David Osborn – “Papal Politics & The Election of a New Pope”

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The Last Pope

“The Last Pope,” by David Osborn, takes us inside the world of the Vatican and the American branch of the Catholic Church. Fictional relationships between the conservative and reform branches of the Catholic Church are revealed in a novel that combines character from both groups.

David Osborn recommends “Naked,” by David Sedaris, “Blindness,” by Jose Saramago, “Bel Canto,” by Ann Patchett & “Remembrance of Things Past,” by Marcel Proust.

Originally Broadcast: June 8, 2004

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

Philip Weiss– “Cover-up of a Peace Corps Murder”

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American Taboo, A Murder in Peace Corps

In this edition of Radio Curious, we take a look at murder and getting away with murder. In the small island kingdom of Tonga, an American Peace Corps Volunteer murdered another American Peace Corps volunteer in October 1976. “American Taboo, A Murder in Peace Corps,” by Philip Weiss, is a detailed story about the murder, how and why it happened, the legend that developed, the subsequent cover-up, and an interview with the murderer.

Philip Weiss recommends “McArthur and Southerland, The Good Years,” & “McArthur and Southerland, The Bitter Years,” both by Paul P. Rogers

Originally Broadcast: June 29, 2003

Socrates & Ron Gross – “Socrates of Athens, in Conversation”

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Socrates’ Way: Seven Masterkeys to Using Your Mind to the Utmost

Socrates of Athens, who lived before the Common Era, is respected as one of the greatest independent thinkers of all time. Socrates himself refused to be recognized as a teacher. Instead, Plato, his well-known student and reporter of Socrates’ dialogues, tells us he asked to be seen as a “midwife of ideas.” Socrates’ passion to achieve self-understanding, and the proper ways to live, continues to be studied and emulated to this day.

Socrates recommends “The Trojan Women,” by Euripides. Ron Gross recommends “The Clouds,” by Aristophanes.

Originally Broadcast: January 13, 2003

Peter Hessler – “A Peace Corps Volunteer in China”

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River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze

Imagine arriving by boat in a rural town of 150,000 people where two rivers join in central China. Imagine being one of the first two Americans to live there in 50 years, and speaking very little Chinese. That is experience of Peter Hessler, the author of “River Town.”

Peter Hessler recommends “This Boy’s Life,” by Tobias Wolf.

Originally Broadcast: August 1, 2002

Elana Rozenman – “Jewish, Muslim & Christian Understanding”

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In June, 2002 I overheard an American woman now living in Israel passionately describe her belief that teaching children to be suicide bombers is the worst form of child abuse imaginable. I invited Elana Radley Rozenman, an organizer of the Women’s Interfaith Encounter, a group of Muslim, Christian and Jewish women who meet regularly in Jerusalem, to be our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.


Elana Rozenman recommends “Yet a Stranger: Why Black Americans Still Don’t Feel at Home,” Debra Mathis.

Originally Broadcast: July 23, 2002

 

 

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

Brad Newsham – “A Taxi Across America”

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Take me with you: Around the World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home

Have you ever made friends with someone from a place where you visited as a traveler? Have you ever wondered what it would be like for that person to visit you in your home and your surroundings? Well, that is what Brad Newsham did. He is the author of “Take Me With You: A Round The World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home.”

Brad Newsham recommends “Dangerous Beauty,” by Mark Ross.

Originally Broadcast: May 7, 2002

“Marta Morena Vega – One Religion People Forced to Migrate Brought to the Americas”

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The Altar of My Soul

Religious beliefs normally follow people as they migrate, including people who are forced to migrate. The people forced to migrate to the western Hemisphere during the slave-trading period carried their beliefs and belief systems to the diaspora of their new world. The Santeria religion, also know as Lucumí, is a belief system that originated in Africa later brought to the Americas and is still practiced in widely separated communities of the western hemisphere. Marta Moreno Vega, a Santeria Priestess, and university professor in New York City is the author of “The Alter of My Soul.” Her book is a story of the Santeria or Lucumí religion, its traditions, how they were brought from Africa and are practiced now. I spoke with Marta Moreno Vega by phone in November of 2000, and we began when I asked her to tell us about the Santeria religion and how it differs from other religions.

Marta Morena Vega recommends “Face of The Gods: Art and Altars of Africa and the African Americans,” by Robert F. Thompson.

Originally Broadcast: November 7, 2000

“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