Malamud Smith, Jana — Why Mothers Worry About Their Children

Is the concept of “mother blame” a method to control women? Is motherhood a really a fearsome job?  Will a mother’s mistake or inattention damage a child?  Is this different from the fear that fathers have about the safety of their children?

These questions are answered by guest Jana Malamud Smith in her book “A Potent Spell:  Mother Love and the Power of Fear.”  She is a clinical psychotherapist and daughter of writer Bernard Malamud.

Smith argues that the fear of losing a child is central to motherhood, and mostly overlooked as a historical force that has induced mothers throughout time to shape their own lives to better shelter their young, at the expense of their own future.

I spoke with Dr. Janna Malamud Smith from her home in Massachusetts, and asked her to begin by discussing the different level of feat that fathers and mothers have toward their children.

The book Janna Malamud Smith recommends is “Biography of Samuel Pepys” by Clair Tomilin.  

Originally broadcast: February 18, 2003.

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Patrick, William — Loneliness and How it Affects Us

How many of us are lonely? What is loneliness and how does it affect us? Approximately 25 years ago, when asked the number of friends in whom we could confide, most people in the United States said “three.” When that question was asked recently most people said “none.”

Inquires reveal that twenty per-cent of people, — 60 million in the Untied States alone – are feeling lonely at any given moment. And, it appears that chronic loneliness may well compete with smoking, obesity and lack of exercise as a significant health risk.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with William Patrick, the founding editor of The Journal of Life Sciences and co-author of “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection,” along with University of Chicago psychology professor John Cacioppo.

My conversation with William Patrick, recorded on October 13, 2008, began when I asked him to define loneliness as used in their book.

The book William Patrick recommends is “The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins,” by Burton Mack.

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Spriggs, Kent — Legal Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

In all successful social and political changes in here in the the United States and elsewhere, civil disobedience plays a significant role. Bus boycotts, sit-ins and marches, coordinated with constitution based legal challenges to blatant racially based restrictions imposed by the white supremacy in the American south, were at the core of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Attorney Kent Spriggs, the editor of “Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers: Reflections from the Deep South, 1964-1980.”  Spriggs compiled the voices of 26 lawyers, black and white, from the south and the north who began their law practices in the mid-1960s and successfully ended significant aspects of the then existing racial segregation. They describe their backgrounds and provide context for their civil rights litigation and other basic legal rights, as well as how their successes later advanced other movements for social justice.

Kent Spriggs, raised in Washington, D.C. went to the Deep South in 1965 after finishing law school in New York.  He has been a Civil Rights lawyer since he arrived there over 50 years ago. Spriggs, now a resident and former mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, and I visited by phone from his home office on December 4, 2017.  We began our conversation when I asked him to describe the contributors and some of their stories in “Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers.”

The three books Kent Spriggs recommends are: “The Shock Doctrine,” by Naomi Klein; “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations about Race,” by Beverly Daniel Tatum; and “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarcertion in the Age of Color Blindness,” by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West.  

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Gottlieb, Dr. Dan — Mindfulness in the Digital Age

This program is about some of the consequences of that small pocket size electronic device which, as of January, 2017, 95% of adult Americans own and carry. This device is commonly called a cell phone.  In May, 2017, estimates indicate the average American over age 18 spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their cell phone every day.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb, our guest on this edition of Radio Curious, is a clinical psychologist, author and the host of Voices in the Family  aired regularly on WHYY in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He provides clinical therapy to people who suffer from feelings of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. This condition is commonly known as anxiety and appears to be an unanticipated consequence cell phone usage.

I met with Dr. Dan, as he is often called, in the studios of WHYY in Philadelphia on October 16, 2017.  We began our conversation when I asked him about the consequences of current cell phone usage especially by young people.

The books Dr. Dan Gottlieb recommends are:  “The Black Widow,” by Daniel Silva, and “What Happened,” by Hillary Rodham Clinton.  

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Fogg, Laura — Traveling Blind

The ways different creatures, especially us humans, use our senses to guide ourselves through life has long attracted my curiosity. Ive often wondered how blind people seem able to orient themselves, and also wondered about their dreams.

From time to time, over the years, I would see an attentive woman walk past my office window next to a young person of student age. They would walk together talk, and the young person almost always carried a white cane with a red tip. Laura Fogg is this woman, the author of Traveling Blind: Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers, and our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious.

Laura Fogg worked as a Mobility and Orientation Instructor for the Blind in Mendocino County for over 35 years beginning 1971. She pioneered the use of the red tipped white cane with very young blind students some of whom had multiple impairments. She traveled long distances over the rather spectacular back roads of Mendocino County to work with each student his or her home.

When she visited the studios of Radio Curious on December 1, 2008, I asked her about the lessons that she learned that have changed her life.

The book Laura Fogg recommends is My Year of Meats, by Ruth Ozeki. Published in 1999.

