Profiles

Major James B Pond, University of Virginia Library, http://bit.ly/2a0uRqV

Wednesday, we’re telling the story of what author Richard Zacks calls Mark Twain’s “raucous and redemptive round-the-world comedy tour.” Twain was once America’s highest paid writer, but he was also a remarkably bad businessman. In 1895, with his career on the rocks and with what today would be millions in debt, Twain embarked on a 5-continent speaking tour he hoped would save him. Zacks joins Doug to talk about Twain’s wildly popular humor, his missteps, and what drove his quest for redemption. (Rebroadcast)

Defying the Nazis

Sep 14, 2016
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. A new PBS film explores their incredible work, and Wednesday, filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky joins us to talk about how the Sharp’s actions saved hundreds and altered the course of their own lives.

American Heiress

Sep 8, 2016

Thursday, 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.

Blessed with astonishing power and grace, Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin rocketed to the top of the ballet world. At 19 years old he became the youngest ever principal dancer in London’s Royal Ballet. Two years later, he quit. There was nothing left for him to accomplish, and his pursuit of stardom had torn his family apart and left him feeling hollow. Filmmaker Steven Cantor’s new film documents Polunin’s rise, fall, and redemption. It’s called Dancer, and he joins us Thursday to talk about it.

Public domain

Audio Pending...

If you’ve ever seen paintings by the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, such as The Garden of Earthly Delights, you’ve probably wondered what they mean and what kind of person could have imagined such fanciful scenes. Problem is, we know very little about Bosch’s personal story. That leaves the paintings, which present their own puzzles. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death, and Monday, art historian Gary Schwartz joins us to discuss the fearless artist’s life and his inventive art.

KUER News

When Governor Gary Herbert appointed Spencer Cox as Utah’s Lieutenant Governor in 2013, his communications team suggested that Cox edit his bio. They wanted him to take out the part about being in a rock band. But Spencer Cox says that’s what’s wrong with politicians. They’re so worried about re-election, they’re afraid to say “I play the bass.” Monday, Cox joins Doug to talk about unconventional political choices, his 100-mile commute, and why he’s still rockin’ bass lines with his band UpSide.

Jonathan Barkat

Laurie Rubin has been blind since birth, and she says people imagine her world to be a dark place. But the accomplished mezzo-soprano and lyricist experiences color all around her. She says yellow is an afternoon when birds are singing; green is her backyard; blue is an early morning or the key of G. Rubin is performing in Park City this weekend, and Thursday, she joins Doug to talk about growing up blind, learning to navigate the world, and dreaming in color.

Custer's Trials

Jul 28, 2016

Even in his lifetime, George Armstrong Custer was controversial. He was ambitious and flamboyant as well as courageous and talented. Though largely remembered for his death at the Little Bighorn, T.J. Stiles' paints a fuller picture of Custer's colorful and complicated life. Stiles says Custer lived at a “frontier in time.” He helped usher in the modern American era, but couldn't quite adapt to the modernity he helped create. Stiles joins us Thursday to talk about his book "Custer's Trials." (Rebroadcast)

Trump and Me

Jul 12, 2016

In 1996, New Yorker staff writer Mark Singer was assigned a profile of Manhattan businessman Donald Trump, and it wasn’t long before Singer realized this was no ordinary subject. The piece has been called one of the best pre-campaign portraits of Trump there is, but Trump wasn’t impressed. He wrote Singer a note to call him A TOTAL LOSER whose WRITING SUCKS! Well, Singer’s at it again with a book that revisits his deeply reported, psychological portrait, and he joins us Tuesday to talk about it.

Major James B Pond, University of Virginia Library, http://bit.ly/2a0uRqV

Monday, we’re telling the story of what author Richard Zacks calls Mark Twain’s “raucous and redemptive round-the-world comedy tour.” Twain was once America’s highest paid writer, but he was also a remarkably bad businessman. In 1895, with his career on the rocks and with what today would be millions in debt, Twain embarked on a 5-continent speaking tour he hoped would save him. Zacks joins Doug to talk about Twain’s wildly popular humor, his missteps, and what drove his quest for redemption.

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