Profiles

Eleanor and Hick

Dec 13, 2016

Tuesday, we’re telling the story of the unconventional relationship that deeply influenced Eleanor Roosevelt. When FDR entered the White House in 1932, Eleanor feared her independent life would take a back seat to the ceremonial role of first lady. But on the campaign trail she had met Lorena Hickok, a feisty reporter who would become her advisor, confidante, and lover. Biographer Susan Quinn joins Doug to explain how Eleanor and “Hick” used their bond to better depression-ravaged America.

 

Niccolò Machiavelli lived hundreds of years ago, and though he was a gifted political strategist, he knew nothing about democratic republics. So the scholar Maurizio Viroli recognizes that it’s a bit extravagant to consult a 15th-century Florentine for electoral advice in 21st-century America. But Machiavelli, Viroli says, remains the most competent, honest and disinterested political counselor we could ask for. Viroli joins us to examine what Machiavelli can teach us about choosing leaders. (Rebroadcast)

Leah Hogsten | Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake City resident Pierre-Richard Prosper is the son of Haitian immigrants, a former district attorney in Los Angeles at the height of the gang violence there, and he was the lead prosecutor in the first trial for genocide and rape as war crimes. Those are just a few of his stories, but in many ways they’ve shaped his view of the world. Prosper believes deeply in the law’s ability to right wrongs that we could have prevented in the first place. He joins us Thursday to talk about his fascinating life.

Casanova

Nov 30, 2016
Courtesy of personal collection / Bridgeman Images

The name Casanova is synonymous with seduction and sexuality. And while biographer Laurence Bergreen says that Giacomo Casanova’s favorite place was a brothel, it might surprise you that his second favorite was a library. The 18th century Venetian was born in poverty. He was intent on working up the social ladder though and saw sex as both pleasure and a “weapon of class destruction.” Thursday, Bergreen joins Doug to talk about Casanova’s writing and philosophy … as well as his 120+ lovers.

American Heiress

Nov 29, 2016

Tuesday, our guest is author Jeffrey Toobin, who’s written a book about the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst. Hearst was 19 and heir to her family’s fortune when the “Symbionese Liberation Army” took her, and it soon seemed that she had adopted their incoherent, revolutionary cause. We’ll explore the controversy over Hearst’s involvement in their crimes, the atmosphere that gave birth to the SLA, and why Toobin says the story sheds light on a time when America was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. (Rebroadcast)

Courtesy of Kristen Oney / Plimoth Plantation

In a documentary for the PBS series American Experience, filmmaker Ric Burns tells the tale of a small group of extreme people whom history and myth record as the founders of a new nation. The Pilgrims faced countless challenges when they came to the New World in 1620. The fact of their survival and success is not only commemorated every November, it also exists in the very myth of America’s origins. Thanksgiving Day, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with Burns to winnow fact from fiction about the Pilgrims. (Rebroadcast)

19th century Utah photographer Charles Ellis Johnson was a son-in-law of Brigham Young with access to the state’s elite. He trained his camera on the LDS Temple and leaders like the prophet Wilford Woodruff. So what should we make of his brisk mail-order business of “spicy girls”? Art historian Mary Campbell says at a time when most Americans thought of the Saints in terms of the “barbarity” of polygamy, Johnson’s erotic photography helped make Mormons mainstream. Tuesday, she joins us to explain.

President-elect Donald Trump could potentially appoint enough Supreme Court justices to create a conservative majority unmatched in 80 years. Law professor RonNell Andersen Jones says that leaves Justice Clarence Thomas poised to be the “granddaddy of the conservative wing of the court.” So Wednesday, Jones joins us, along with scholar Amy Wildermuth, to talk about Thomas’ personality, his jurisprudence, and the contradictions Jones says make him one of the most interesting justices in generations.

Courtesy McMullin for President Committee, Inc.

By now, you’ve probably heard about Evan McMullin. He’s running for president of the United States as an independent third party candidate, which isn’t all that unique. Unlike essentially every other such candidate though, McMullin has a legitimate shot at winning electoral votes, specifically here in his home state of Utah. But who is this upstart? And what does he mean when he says he wants to build a “new conservative movement”? McMullin joins us on Monday to discuss his presidential bid.

The Perfect Horse

Oct 20, 2016
Judy Fahys

Thursday, the story of a daring rescue of horses caught up in the Third Reich’s vision for genetic supremacy. Horses still played a role in the military, and Hitler aimed to use stolen purebreds to create the ideal war horse. But with the stud farm under imminent threat from the starving Russian army, the Nazi officer in charge asked General Patton himself for help. Author Elizabeth Letts joins us to explain why soldiers set aside alliances and risked their lives to save The Perfect Horse.

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