Zoya – “An Afghan Woman’s Struggle for Freedom”

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Zoya’s Story, An Afghan Woman’s Struggle for Freedom

Zoya, a member of the RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan, tells the story of her childhood, her parents and her parents’ disappearance. She describes the wrath that first the Russians, then the Taliban and then the Northern Alliance have brought to her country. Along with the suffering, she describes the hope and spirit carried in the hearts of the Afghan people.

Zoya recommends the collected speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..

 Originally Broadcast: June 18, 2002

Dr. Michael Baden – “How Did That Person Die?”

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Dead Reckoning, the New Science of Catching Killers

In the fascinating world of medical discovery, the interpretation of how and when a person died can often be explained by looking at the bugs that are found on the body. Dr. Michael Baden, Chief Medical Examiner for the New York State Police, is the author of “Dead Reckoning, the New Science of Catching Killers,” and our guest in a two-part series on forensic pathology, the study and public discussion of how, when and where people died.

The book Dr. Michael Baden recommends is “The Moonstone,” by Wilkie Collins.

Originally Broadcast: January 22, 2002 & January 29, 2002

“Gordon Chang – How Will China Survive?”

Click here to begin listening.The Coming Collapse of China

Approximately 20% of the world’s population lives in the People’s Republic of China. According to Chinese-American lawyer Gordon G. Chang, China appears from the outside to be politically stable and economically strong. Chang, however, argues that China is in social, cultural, economic and political turmoil. He claims that China’s pending entry into the World Trade Organization will trigger social and political collapse. Gordon Chang has lived and worked in China for almost 20 years, most recently in Shanghai. He is the author of a new book entitled “The Coming Collapse of China.”

Gordon Chang recommends “The Tipping Point,” by Malcolm Gladwell.

Originally Broadcast: September 11, 2001

“Ted Conover – A Prison Guard’s Story”

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Have you ever wondered what it is like to work inside a prison? Well, Ted Conover, a non-fiction writer did, so he went to the New York Department of Corrections to ask if he could shadow a recruit at the New York State Corrections Academy. His request was quickly turned down. So, he decided to apply for a job as a prison officer, was accepted and attended the New York State Corrections Academy. As a result of his training, and working at Sing Sing prison in New York, he wrote “Newjack: Guarding at Sing Sing,” a book describing his experiences. This two-part program with Ted Conover was recorded in late June and early July 2001.

Ted Conover recommends “Crime and Punishment,” by by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and “Seek: Reports from the Edges of America & Beyond,” by Dennis Johnson.

Originally Broadcast: June 26, 2001 and July 3, 2001

“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

“Annie Barnes – Racism in America”

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Everyday Racism: A Book For All Americans

Racism has too long been a part of the American experience. The Civil War and the Constitutional amendments that followed, the Supreme Court decisions ordering the desegregation of schools, and the Civil Rights movements did not end racism in America. Annie S. Barnes, holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Virginia and is a retired Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Norfolk State University in Virginia. She is the author of “Everyday Racism, A Book for All Americans,” a book based on the racist experiences suffered by 146 black college students. Professor Barnes describes effects of racism on black people and what black people and white people can do to combat it.

Annie Barnes recommends “Driving While Black,” by Kenneth Meeks.

Originally Broadcast: February 27, 2001

“Da Chen – Life in China Under Mao”

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Colors of the Mountain

The Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, led by Mao Zedong, imposed a major change to the nation where one in every four people in the world live. Da Chen was born in 1962 in southern China to a once wealthy family, by that time despised for its capitalist past. At the age of 23, after graduating with top honors and serving as an assistant professor at the Beijing Language Institute, Da Chen came to America with $30 and a bamboo flute. He won a full scholarship to Columbia University Law School, and later settled in the Hudson River Valley. His book, “Colors of the Mountain,” tells the story of his childhood, his life and experiences.

Da Chen recommends “The God of Small Things,” by Arundhati Roy.

Originally Broadcast: July 18, 2000

Frost, Mike: You Can’t Hide Part Two

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Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments

The fact that governments spy on each other is no secret. The fact that they also collect data about lives of millions of innocent citizens worldwide may be unknown to many people. Mike Frost, the author of “Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments,” worked as a spy for over 30 years. Mike traveled worldwide, setting up devices to intercept what were thought to be secret international communications. Mike Frost has since retired as a spy and has many thoughts and considerations about his former job. Our discussion led to a two-part program, originally broadcast in April of 1999.

Mike Frost recommends the movie, October Sky.

Originally Broadcast: April 6, 1999 & April 13, 1999

Frost, Mike: You Can’t Hide Part One

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Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments

The fact that governments spy on each other is no secret. The fact that they also collect data about lives of millions of innocent citizens worldwide may be unknown to many people. Mike Frost, the author of “Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments,” worked as a spy for over 30 years. Mike traveled worldwide, setting up devices to intercept what were thought to be secret international communications. Mike Frost has since retired as a spy and has many thoughts and considerations about his former job. Our discussion led to a two-part program, originally broadcast in April of 1999.

Mike Frost recommends the movie, October Sky.

Originally Broadcast: April 6, 1999 & April 13, 1999

Harr, Jonathan: Toxic Water, A Book

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A Civil Action

Water, a necessary element to our survival is expected to be pure, safe and clean when it comes into our home. When it is polluted, the results can be extreme. The people in the town of Woburn, Massachusetts, just west of Boston, had an unusually high rate of cancer in the early 1970s. The town’s water was contaminated with industrial pollutants. Several children and adults became very sick and some died. Their families sued the polluters in the U.S. Federal Court. Jonathan Harr, a non-fiction writer, followed the process and wrote a book telling the story of what happened. He called it, “A Civil Action.” A movie, also called “A Civil Action,” was based on the book and released at the end of 1998. I spoke by phone with Jonathan Harr, from his home in Massachusetts, a month after the movie was released and asked him how he was able to capture what occurred and create “A Civil Action.”

Originally Broadcast: February 2, 1999