“Kennedy, Randall — Can You Say This Word?”

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Few words in the English language have caused so much pain, hurt and emotion as the N-word. It is arguably the most consequential social insult in American history. The long history of the pejorative use of the N-word has given it an unusual power that extends to the judicial system, literature and social settings.

Randall Kennedy, a professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, is the author of “Nigger-the Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”  His book chronicles the history of this word, in an effort to diffuse and neutralize it.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 2002

“Mary Catherine Bateson – Do We Really Know the People Around Us?”

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Radio Curious revisits a conversation with Mary Catherine Bateson, author of ““Full Circles: Overlapping Lives, Culture and Generation in Transition.Do we really know the people around us? Our children? Our family? Our friends? Or are we strangers in our own community? Mary Catherine Bateson, the author of a book entitled, “Full Circles: Overlapping Lives, Culture and Generation in Transition,” believes that we are strangers. She describes us as immigrants in time, rather than space.In this interview from the archives of Radio Curious, recorded in April 2000, we visit with Mary Catherine Bateson, the daughter of two distinguished anthropologists, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson.

The book Mary Catherine Bateson recommends is “Ithaka: A Daughter’s Memoir of Being Found,“ by Sarah Saffian.

Originally Broadcast: April 17, 2000.

 

Dr. Ken Alibek – “Soviet Germ Warfare Part 1″

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Bio-Hazard: The Chilling Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World — Told From Inside by the Man Who Ran it

Biological warfare is the use of weapons that cause death by disease. The largest and most sophisticated biological weapons program in the world, which cultivated and stockpiled anthrax virus, brucellosis, the plague and genetically altered strains of small pox, employed more than 6000 people at over 100 facilities in the former Soviet Union. For 15 years, ending in 1992, Dr. Ken Alibek, a doctor of medicine and a Ph.D. in microbiology, was the scientific leader of Bio-Preparat, the civilian branch of that secret biological weapons program, masquerading as a pharmaceutical company. In 1992, Dr. Alibek defected to the United States. Several years later, he wrote “Bio-Hazard,” a book detailing the development of biological weapons, the horrors of his former life and why he chose to defect. This is a two-part program with Dr. Ken Alibek, recorded in 1999.

Dr. Ken Alibek recommends “Prevent,” by Richard Preston & “Vector,” by Robin Cook.

Originally Broadcast: May 11, 1999

Crane, Susan: Blood on a Nuclear Submarine

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Civil disobedience often precedes most social or political change. The American political tradition has deep roots in civil disobedience. The Boston Tea Party, the Underground Railroad of the Civil War period, the Suffrage Movement, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and the Vietnam War protests are well known examples. Symbolic destruction of the tools of war is an act of civil disobedience currently carried out by religious and faith based war protesters. Susan Crane, once a Peace Corps volunteer and a former Ukiah teacher, hammered on a nuclear submarine in Maine and then poured blood on it. As a result, she was sentenced to two years in federal prison. I met with her in the studios of Radio Curious at the end of February 1999, the day after she was released from prison.

Susan Crane recommends The Bible.

Originally Broadcast: March 9, 1999

Patterson, Dr. Victoria: Native American Life, Before and After Europeans Part Two

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Cultures that have no written language pass on their histories through oral traditions. The stories are the way that social values and traditions are taught by one generation to the next. Animals often play a significant character role in these stories. In the Native American traditions of the northwest part of California, the coyote is a very popular character. Dr. Victoria Patterson, an anthropologist based in Ukiah, California, has worked with native peoples for over 30 years. She knows these stories, and she sees them as windows, allowing us to imagine how original native peoples of northern California thought and lived. I met with Dr. Victoria Patterson and asked her about the significance of the story where the coyote jumped off into the sky. Our discussion lead to a two-part program, originally broadcast in February of 1999.

Dr, Victoria Patterson recommends “Deep Valley,” by Bernard W. Aginsky and “Under the Tuscan Sun,” by Frances Mayes.

