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The Work of the Dead

Peter Pelisek, CC via Flickr, http://bit.ly/1OEglkE
Karl Marx Grave, Highgate Cemetery, London

Why is it that we care for the dead? The philosopher Diogenes suggested that his corpse simply be tossed over the city wall, but it’s an idea that seems unthinkable. Historian Thomas Laqueur says bodies matter because we’ve decided they do - from prehistoric times, regardless of faith or creed. Laqueur’s new book explores the ways we’ve ritualized and remembered the dead throughout history. Wednesday, he joins Doug to explain how our relationship to the dead has helped shape the modern world.

Thomas Laqueur is is the Helen Fawcett Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. His book is called The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains [Indiebound|Amazon]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.