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Samson, Don — The Creative Imagination of Playwright Don Samson

The creative imagination of playwright Don Samson is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  In May 2015, I had the good fortune of seeing a ten minute play entitled “Blind Date,” written by my long time friend, who lives in nearby Willits, California.  For many years prior to becoming a playwright, Don Samson researched and wrote legal briefs for criminal defense attorneys, an experience we also discuss in this program. 

After seeing the local production of “Blind Date,” I was curious about the circumstances that came to Don Samson’s mind when he created this play, so I invited him to visit the Radio Curious studios.  We met on May 22, 2015 and began our conversation with his description of those circumstances. 

Don Samson recommends the book, which is also a play, “Antigone,” by Sophocles.  

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Blevis, Marcianne — Jealousy

Are you jealous?  Have you ever been?  Do you know the origin of your jealousy? Jealousy often goes hand in hand with feelings of love, but where does this emotion come from, and how can we manage it?

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Marcianne Blevis, author of “Jealousy: True Stories of Love’s Favorite Decoy.”  In this book, Marcianne Blevis, who lives and works in Paris, France, reveals different ways jealousy affects different people and suggests methods to understand and manage what can be a very destructive yet elusive emotion.

She examines the deeper consequences of jealousy and inquires if jealousy is useful to us and if this ‘extraordinary passion,’ in reality is ‘a strategy for survival’.

I spoke with Marcianne Blevis from her home in Paris, France on February 2nd, 2009, and began by asking her to explain what jealousy is.

The book Marcianne Blevis recommends is “Aux confins de l’identité” (title translated by Marcianne Blevis as “At the Frontier of Identity”) by Michel De M’uzan. This book is currently published only in French.  

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A Visit with Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Frederick Douglass

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass were good friends from the mid 19th century to the late 19th century, and were active leaders in the fight for the rights of women and blacks throughout their lives.  From time to time they got together to visit and talk about America, as they knew it. In this archive edition of Radio Curious recorded in May 1998, I met with Chautauqua scholars Sally Roesch Wagner and Charles Pace who portrayed Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass. We began our conversation when I asked them each to tell us what it was like to be an American during their life time.

The book Frederick Douglass recommends is, “The Columbian Orator: Containing a Variety of Original and Selected Pieces Together With Rules, Which Are Calculated to Improve Youth and Others, in the Ornamental and Using Art of Eloquence” by Caleb Bingham. The book Charles Pace recommends is, “W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868 to 1919,” by David Levering Lewis.

The book Elizabeth Cady Stanton recommends is, “The Woman’s Bible” edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The book Sally Wagner recommends is, “The Homesteader: A Novel,” by Oscar Micheaux. 

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Stephen Most — Documentary Filmmaker:  Stories Make the World Part One

Meaning, which comes from stories, is the topic of our two part series on how stories make the world. Our guest is Stephen Most, author of “Stories Make the World: Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary.” In this book, Most shares his experience as a playwright, writer, and creator of documentary films over the past 50 plus years.

Steve Most and I first crossed paths in 1976. We soon determined we had both lived in Peru for several years ten years earlier, and have been friends since.  In his 2007 visit with Radio Curious, Most and I discussed his book “River of Renewal: Myth and History in the Klamath Basin.”

“Stories Make the World” is a crucial account of the principles and paradoxes that attend the quest to represent reality truthfully.  Most shows how documentary filmmakers and other nonfiction storytellers come to understand their subjects and cast light on the world through their art.  Click here to stream or download films in the “Stories Make the World.”

Steve Most visited the Radio Curious studios on August 4, 2017, to record this series on storytelling and the art of the documentary. The central theme of “Stories Make the World” is meaning comes from stories. We begin with Steve Most’s description of his initial experiences starting with his arrival to Peru’s north coast in 1964.  He contrasts information, including raw facts, and meaningful knowledge with a story.

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Zeig, Jeff Ph.D. — Below the Radar of Your Mind

How to get below the radar of your mind and what to do once you’re there is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  One goal is to reach the quantum of personal leaning in the sub-conscious mind and bring that experiential knowledge to the conscious mind of daily life.  A trusted guide is often beneficial.

Our guest is Dr. Jeffrey Zeig, in another conversation about the Ericksonian approach to psychotherapy.  He is the founder and director of the Milton Erickson Foundation and a clinical psychologist based in Phoenix, Arizona.  Dr. Zeig has directed multiple conferences on the evolution of psychotherapy including the 11thMilton Erickson Psychotherapy Conference where he and I met in December 2011, in Phoenix, Arizona.

We began our conversation when I asked him about the history of psychotherapy.

The books he recommends are “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery as well as the books written by Leo Tolstoy.

Jeff Zeig’s website is www.jeffzeig.com.  The Milton Erickson Foundation website is www.erickson-foundation.org.

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