Profiles

We Refused to Die

May 24, 2013

In 1942 the Japanese army forced about 70,000 US and Philippino prisoners of war to march some 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula on the way to a prison camp. More than 10,000 died or were summarily executed along the way. Among the survivors was Gene Jacobsen - who published a book about the ordeal. Jacobsen died in 2007 at the age of 85. Today, we're rebroadcasting his story of three and a half years as a prisoner of war. (Rebroadcast)

The First Muslim

May 16, 2013

The journalist Lesley Hazleton says that early sources on the prophet Muhammad are infuriatingly vague. He’s described as “neither tall nor short,” “neither dark nor fair,” and “neither thin nor stout.” Hazleton, a longtime Middle East reporter and an agnostic Jew, wanted to understand the man whose legacy continues to shape our world. Her biography is called “The First Muslim,” and she joins Doug to explain how a man from humble beginnings rose to be the voice and leader of his people. (Rebroadcast)

Josh Hanagarne stands 6 feet 7 inches tall and can bend horseshoes with his bare hands. He has Tourette’s syndrome and is given to noisy verbal tics. It may seem unlikely, but Hanagarne is also a librarian at Salt Lake City’s Main Library. The job fuels his inner bookworm. It also compels him to consistently maintain silence and self-control. Hanagarne has written a memoir about his struggles with the physical and mental challenges of Tourette’s, and he joins us on Thursday to talk about it.

Tuesday, we're talking to the writer Cheryl Strayed about her memoir Wild. Strayed was 22 years old when her mother died of cancer, and she says the loss brought her to a "most savage self." Her marriage was falling apart, she was sleeping with other men and was using heroin. She needed healing, and she found it on a grueling, 1100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed joins Doug to talk about facing her demons and finding her way back. (Rebroadcast)

Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher was recently released after serving a two-year prison term for an infamous act of civil disobedience. DeChristopher says that during his sentence he read and exercised a lot. He also missed the rise and decline of the Occupy protests. “The biggest social movement of lifetime happened and I missed it,” DeChristopher has said. A free man now, he plans to attend Harvard Divinity School in the fall. DeChristopher joins us Monday to discuss his evolution as an activist and how it connects to his spiritual path.

Photo credit Katherine Bouton

Monday on RadioWest, Ira Flatow, host of NPR's Science Friday, will be our guest. Flatow was an influential and pioneering reporter back when NPR was the new kid on the block. He came to radio with a conversational and approachable reporting style that made dense scientific subjects understandable and interesting, even fun. Science Friday is coming to Salt Lake City this week, and that gives us a chance to talk with Flatow about his career, his influences and innovations, and about why he thinks science is sexy. Science Friday correspondent Flora Lichtman will also join us.

2013 (c) HBO

Tim Hetherington preferred "image-maker" over photographer to describe what he did in war zones. He wanted to capture personal moments in the midst of chaos, and the result was stunning work as seen in the documentary "Restrepo." But weeks after attending the Oscars with the film, Hetherington was killed by mortar fire in Libya. In trying to understand the tragic death, his co-producer Sebastian Junger found himself making a documentary. It's a deeply personal project, and on Friday we're rebroadcasting a conversation we had earlier this year with Junger and producer James Brabazon. We talked about Hetherington's work and the job of journalists in war. (Rebroadcast)

Friday, Doug is live with filmmakers Sarah Burns and David McMahon for a conversation about their new PBS documentary "The Central Park Five." In 1989, a white woman was brutally raped and beaten in New York's Central Park. Five black and Latino teens from Harlem were pilloried by the press and convicted by the criminal justice system. But then in 2002, the real rapist confessed and DNA evidence helped exonerate the five men. Next week, we're screening the film as part of our Through the Lens documentary series.

 

Wednesday, we're talking to the writer Cheryl Strayed about her memoir "Wild." Strayed was 22-years-old when her mother died of cancer, and she says the loss brought her to a "most savage self." Her marriage was falling apart, she was sleeping with other men and was using heroin. She needed healing, and she found it on a grueling, 1100 mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed will be in Utah this weekend and she joins Doug to talk about facing her demons and finding her way back.

The Hour of Peril

Feb 15, 2013
Harper's Magazine, March 9, 1861

Monday, we're telling the astonishing story of a plot to kill Abraham Lincoln on the way to his first inaugural. Our guest is biographer Daniel Stashower, who says the President-elect hadn't even left Illinois when the threats started to arrive. In 1861, it was hard for Lincoln to believe that political hatred could lead to murder. Legendary detective Allan Pinkerton believed though and it was his team of operatives that raced to thwart the "Baltimore Plot."

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