of these opportunities. She was a practicing physician and in 1896 she became the first woman in the US to serve as a state senator. She was also a polygamist wife though, a role that would eventually destroy her public career.

Thursday, Doug is back in the studio with the latest installment of our Through the Lens documentary series. Our guest is Carl Colby, whose latest film is about his father William Colby, spymaster and former head of the CIA. The film is Carl's search for an authentic portrait of his father, a man whose life was obscured even to those closest to him. It's part memoir, part history of the CIA. Really, it's about the costs of what a country does in secret.

The Mark Inside

Jul 9, 2012

The quest to make a fortune may be as old as America itself, but so are the con-men who prey on that dream.  J. Frank Norfleet learned this the hard way. In 1919, the Texas rancher lost his life savings in a stock market scam, but he didn’t take it lying down. With a revolver and a suitcase of disguises, Norfleet set out on a four-year pursuit of his swindlers. Tuesday, guest host Christy Karras is joined by Amy Reading, whose new book follows Norfleet on his journey from victim to folk hero.

A canine orphan of World War I, Rin Tin Tin was rescued from a French battlefield and went on to become one of the most renowned names of 20th century entertainment. Susan Orlean wrote about the life and legend of the famous German shepherd, his descendants and their owners,tracing in the rise of dogs in American life and the cinema and exploring the bond between humans and animals. Orlean talks with Doug about the legacy of Rin Tin Tin. (Rebroadcast)

The Columnist

Jun 11, 2012
Andrew Eccles

Tuesday, we're exploring the life of Joseph Alsop, a journalist whose syndicated newspaper column ran for some five decades. Arrogant yet beloved, Alsop was among the writers who influenced not only public opinion, but who guided top politicians as well. But with the turbulent 60s came his decline in power and the unraveling of his complicated personal life. Doug is joined by Pulitzer-winning playwright David Auburn and Alsop's stepdaughter Anne Milliken for a look at "The Columnist."

In 2000, Daniel Suelo left his life savings, just $30, in a phone booth in Moab and walked away. Twelve years later, he enjoys an apparently full and sane life without money, credit, barter or government hand-outs, fulfilling a vision of the good life inspired by his spiritual guides: Jesus, Buddha and wandering Hindu monks. The writer Mark Sundeen has written a book that traces the path and the singular idea that led Suelo to his extreme lifestyle, and he joins Doug on Friday. (Rebroadcast)

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