Author Jim Harrison

Apr 1, 2016

Jim Harrison was a literary legend. In his bountiful works of fiction, essays, and poetry he displayed an insatiable zest for life and unending passion for the natural world. He passed away last weekend at age 78. Friday, we’re rebroadcasting a conversation he had with independent radio producer Scott Carrier back in 2007. Harrison was in Salt Lake City, and he spoke with Carrier about art, writing, the pleasures of life, and the nature of death. (Rebroadcast)

Saving Alex

Mar 31, 2016

Alex Cooper was 15 when she told her Mormon parents she was gay. She knew that it would be difficult, but she couldn’t have expected what happened next. They sent her stay with a couple in St. George who promised to “save” Alex from homosexuality. What the “treatment program” relied on though was verbal, psychological and physical abuse. Thursday, our guest is scholar Joanna Brooks. She co-authored Alex’s memoir, and joins us to talk about how this happened and what it really took to save Alex.

An Honest Liar

Mar 25, 2016

James "The Amazing" Randi is a renowned magician and escape artist, but he can’t abide charlatans. So he turned his energy to exposing psychics and con-artists with intricate investigations and hoaxes of his own. His story is the focus of a documentary by Utah filmmaker Tyler Measom. On Friday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with Measom about Randi's crusade for truth and about how all of us, even "The Amazing" Randi himself, are susceptible to deception. (Rebroadcast)

The Immortal Irishman

Mar 23, 2016

Wednesday, journalist Timothy Egan joins us to tell the story of Irish revolutionary Thomas Francis Meagher. Egan first encountered Meagher as a statue on the Montana Capitol grounds, but tracing his life took Egan from the brutal occupation of Ireland and the famine which killed a million people, to the fields of America’s civil war and to the American frontier. We’ll talk about Meagher’s transformation from romantic to rebel to leader, and what it revels about the journey of the Irish people.

  Wednesday, Doug sits down with queer theorist Kathryn Bond Stockton. She’s Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity at the University of Utah. Once upon a time though, she was a born-again evangelical who later earned a degree from Yale Divinity School. She says people were shocked when she came to Utah in 1987, but Stockton was ready to be a “missionary to the missionaries.” She joins us to talk about the ways she expresses her evangelical spirit today in social and economic justice.

The Witches of Salem

Feb 25, 2016

It started in the year 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, during an exceptionally cold winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. Less than a year later, 19 men and women had been executed as a result of the Salem witch trials. In a new book, the writer Stacy Schiff examines what she calls America’s tiny reign of terror, which affected every rung of Salem’s Puritan society. She joins us to explore the events of 1692 and the curious ways they shaped our world today. (Rebroadcast)

Tuesday, we’re telling the story of the incredible life and work of naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. At the turn of the 19th century, Humboldt trekked across Latin America, exploring rain forests, mapping rivers, and climbing volcanoes. The journey led him to a groundbreaking vision of nature and a prediction of human-induced climate change. Doug’s guest is historian Andrea Wulf, whose new book combines biography and science to remember the man she calls the father of the environmental movement. (Rebroadcast)


Feb 19, 2016

Friday, we're profiling a documentary film that exposes the government’s controversial domestic counterterrorism tactics. The filmmakers behind (T)ERROR were on the ground as Saeed Torres, an aging Black revolutionary turned informant, aided the FBI in an active sting operation. Torres is just one of a growing number of covert operatives in America who straddle the murky line between preventing crimes and inciting them. Director David Sutcliffe joins us to talk about his film. (Rebroadcast)

The Hour of Peril

Feb 15, 2016
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." (Rebroadcast)

Saint Augustine is one of Christianity’s most influential figures, and yet his path to sainthood was wayward. For his first 30 years, Augustine studied rhetoric, Gnosticism, and philosophy, all the while indulging in lust and greed. He struggled to understand the nature and world of God. In a new book, historian Robin Lane Fox explores how Augustine's quest for knowledge and faith led him to Christianity and celibacy. Fox joins us Monday to discuss Augustine’s journey from conversion to The Confessions.