“Da Chen – Life in China Under Mao”

Click here to begin listening.

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

Click here to begin listening

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

Click here to begin listening

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

Crane, Susan: Blood on a Nuclear Submarine

Click here to begin listening

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

Carter, President Jimmy: Life After the Presidency

Click here to begin listening

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

Pio Pico & Roberto Garza: Meet the Last Mexican Governor of California

Click here to begin listening

In this program, we are going to go back into California history about 150 years, and visit with the last Mexican governor of California, Pio Pico. Pio Pico was born at the San Gabriel Mission in 1801, of Spanish, Italian, Indian and African ancestry. Both as a politician and as an entrepreneur, he espoused the views of many native-born Californarios over distant seats of government. As the last Mexican governor of California, he presided over the secularization of the missions, and turned over their vast land holdings to private hands. Although he fled California during the American takeover, Pio Pico returned to build the first major hotel in Los Angeles. Later, he served on the Los Angeles City Council. I met with Pio Pico in the person of Roberto Garza in February of 1998.

Pio Pico recommends “Pio Pico, A Historical Narrative,” by Pio Pico. Roberto Graza recommends “Pio Pico Miscellany,” by Martin Cole & “Decline of the Californios,” by Leonard Pitt.

Originally Broadcast: February 27, 1998

Luke, Gregorio: Mexican Culture in the United States

Click here to begin listening

The governments of most countries in the world send an ambassador to other countries to talk about and promote what their country is like and carry on political affairs between the two countries. These ambassadors often have assistants that are called “cultural attaches”. They present the culture, the folklore and the history from the country where they’re from and the country where they are. In this program from the archives of Radio Curious, recorded in 1997, we visit with Gregorio Luke, who then was the counsel for cultural affairs for Mexico. He spent 8 ½ years in Washington DC, and at the time this program was recorded he had been working at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles for eighteen months.

Gregorio Luke recommends “The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh,” by Vincent Van Gogh.

Originally Broadcast: November 7, 1997

Garment,Leonard: Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…

Click here to begin listening

Some people’s memories of President Richard Nixon are negative due to his role in escalating the Vietnam War, the student demonstrations at Kent State University, and Nixon’s ultimate downfall in Watergate. But who was the man? And how could another individual get close to him? “Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…,” is a story written by a complex person very close to Richard Nixon. Attorney Leonard Garment was born to immigrant Jewish parents in New York in 1924. Playing music, especially saxophone jazz, he grew up in Brooklyn. As a good student and, with what he describes, “an ambition to run things,” Garment finished law school in his early twenties and began working for a major Wall Street law firm. Even though at times he characterized himself as a liberal Democrat, Garment became a close friend and law partner with Richard Nixon and later became the attorney for, and the counsel to, President Richard Nixon, during the time Nixon was embroiled in the throws of Watergate. This interview was originally broadcast in May of 1997.

Leonard Garment recommends “American Pastoral,” by Philip Roth.

Originally Broadcast: May 16, 1997

Blincoe, Bob: The Kurdish People

Click here to begin listening

The word millet is a term from the Ottoman Empire that ruled parts of Europe Central to the Near East from 1430 to 1921 and means “a recognized people or cultural group who have no homeland.” Millet now applies to the Kurdish people, who live in the Zagros Mountains, where the borders of eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran converge. Starting with Gulf War of 1991, 25 million Kurdish people live homeless and stateless in the Zagros Mountains. They are subject to frequent attacks from the Turks and the Iraqis. Bob Blincoe, a Presbyterian minister, lived and worked as a community organizer among the Kurds in the Zagros Mountains for five and one-half years until the Fall of 1996. At first he spoke Arabic, so he wouldn’t stand out as someone working with a suspect minority. He quickly learned Kurdish and has many interesting stories to share.

Bob Blincoe recommends “A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern World,” by David Fromkin.

Originally Broadcast: May 14, 1997

Ellsberg, Daniel: The Pentagon Papers

Click here to begin listening

Few moments in American history have held the tension of the early 1970s. The nation was fundamentally divided between the jaded counter-culture and Nixon’s ‘silent majority,’ a rupture particularly connected to the still-escalating Vietnam War. The release to the public of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 focused national attention on US foreign policy and on our right as individual citizens to freedom of the press.

Daniel Ellsberg recommends “Our War,” by David Harris.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 1997