Barbara Conviser via HarperCollins

Princeton historian Elaine Pagels has spent her career considering early Christianity. When she lost her son and husband though, she says studying religion became an exercise in dealing with grief.

Friday, we continue our series on documentary film with the story of Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female filmmaker.  She wrote, produced, or directed a thousand films, and yet today, even in Hollywood, she remains unknown.

IIP Photo Archive / Creative Commons

  Friday, we’re talking about Fredrick Douglass, escaped slave, educator, and orator. Historian David Blight says that words were his only weapon, and he used his voice to explain the human condition.


Feb 28, 2019
Napoleon dressed in military officer's garb, slumped in a chair
Public domain

Thursday, we’re looking at the life of Napoleon. Sure, he was crowned emperor of France, but the historian Adam Zamoyski says he was also a rather ordinary man, who happened to live a very big life.

Wild Bill

Feb 6, 2019
Public Domain

Wednesday, we’re telling the story of famed gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok. Biographer Tom Clavin is coming to Utah, and joins us to separate fact from fiction in Wild Bill’s life.

Even people who don’t like jazz know about Miles Davis. Director Stanley Nelson’s latest film profiles the mercurial musician whose relentlessly creative life gave birth to the word “cool.”

National Portrait Gallery/Public Domain

John Wesley Powell was more than the explorer who first navigated the Grand Canyon. Biographer John Ross says he was also a visionary who asked questions that are still relevant in the American West.

The Carry Home

Dec 28, 2018

Nature writer Gary Ferguson was canoeing with his wife when they capsized, and she died in the accident. He joins us to talk about spreading her ashes across 5 wild places and finding grace in nature.


Dec 26, 2018

Born into a survivalist family, Tara Westover's home-school education taught her to scrap metal, can peaches, and avoid doctors. Her new memoir recounts the journey from junkyard to Cambridge Ph.D.

Darian Woehr/NPR

As a journalist at NPR for almost 40 years, Howard Berkes has covered his fair share of ground-breaking, muckraking stories. He joins us Thursday to talk about his career, the importance of asking hard questions, and giving voices to the voiceless.