Michael Shuman — “Keeping the Culture of Small Towns”

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Years ago, before the myriad of things to buy were as available as they are now, retail businesses were most often locally-owned and operated, often for generations. This all began to change in the middle of the last century, as many of the items in the Sears Catalogue became available in towns and cities across the nation for consumers to feel and touch. But, it wasn’t until approximately 25 years ago when Wal-Mart, Target and other big-box stores appeared nationwide in small communities, to the detriment of locally-owned businesses and the social and economic benefits those businesses provided to their communities.  Michael Shuman, an attorney and an economist, is the author of, “The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition.” This book addresses the issues and problems of locally owned businesses and how they can successfully compete with the big-box stores owned by corporations foreign to the region. We began our conversation, which occurred on January 21, 2008, when I asked Michael Shuman to describe how a corporation comes into being, as a basis to understand some of the problems of locally owned businesses in competition with the big box stores.

The book he recommends is, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” by John Gottman.

 

Dr. Dan Gottlieb— “Quadriplegia: A Struggle to Live”

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Originally Broadcast: April 12, 2006

Letters to Sam:A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss and the Gifts of Life

For most people, the desire to be known exceeds the desire to be loved. Who we are as individuals, how we reckon with our personal abilities and disabilities the topic of this edition of Radio Curious, a conversation with my friend Dr. Dan Gottlieb.

Dan Gottlieb, a clinical psychologist who lives and works near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania lives with quadriplegia, paralyzed from the neck down as a result of an automobile accident in 1979. He is the host of “Voices in the Family,” a weekly public radio program originating from WHYY in Philadelphia and the author of two articles a month in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Because of his physical condition, Dan thought he may not live to see his young grandson Sam grow to be man. When Sam was diagnosed with a severe form of autism several years ago, Dan decided to write a series of letters to his grandson.

His book “Letter’s to Sam: A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss and the Gifts of Life,” is a collection of the thirty-two intimate and compassionate letters sharing Dan’s thoughts, observations and experiences gained from his 27 years with quadriplegia, and his professional life as a clinical psychologist.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb and I visited by phone from his in mid April 2006.

The books Dr. Gottlieb recommends are “Eat, Pray and Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything, Across Italy, India and Indonesia,” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and “Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel.

Martinez, Juan- “Shamanism in the Ecuadorian Jungle”

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Originally Broadcast: December 5, 2005.

Concepts of “reality” have many levels, some of which are gained by fasting, and/or the use of certain plants that allow a person to view the past, present or  and future.  This is especially true for cultures which cherish and practice the oral tradition and thrive among an abundance of flora and fauna, like those located in the Amazon basin of South America.  In Ecuador the knowledge of the effects of the various plants in the Amazon basin is held by Shamans.

Dr. Juan Martinez, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, is a Professor of History and Anthropology at the University of Cuenca, in Cuenca, Ecuador.  He’s studied, written and lectured about Shamanic practices in the Ecuadorian jungle and the medicinal and spiritual effects of the plants native to the eastern portion of the Amazon basin.

Professor Juan Martinez and I visited in his office in Cuenca, Ecuador on November 17, 2005.  He began by describing the relationship of the people of Ecuadorian jungle to their worlds, the spiritual world, and the world in which they live on a daily basis.

The book Juan Martinez recommends is “Amazon Worlds,” a collected work published by Sinchi Sancha, an indigenous foundation based in Ecuador.

Steve Hellman – “The Spontaneous Spoken Word”

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Are poets philosophers? Doesn’t the creative moment reveal a personal truth to share? Must a poem be recited the same way every time? The spontaneous spoken word is a form of poetry that sometimes leaves the listener wondering if what is said really is spontaneous. Steve Hellman is a poet who lives and speaks in Mendocino County and, in this program, shared some spontaneous spoken words.

Steve Hellman recommends “Crazy Wisdom,” by Scoop Nesber.

Originally Broadcast: January 15, 2005

Juliet Schor– “Selling (to) Our Children”

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Born To Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture

In the past 50 years, the advent of television as a medium for advertising has had significant effects on the buying habits of everyone, and especially on children. MRI scans on the brain, and the development of neuro-marketing are used to determine more receptive ways to market a myriad of products to all of us. Studies that follow the behavior of children show that the more involved a child is in the consumer culture, the more likelihood that the child will be depressed, be more anxious, have frequent headaches and/or stomach aches. And, the most heavily advertised products are more likely to be addictive to the users of those products. “Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and New Consumer Culture” by Professor Juliet Schor, of Boston College, presents a detailed discussion of these changes in the commercialized market place that is brought into almost every home and school.

Juliet Schor recommends “For Her Own Good,” by Barbara Ehreneich and Diedre English.

Originally Broadcast: December 14, 2004

Dr. Abraham Morgantaler – “Viagra: Is it for You?”

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The Viagra Myth: The Surprising Impact on Love and Relationships

Viagra, a drug with infinite name recognition and touted benefits, is, as we know, pervasively advertised on television and the Internet. But what is the truth and what is the fiction about this drug. These and other questions about increasing expectations of sexual performance and pleasure are answered by Dr. Abraham Morgantaler, an associate clinical professor at Harvard Medical School and the author of “The Viagra Myth: The Surprising Impact on Love and Relationships.”

Dr. Abraham Morgantaler recommends “Why I Can’t Get Through To You,” by Terrance Real.

Originally Broadcast: March 23, 2004

Brooke Kroeger – When People Can’t Be Who They Are

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Passing: When People Can’t Be Who They Are

“Passing: When People Can’t Be Who They Are,” was written by Brooke Kroeger, an Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University. Her book reveals why many ‘passers’ today are people of good heart and purpose whose decision to pass is an attempt to bypass injustice and to be more truly themselves.

Brooke Kroeger recommends “Middlesex,” Jeffrey Eugendies, “Amerca’s Women,” by Gail Collings & “They Marched Intro Sunlight,” by David Marinis.

Originally Broadcast: February 17, 2004

Eve Ensler– “Meet the Author of the Vagina Monologues”

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The Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues, created and produced by Eve Ensler, tell the stories of women, their relationships, feelings, and, in some cases, abuse. In this edition of Radio Curious, we spoke with Eve Ensler about the origin of the the Vagina Monologues and the film, “Until the Violence Ends.”

Eve Ensler recommends “Bush in Babylon,” by Tariq Ali.

Originally Broadcast: January 27, 2004

Robert Benton- “The Human Stain”

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Director of, The Human Stain

Robert Benton is the director of “The Human Stain,” which is based on the third novel of Philip Roth’s trilogy describing the turmoil of post-WWII America. It exposes the life of Coleman Silk, a Professor of Classics at a small New England College, an eminent Jewish intellectual and a devoted husband. Roth describes Silk as “ensnared by a history he hadn’t quite counted on.”

Originally Broadcast: November 1, 2003

Alexandra Fuller– “Growing up White in Africa”

This episode was first broadcasted on September 2, 2003.

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Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood

Our guest in this program lived in Rhodesia, Malawi and Zambia from 1972 to 1990. Her father joined up on the side of the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, and was often away fighting against the guerilla factions. Her mother dove into their African life and its rugged farm work. Resilient and self-sufficient she taught her children to have strong wills and opinions, and to embrace life whole-heartedly, despite and because of difficult circumstances. Alexandra Fuller is the author of “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, an African Childhood.”

Alexandra Fuller recommends “Echoing Silences,” by Alexander Canigone.

Originally Broadcast: September 2, 2003