Deborah Blum– “The Science of Affection”

This program was originally broadcast on July 15, 2003.

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Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection

In an unknown and dilapidated laboratory on the University of Wisconsin campus in the 1950s and 1960s, a brilliant, alcoholic, work-obsessed psychologist conducted research on love, a pursuit that was previously ignored and considered unworthy of scientific study. “Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection,” written by journalist Deborah Blum, is the story of how Professor Harry Harlow, one of the most important and controversial psychologists of the 20th century, altered our understanding of love.

Deborah Blum recommends “The Life of Pi,” by Yan Martel.

Nelson, Dr. Alondra: “Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome”

This program was originally recorded on February 19, 2016.

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Who we are and where we come from is a crucial question that now we are more able to answer than ever before. The examination and analysis of our individual DNA, in addition to answering a myriad of medical and forensic secrets also reveals the mix of our individual ancestors and the paths they took. This analysis provides significant and untold information about who we are, from where we came and how we may connect with our relatives.

Dr. Alondra Nelson, the Dean of Social Science and professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University, in New York City, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Professor Nelson is the author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome. She s also the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination, which she and I have previously discussed on Radio Curious.

To discuss The Social Life of DNA, Professor Nelson and I visited by phone from her office n New York City, on February 19, 2016. We began by noting that although all human beings are members of the human race, people are grouped by skin color and/or facial features and characterized as being of a different race.

The book she recommends is Come Out Swinging, by Lucia Trimbur.

Nelson, Alondra— “Health Care & The Black Panthers”

Originally Broadcast: February 13, 2012

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The exodus of approximately six million black people from the American South between 1915 and 1970 had a significant role in setting the stage of the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. Many of the children of those who left the south participated in desegregation efforts which included the Freedom Rides and lunch counter sit-ins. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 which attempted to resolve employment discrimination and define voting rights, only changed the law. Many young blacks however did not see changes in their everyday life.

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was born out of this disillusionment. Although infiltrated and feared by the F.B.I., the Black Panther Party pioneered social and community programs, including free medical clinics, free meals, and educational programs.

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Columbia University Sociology and Gender Studies Professor Alondra Nelson, author of “Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination.”

We visited by phone from her Office in New York City, on February 13, 2012 and began our conversation when I asked her to describe the Black Panther Party.

The book she recommends is “Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems,” by Elizabeth Alexander.

Professor Nelson’s website is http://www.alondranelson.com.

David Ebershoff– “Southern California, 1903 – 1945″

Originally Broadcast: July 29, 2003

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In this program we visit with David Ebershoff, author “Pasadena,” a book about storytelling. “Pasadena” is the story of Linda Stamp, a young girl born and raised on a rural coastal area near San Diego, California, beginning when she was born in 1903. Linda learned the many different ways of the sea as she grew and married into a wealthy Pasadena family.

This is also a book about choices, some which we think through, and some which determine our fate even when we were unaware of the magnitude of the moment.

With the novelist’s freedom to he uses his sense of story, where it begins and where it ends. As the middle part of the story is built, so are the character’s lives, juxtaposing the times and places in their live times.

In many ways, California itself is the novel’s main character. We get to see what the land must have been like when it was a wild, teeming frontier, just on its way to being transformed by fishermen, farmers, land developers and tourists.

David Ebershoff is currently an executive editor at Random House, and lives in New York City. When and I visited by phone in July 2002, I asked him to describe the kinds of things in his life that prompted him to write his second novel “Pasadena.”

The book David Ebershoff recommends is “Middlesex,” a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides.

David Ebershoff’s website is: www.ebershoff.com.

Jack Hines– “One Corner of Montana”

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Sweet Grass County: Historic Crossroad

Montana, the Big Sky state, is a place of significant historical interest in the history of North America and the United States. Sweet Grass County, located in south central Montana, is an area that since pre-historic times has been a justify of trade and historic crossroads of travel. Jack Hines worked as an artist in New York for 30 years until 1972 when he moved to Sweet Grass County, Montana. There he began the ”Historic Crossroad” painting and writing project, as a declaration of his love for his adopted home in the exquisite Yellowstone Valley of Montana. His paintings depict the life in that area beginning in the ice-age, through the times of the Indians, Lewis and Clark, the Fur trade and homesteading and listened to Jack reading from his book, “Sweet Grass County, Historic Crossroad,” in Big Timber, Montana.

Jack Hines recommends “Glow Smile, A Biography” & “What Went Wrong,” both by Bernard Louis.

Originally Broadcast: June 2, 2003

Alan Axelrod– “FDR as a Leader”

Originally Broadcast: June 3, 2003

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Nothing to Fear, Lessons in Leadership from FDR

Alan Axelrod is a writer who has studied the cultural and business dimensions of America. “Nothing to Fear, Lessons in Leadership from FDR,” by Axelrod, focuses on FDR’s unique leadership style and what an effective leader is able to do. We spoke about FDR’s leadership skills in the first part of our discussion and then addressed the leadership style and effectiveness of President George W. Bush.

Alan Axelrod recommends “The Life of PT Barnum,” by PT Barnum.

George Mann & Julius Margolin – Union Folk Songs

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Julius Margolin and George Mann, two men separated in age by almost 46 years, are what might be called traveling troubadours. They carry the message of working people in song and spirit, bringing a wealth of union history wherever they go.

George Mann recommends “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee,” by Dee Brown. Julain Margolin recommends books authored by Michael Moore.

Originally Broadcast: May 6, 2003

Randall Kennedy- “Black and White”

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“Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption,” is a book written by Randall Kennedy, a Harvard University Law School Professor. He takes an in-depth look at the issue of black and white relationships set against the ever-changing social mores and laws of this country.

Fears of interracial relationships, influenced over the centuries by racial biases and fantasies still widely linger in American Society today.

Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard University Law School is the author of “Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption,” in which he takes an in depth look at the issue of black and white relationships set against the ever-changing social mores and laws of this country. From pre-civil war to the present, this book explores the historical, sociological, legal and moral issues that continue to feed and complicate those fears.

Professor Kennedy and I visited by phone in March 2003 and began by our conversation with his description of what he calls a “pigmentocracy” in the United States.

The book Professor Randall Kennedy recommends is “The Biography of Walter White,” by Robert Jankin.

Lerner, Gerda Ph.D. — “The Foremother of Women’s History”

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The history of women has existed as long as humans have, but it was not until the last half of the 20th Century that women’s history received recognized academic attention.  Our guest, Professor Gerda Lerner was a pioneer in the movement to study and record the history of women.

Gerda Lerner led an extraordinary life from April 30, 1920 to January 2, 2013.  She was a historian, author and teacher, and ultimately a professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin.  Her academic work was characterized by the attention she drew to the differences among women in class, race and sexual orientation.

Professor Lerner and I visited by phone in October 2002, began with her description why the distinctions among women of class, race and sexual orientation are important.

Originally Broadcast: October 1, 2002.

 

Terrence Cheng – “Two Chinese Brothers”

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Sons of Heaven

In June of 1989, in Tienamin Square, in the justify of Beijing, China, one of the largest student protests ever to occur in that country took place. The “Sons of Heaven,” by Terrence Cheng, is a novel about three major players in this drama, Deng Xiao Ping, the leader of China at the time, and two brothers, one a soldier in the Red Army in Teinamin Square at the time, and the other the man who stood in front of the tanks.

Terrence Cheng recommends “Ghost Written,” by David Mitchell.

Originally Broadcast: August 1, 2002