Profiles

Public Domain

Friday, we’re talking to historian Richard Francis about Samuel Sewell. He was one of the judges during the Salem Witch Hunt in 1692. There were actually 9 judges who sent 20 people to their deaths, but only Sewell came forward to say he was sorry.

15 years ago Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell, and a new film tells the story of her months in captivity. Friday, we’re rebroadcasting our conversation with Smart about the ordeal and faith, family, and survival. (Rebroadcast)

Mr. Gaga

Nov 3, 2017

Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin is one of the dance world’s most important figures. He can be demanding and intimidating, but professional dancers have pushed beyond their personal limits to express his unique movement language. It’s called “gaga.” Naharin says it’s about listening to the body before telling it what to do. Director Tomer Heymann joins us to tell the fascinating story of Naharin's life and how his unique artistic vision has influenced modern dance.

International Refugee Assistance Project/Twitter http://bit.ly/2xKuM5y

Becca Heller likes to say that she leads an army. But her soldiers don’t battle with guns. They’re lawyers and law students. They use the law to protect the legal and human rights of refugees seeking shelter and assistance, and their work has never been easy. It only got more difficult with the election of Donald Trump and his efforts to enact a travel ban. Heller is in Utah this week, and she joins us Thursday to talk about America’s immigration policies and the challenges of refugee resettlement.

KUER file photo

The LDS Church may have been founded by an uneducated, 19th century tenant farmer, but historian D. Michael Quinn estimates its 2010 tithing income at $33 billion dollars. And that’s to say nothing of the Church’s investments, business holdings, and “seemingly endless capital.” To understand the Church’s economic history, Quinn says you have to understand God as the ultimate CEO of the Church and its business on earth. He joins us to talk about his new book on Mormon “Wealth and Corporate Power.”

Edgar Allan Poe

Oct 30, 2017

Who was the real Edgar Allan Poe? One of America’s most iconic writers, his name and reputation are synonymous with the horror and the macabre. But he also invented the detective story and refined the sci-fi genre. And Poe’s popular image as a shadowy misanthrope toiling on the cultural margins bears little resemblance to the magazine editor and influential critic. In a new documentary, filmmaker Eric Stange explores the real story of the notorious author and the life of tragedy that inspired him.

The How-To Heretic

Oct 24, 2017

Tuesday, Doug is live with Uncle Dan and Uncle Mark, hosts of a new podcast called The How-To Heretic. It might surprise you that another atheist podcast Dan co-hosts from right here in Salt Lake City is really popular around the globe. So what do former Mormons have to teach the world about life without God? We’ll talk about their stories, where atheists fit in American society today, and about teaching people skills for a post-religion lifestyle, like avoiding logical fallacies and swearing.

 

These days, the writer Alexandra Fuller lives in a yurt in Jackson Hole. It’s a far cry from where she grew up: under the cloud of civil war in what was once called Rhodesia in southern Africa. Fuller has chronicled her life in a series of acclaimed memoirs, writing fearlessly about war, family, and the collapse of her decades-long marriage. Her newest book is a novel about two Native American cousins on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She joins us to talk about her life, her work, and how they overlap. (Rebroadcast)


Henry David Thoreau famously went to Walden Pond to “live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.” But as the scholar Laura Dassow Walls shows in a new biography, there was much more to Thoreau’s life and work than his brief experiment at Spartan living in the woods. He was an inventor, a manual laborer, a gifted naturalist, a writer of great originality, and an uncompromising abolitionist. Walls joins us Monday to explore Thoreau’s profound, complex, and influential life. (Rebroadcast)

Thursday, we’re talking about Martin Luther. In the 16th century, he ignited a movement to rethink the traditions and beliefs of Christianity. He came to be seen as a heretic or revolutionary, but the historian Craig Harline said Luther never set out to be either of those things. He began as a cranky friar who obsessed about the fate of his soul. He went looking for answers, and when he found them, refused to keep his mouth shut. Harline has just written a new book called A World Ablaze.

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