Originally Broadcast: February 16, 1999 and February 26, 1999

Patterson, Dr. Victoria: Native American Life, Before and After Europeans

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Cultures that have no written language pass on their histories through oral traditions. The stories are the way that social values and traditions are taught by one generation to the next. Animals often play a significant character role in these stories. In the Native American traditions of the northwest part of California, the coyote is a very popular character. Dr. Victoria Patterson, an anthropologist based in Ukiah, California, has worked with native peoples for over 30 years. She knows these stories, and she sees them as windows, allowing us to imagine how original native peoples of northern California thought and lived. I met with Dr. Victoria Patterson and asked her about the significance of the story where the coyote jumped off into the sky. Our discussion lead to a two-part program, originally broadcast in February of 1999.

Dr, Victoria Patterson recommends “Deep Valley,” by Bernard W. Aginsky and “Under the Tuscan Sun,” by Frances Mayes.

Originally Broadcast: February 16, 1999 and February 26, 1999

Carter, President Jimmy: Life After the Presidency

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The Virtues of Aging

Considering the alternatives, growing older is really not all that bad. The frame of mind that we develop and carry with us as we age controls much of how we feel and behave. James Earl Carter Jr., more often known as Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the US, is the author of a book called, “The Virtues of Aging.” President Carter’s book covers issues from Social Security and medical expenses to the importance of staying active and involved. I spoke with President Jimmy Carter by phone, in the fall of 1998, and I asked him what prompted him to write the book.

President Jimmy Carter recommends “The Age Wave: How the Most Important Trend of Our Time Can Change Your Future,” by Ken Dychtwald.

Originally Broadcast: December 4, 1998

Francke, Terry: The People’s Right to Know

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Legal Notebook: How to Keep Open Meetings Open and Public Meetings Public

The right of the public to know how our government acts is basic to our American system of democracy. Most states and the federal government have enacted laws requiring public meetings to be open, with minimal secrecy provisions. There are also laws guaranteeing access to public records kept and maintained by the government. The California First Amendment Coalition recently published a book called, “Legal Notebook: How to Keep Open Meetings Open and Public Meetings Public.” Terry Francke is an attorney who is the general counsel for the California First Amendment Coalition and author of this book.

Terry Francke recommends “Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom,” by Victor Davis Hanson & John Heath.

Originally Broadcast: October 16, 1998

Donner, Dr. Stanley: Origins of Public Television

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We all know that people listen to radio and watch television. The difference between radio and television is in the image. When you listen to radio, your mind creates the image for you. When you watch television, a ready-made image is flashed before your eyes. The early days of television were days of great creativity, when the questions of “how” and “what should we do” were present at all levels of production, ownership and programming. In the early 1950s, a young professor from Stanford University named Stanley Donner was creatively engaged in the development of public television in San Francisco, California. In the last 50 or so years, Professor Donner has participated in and followed the development of this mind-boggling medium.

Dr. Stanley Donner recommends “The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History,” by Sir Isaiah Berlin.

Originally Broadcast: September 11, 1998

Zacha, Bill: Developing an Artist Colony in the Village of Mendocino, California

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Bill Zacha, the leading force behind the creation of the Mendocino Art justify was a person with vision and moxie and one who made a dream come true. In August 1957, Bill Zacha, was a young married teacher and lived near San Francisco. On a short trip to the village of Mendocino with his wife Jenny and friends, Bill not only saw the beauty of the Mendocino coast, but the opportunity to act swiftly to purchase what is now the Mendocino Art justify and keep that property out of the hands of those who envisioned creating a trailer park there. Since its inception, the Mendocino Arts Center has featured artists, teachers, and students from all over the world. Bill Zacha, who was often called “Mr. Mendocino,” died on March 18th 1998.

Bill Zacha recommends “Love in the Time of Cholera,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Originally Broadcast: March 27, 1998