The last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life are shrouded in mystery, much like his own work. And to arrive at those last fateful days, you must go back in Poe’s life to set the scene. He was an orphan, adopted by the Allan family. He grew up well educated and well off, but once he left home for college, his relationship with his foster father grew tumultuous and he was – as they say - cut off. Poe also had a taste for alcohol and women… and could never seem to balance the two.
Adrian Zuniga is creator and MC of the literary death match – where the stage becomes an arena, author readings are battles, and the warring wordsmiths are judged by a panel of peers. Adrian has held literary death matches all over the country and on Friday night, the games begin at the Brattleboro book festival.
Producer's note: Unfortunately, technical difficulties on Tom's end prevented him from being able to join us for this segment...but as he's one of our favorite writers, we will make every attempt to get him on the program soon! /RL
In a new book, author Charles Mann explores what happened in the years after Columbus’s famed voyage to the Americas. He says it altered everything: sparking a new era of globalization and not just in commerce: but radical changes in crops, cultures, and politics. We’ll talk with Mann about this expansive look at this new era and how the world changed after Columbus.
Pop singer Rihanna made news recently when she confessed to Oprah Winfrey her sympathy for ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who beat her up on the eve of the Grammy Awards in 2009. Rihanna’s tears for her abuser had many domestic violence advocates up in arms, and many of the rest of us scratching our heads. Here to give her take on the complex and often baffling emotional life of domestic abuse victims is Leslie Morgan Steiner.
Think the right has cornered the market on denying science? No way, says Alex Berezow. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology and is co-author of the book Science Left Behind: Feel Good Falacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left.
An inside look at the war in Afghanistan. Recently, an increasing number of American troops have died at the hands of their Afghan counterparts, raising questions about American efforts there. But these incidents don’t come as a surprise to award-winning Washington Post journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, who spent two years covering the war in Afghanistan. He's written a book on the conflict -- Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan.
In a new book, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores how we reach different moral judgments about the same issue. Haidt says we join groups to reinforce these judgments, and this "groupishness" contributed to the survival of our species, but it has also been cause for fierce divisiveness. Haidt says there’s another option: mutual understanding and respect.
Science is one of those topics it seems you either get or you don’t. If you fall in the latter category, you might have wished at some point – maybe during a high school physics test – that you could just make up the answers and get credit for being clever. Well, our next guest makes his living doing exactly that. Phil Edwards is the author behind the Fake Science blog, and a new sort of textbook called Fake Science 101.
As Hurricane Isaac continues to creep over the Gulf Coast and cause massive flooding, we can’t help but think of Katrina, and the devastation that storm left in her wake. Images this week of weary Louisiana residents make it difficult to remember the hopeful, yet not always easy rebirth of New Orleans after that storm.
Chris Matthews is best known for his opinionated and combative style on his MSNBC program, "Hardball with Chris Matthews."
What's lesser known is that he's a former print journalist, was a long-time aide to Tip O'Neill, and that he grew up in an Irish Catholic family...of Republicans. All this played no small part in sewing the seeds of his admiration for a man he'd later write two books about, John F. Kennedy.
We talk with Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Humes about his new book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. Americans are at the top of the heap for producing waste: over 100 tons per person in a lifetime.
Humes explores why we make so much garbage, the environmental and economic impact of trash…and why he believes this is a problem ordinary people can fix.