Gurian, Michael: Let Boys Be Boys

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The Wonder of Boys & A Fine Young Man

Boys do not have an easy time growing up and maturing in our complex world these days. The same standard of behavior is frequently expected of boys and girls, often without recognizing the special and different needs of boys. Testosterone is a prime mover in the shaping of boys’ behavior resulting in their special and different needs. This is a two-part program from the archives of Radio Curious with Michael Gurian, the author of a 1997 book entitled, “The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do To Shape Boys Into Exceptional Men.” I spoke with Michael Gurian in January of 1998 from his home in Spokane, Washington.

Michael Gurian recommends “Sex on the Brain,” by Deborah Blum & “Beyond the Birds and the Bees,” Beverly Engle.

Originally Broadcast: January 23, 1998 & January 30, 1998

Nuland, Sherwin: What Is It About Our Species That Allows Us to Learn So Much About Ourselves.

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The Wisdom of the Body

From developmental perspectives, both in individuals and in mankind as a whole, the brain, language, and civilization have separated our species from the rest of the animal kingdom. In May of 1997, I discussed these issues with Sherwin Nuland, a professor of Medical History at Yale University Medical School and author of many books, including Wisdom of the Body.

Sherwin Nuland recommends “The Meaning of Yiddish,” by Benjamin Harshav.

Originally Broadcast: May 21, 1997

Spears, Scott: An Experiment in Successful Community Mediation

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Stockton, CA, has been called the most diverse community in the world. Fourteen distinct and primary languages are spoken in the Stockton area elementary schools. This enormous cultural diversity has, in the past, resulted in automatic rifle fire at a Stockton elementary school. Scott Spears, a young man who grew up in Ukiah, currently works at the Stockton mediation justify as a trainer and program developer in the schools and as a mediator in the Stockton community.

Originally Broadcast: April 16, 1997

Bloom, Amy: Love as Creator

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Love Invents Us

Amy Bloom is a Connecticut-based author and psychotherapist and the author of a novel entitled “Love Invents Us.” This book, the enactment of psychological theory about human behavior, also traces the intimate details in the life of Elizabeth Howe from her childhood to middle age. I spoke with Amy Bloom by phone while she was on tour to discuss ‘Love Invents Us” and asked her, “how does love invent us?”

Amy Bloom recommends “Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream,” by John Derbyshire.

Originally Broadcast: February 12, 1997

Grealy, Lucy: What is Ugly

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The Autobiography of a Face

Lucy Grealy, a victim of Ewing’s Sarcoma, beginning when was nine years old suffered from a cancer of the jaw that is 90% fatal in the first few years. In Lucy’s case, it was not fatal. Rather it brought about many intense and emotional experiences that most of us could not imagine. She had a large part of her lower jaw removed when she was about nine and half and for two and a half years had weekly chemotherapy treatments. Throughout her teenage years, she had multiple surgeries to reshape her jaw. Her book, “Autobiography of a Face,” reveals her experiences, her mistaken conflation of beauty and love, and what she learned about emotions, both her own and other people’s.

Lucy Grealy recommends “100 Years of Solitude,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Originally Broadcast: December 5, 1994

Cole, Dr. Jim: Teaching Tolerance

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Prejudices exist in almost every human context, but how do we overcome them and act without stereotypes? This program’s guest is Dr. Jim Cole, who lives in Ellingsburg, Washington and is a psychologist. We discussed diversity training – the process of becoming more aware of the prejudices we have. This program was originally broadcast in November of 1993, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Dr. Jim Cole recommends books by Jane Lovelock.

Originally Broadcast: November 23, 1993

Kiersey, Dr. David: What is my Personality?

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My guest in this program was Dr. David Kiersey, the author of a book called “Presidential Temperament.” Dr. Kiersey took the Meyers-Briggs Temperament inventories and developed what has come to be known as the Kiersey Temperament Sorter. In so doing, he has established and identified several different types of character and temperament of people. In his book, “Please Understand Me,” the reader may use the Kiersey Temperament Sorter to get an idea of his or her personality and temperament traits. With his history and experience, Kiersey has examined the people who have become a President of the US and set out his analysis in “Presidential Temperaments.” In this program, originally broadcast in November of 1993 when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas, we’ll be talking about the book and some of the temperaments of the various Presidents.

Dr. David Kiersey recommends “Killer Angels,” by Michael Shaara & The Hornblower Series, by Horatio Hormblower.

Originally Broadcast: November 19, 1993

Fry, Dr. Bill: Psychology of Humor

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Our guest in this program was Dr. William Fry, a psychiatrist who has done extensive research in the field of humor. We discussed the psychology and genetics of humor. Much of Dr. Fry’s research has concentrated on Cocoa, the gorilla, and we discussed that as well. This program was originally broadcast in March of 1992, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Originally Broadcast: March 2, 1992

Osborn, John Jay: A Marriage as a Separate Entity

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“Listen to the Marriage” is a novel by John Jay Osborn, a retired lawyer and law professor. The story centers a marriage counselor and a recently separated couple with demanding jobs and two small children.  All thirty-one short chapters take place in the therapist’s office and reveal the angst, anger, and hidden love that the couple Gretchen and Steve, have for each other. Sandy, the therapist guides the sessions, while keeping her thoughts about her clients to herself.  An empty green chair representing their marriage sits between Gretchen and Steve during each visit.

“Listen to the Marriage” is Osborn’s sixth novel, the first one being “The Paper Chase,” published in 1971, a year after he graduated law school.  “Listen to the Marriage” is based in part on the experience Osborn and his wife had with a marriage counselor beginning about ten months after they separated in the mid 1980s.  They remain happily married.

John Osborn visited the Radio Curious studios by phone from his home in San Francisco, California, on December 14, 2018. We began our conversation with his description of the therapist’s goal: To get the couple to look at the marriage they created as being separate from themselves.

The book John Jay Osborn recommends is “Happy All the Time,” by Laurie Colwin.

The program was recorded on December 14, 2018.

Neufeld, Dr. Gordon: Hold On to Your Kids

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The economic and cultural changes that have occurred in North American society in the past fifty years have resulted in today’s children looking to their peers, instead of their parents, for direction; for a sense of right and wrong; and for values, identity and codes of behavior. This peer orientation works to undermine family cohesion. It interferes with healthy development and fosters a sexualized youth culture in which children lose their individuality and tend to become conformist, desensitized and alienated.

These concepts—and what to do about them to develop strong families and emotionally healthy children—are explained in the book “Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers,“ by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D.

When I spoke with Dr. Gordon Neufeld from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, we began our conversation with a discussion of the importance of developing an attachment between the adult caregiver and the child, beginning at infancy.

The book Dr. Neufeld recommends is “The Anatomy of Dependence,”  by Takeo Doi. More information about Dr. Neufeld’s work may be found on his website.