Climate Politics after Earth Day: KPFK 4/23

The day after Earth Day we’ll assess the politics of climate change with JOHN NICHOLS, Washington correspondent of The Nation — he says if the Democratic senate candidate in South Dakota can say “no” to Keystone, why can’t Obama?

Plus: hipsters, jazzmen, underground poets, artists in garrets – Bohemians all, and they are the subject of a wonderful new graphic book by PAUL BUHLE and an all-star cast of comic artists: Bohemians.

Plus: black musical anthems – songs of solidarity and citizenship, from “Lift Every Voice” to “Young, Gifted and Black.”  We’ll listen to some music–including Kim Weston, Paul Robeson and Nina Simone–and talk about it with SHANA REDMOND –she teaches American studies at USC, and her new book is Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora.

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.
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.
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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, 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

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.


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.

Stokely Carmichael & Black Power: KPFK 3/12

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Stokely Carmichael from civil rights to black power: PENIEL JOSEPH
has written the definitive biography of the 1960s black activist known for his radicalism and fearlessness.  The book is STOKELY: A LIFEPENIEL JOSEPH will be reading and signing at Esowon Books Sat 3/15 at 5pm: 4327 Degnan Blvd, Los Angeles in Liemert Park – and Monday at Occidental College.

Plus: Voting rights battles: where we stand now.  ARI BERMAN of The Nation will comment on the Moral Monday movement, a multiracial, multi-issue progressive coalition that is not only remobilizing in North Carolina;  its model of activism is now spreading all over the South.

Also: a story of protest and prison during the Vietnam war: BRUCE DANCIS was the principal organizer of the first mass draft card burning during the Vietnam War.  After he turned down a student deferment and refused induction, he spent 19 months in federal prison.  He’ll provide not only an insider’s account of the antiwar movement but also a rare look at the prison experiences of Vietnam-era draft resisters. His new book is RESISTER: A story of Protest and Prison during the Vietnam War.

Getting rid of Bad Sheriff Baca: KPFK 3/5

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LA Sheriff Lee Baca ran some of the worst prisons in America, right here in LA; a year ago it seemed like there was no way to get rid of him.  Then last month he resignedCELESTE FREMON explains how we did it: she writes the indispensable WitnessLA blog, and reported on the sheriff for LA Magazine.

TOM FRANK: Why Democrats are scared of “class”: “’Inequality’ is what we say when we mean to describe the ruined downtown of your city, or your constant fear that the next round of layoffs will include you.”  Tom, author of the classic What’s the Matter with Kansas, recently moved his column from Harper’s to, where it is free.

The politics of grapes in Chile and the US: after seizing power in 1973, Augusto Pinochet made Chile the world’s leading grape exporter. Fruit workers, mostly women, started to buy appliances, clothing, and cosmetics, and consumerism changed gender relations as well as pro-democracy movements.  Meanwhile, back in the US, the United Farm Workers and Chilean solidarity activists boycotted grapes. HEIDI TINSMAN will explain – she teaches history at UC Irvine; her new book is Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United States.


Oliver Stone on US History: KPFK 2/26

Today on KPFK we’ll speak with OLIVER STONE about the Untold History of the United States – it’s his 10-part documentary, analyzing the American empire especially after WWII.  It’s provocative, massively documented, and a necessary antidote to the mainstream media’s celebration of American triumphalism—and the DVD is our featured thank-you gift in the KPFK fund drive.  Please call and pledge during the show: 818-985-5735.
READ my piece from The Nation about Oliver Stone’s “Untold History” HERE.

 Also: JOHN NICHOLS with today’s political update: John is Washington Correspondent for The Nation, and he blogs at