Recent Posts

Climate change & mass extinction: KPFK 4/16

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The sad and gripping facts of our moment on earth: how climate change is bringing the most devastating loss of species diversity since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.  ELIZABETH KOLBERT of The New Yorker has the facts; her new book is THE SIXTH EXTINCTION.
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Also: the man who discovered global warming: actor/activist MIKE FARRELL will explain.  He’ll star in  “Dr. Keeling’s Curve”,  at Cal Tech on Earth Day,  Apr 22 at 8pm.  Ticket info HERE.
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Plus: Life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina: SHERI FINK of the New York Times tells that harrowing story in her book FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL.  She won the NBCC Nonfiction prize, the LA Times Current Interest prize, and the Ridenhour Prize awarded by The Nation Institute.

Bill Maher and Errol Morris: KPFK 4/9

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BILL MAHER
, host of “Real Time” on HBO, talks about political humor on TV, and what it’s like doing his live stand-up show around the country.  We’ll also talk about his interviews with Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange, and Jimmy Carter.

Plus: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief : LAWRENCE WRIGHT talks about the inner workings of the church.

Also: ERROL MORRIS is the legendary documentary filmmaker whose new film is THE UNKNOWN KNOWN – it’s his debate with Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense for George W. Bush and one of the people responsible for our war in Iraq.  Errol Morris won an Oscar for his film, The Fog of War, featuring Robert MacNamara and his regret for the war in Vietnam.
The new film is playing in theaters now, and is available as video on demand.  WATCH the trailer HERE

Gore Vidal: At 10, I Wanted to Be Mickey Rooney: TheNation 4/7

Mickey Rooney, who died April 6, had many fans, including 10-year-old Gore Vidal. “What I really wanted to be,” Vidal wrote in his memoir Point to Point Navigation, “was a movie star: specifically, I wanted to be Mickey Rooney.” The inspiration? Not the “Hey kids, let’s put on a show” musicals Rooney made for MGM with Judy Garland—it was his role as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Max Reinhardt and released in 1935, when Rooney was 14. “I wanted to play Puck, as he had,” Vidal recalled.
. . . continued at TheNation.com HERE

When Peter Matthiessen Was Silenced by his Publisher: The Nation 4/7

Peter Matthiessen, the legendary writer who died April 5, had one of his most important books withdrawn from publication for seven years as a result of attacks by government officials and the cowardice of his publisher, Viking Penguin.

It’s a story overlooked in many of the obits. Published in 1983, In The Spirit of Crazy Horse provided a passionate and solidly documented account of the events that culminated in a 1975 gun battle on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota between FBI agents and members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) that left two agents and one Indian dead. . . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE.

Keith Ellison, 1st Muslim in Congress: KPFK 4/2

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Your Minnesota Moment: KEITH ELLISON, the first Muslim elected to Congress—a black Democrat from Minneapolis and chair of the Progressive Caucus in the House.  His new book is My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family and Our Future.

 Also: JOSH BRAHINSKY on the TA strike at the University of California campuses today and tomorrow, and JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation magazine with today’s political update: Dollarocracy at the Supreme Court.

Plus: Cesar Chavez: What Happened?  MIRIAM PAWEL has written the definitive biography of the rise, and fall, of the charismatic leader of the farm workers. From the strike, to the fast, to the boycott, to the cult of personality . . . Her new book is The Crusades of Cesar Chavez.
READ Miriam Pawel on Cesar Chavez in the LA Times HERE.
SEE Miriam Pawel at the LA Times Festival of Books: HERE.

 

Q&A with Edmund White: The Nation 3/27

Jon Wiener: A lot of what you’ve written celebrates “the golden age of promiscuity” in 1970s New York. That seems at odds with the gay marriage movement today.
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Edmund White:
First, I was opposed to gay marriage because it seemed like one more way that gays were wanting to assimilate. When I realized the Christian right was so opposed to it, as well as tyrannical governments in Africa and Russia, I thought, “It must be a good thing to fight for.” Now I have a confession to make: I got married in November to my friend Michael Carroll, whom I’ve been with for nineteen years. At least we didn’t rush into it.
continued at http://www.thenation.com/article/179032/qa-edmund-white

Report from Ramallah: KPFK 3/26

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MARK LEVINE  live from Ramallah:
Mark teaches the history of the modern Middle East at UC Irvine and is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Lund University. His most recent book is One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States

Also: How to Raise Americans’ wages: HAROLD MEYERSON says we have to go beyond proposalsto raise the minimum wage—he’s got eight proposals.  Harold writes a column for the Washington Post op-ed page and he’s editor at large of The American Prospect.

Plus: AMY WILENTZ on Haiti—she won the autobiography prize of the National Book Critics Circle for her book Farewell Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti – it’s out now in paperback.  She writes for The New Yorker, The Nation and other magazines, and she’s also professor of English at UC Irvine, where she teaches in the Literary Journalism program.
more on Dr. Megan Coffee and Ti Kay Haiti HERE

 

Losing in Afghanistan, Past & Present: KPFK 3/19

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The US is only the most recent power to invade Afghanistan —and fail.  Of course the Soviets tried it from 1979 to 1989, and before that, the British tried – from 1839 to 1842.  Is there a lesson here? WILLIAM DALRYMPLE thinks so—he’s written about the British effort, and its striking parallels to our own: RETURN OF A KING: the Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42it’s out now in paperback.

Also: The Irish novelist John Banville writes thrillers under the pen name Benjamin Black. His new one, set in LA in 1950, is The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel.

Plus: Edmund White, a member of the Stonewall generation, is the author of several award-winning memoirs and novels, including A Boy’s Own Story and City Boy.  His new memoir is Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris.  “White is one of the most prominent gay writers in the United States, a position he occupies gleefully”–Jay Parini, New York Times.

I Hate Genre: Q&A with John Banville/Benjamin Black: LA Review of Books 3/15

Q. There have been something like 14 John Banville novels, books that go in the “literary fiction” section of the bookstore and that win the Man Booker Prize; and as Benjamin Black you have now written eight books, and they go into the “mystery” section. So we have high and low, art and craft, poetry and plot; is that an okay way to talk about Banville and Benjamin Black?
A. No. I hate it. I wish they didn’t do that. . . .
. . .continued at LA Review of Books, HERE