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The great GORE VIDAL: before he died in 2012, Vidal asked JAY PARINI to write his biography. The book is out now: Empire of Self—Jay says he wanted to “look at the angel and the monster alike.”
Also: JOHN POWERS reports on Canada’s popular new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who has already welcomed Syrian refugees—and defended the Alberta tar sands. John writes about politics and film for Vogue and Vogue.Com, and is editor-at-large on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, where he has an audience of four million listeners.
Plus: the best of the year 2015: TAVIS SMILEY on Martin Luther King’s last year: it was “hell.” That was 1967, the year his speech criticising the Vietnam war was denounced not only by the mainstream media—the NY Times called it “disastrous and self-defeating”—but also by most of black America as well. Tavis’s book is DEATH OF A KING:The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year. (Originally broadcast 2/4/15)