Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Evolution of God - Robert Wright

There have been many books lately that deal with why we should or should not believe. But now Robert Wright, examines why we believe and how understanding the evolution of that belief parallels our archeological, theological, psychological and biological evolution. Robert Wright, acclaimed author of NonZero and The Moral Animal, has written an important new book in The Evolution of God.

My conversation with Robert Wright:

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Immigration, Islam, and the West

As we debate immigration and immigration reform in America, what can we learn from the contemporary European experience? How does that experience parallel our own, and how is it a part of better understanding the wider global conflicts between Islam and the West. Distinguished journalist Christopher Caldwell, of the Financial Times, The New York Times Magazine and the Weekly Standard, explains the scenario in his new book Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West.

My conversation with Chris Caldwell:

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Giant Leap for Mankind

On July 20, 1969 the world changed. When Neil Armstrong steped out on to the lunar surface, man truly broke the bonds of earth and aligned with the great explorers of history. Neil Armstrong understood this, but so to did the almost two dozen astronauts that would follow in his footsteps.

Andrew Chaikin, considered the definitive biographer of the Apollo missions, has now chronicled the words, the poetry and heart of the men of Apollo in his new bookVoices from the Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe Their Lunar Experiences. Combined with over 160 breathtaking photos, the words of these astronauts truly take us to places we've never been.

My conversation with Andrew Chaikin:

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Dangerous and Necessary

He was a violin prodigy as a child and then a successful stand up comic

Paul Krassner calls himself an investigative satirist. People magazine called him the father of the underground press. He founded the Realist magazine in 1958 and published it through 2001. For years his style of personal journalism blurred the line between observer and participant, even while he helped define the modern modality for free speech. He covered the antiwar movement, then co-founded the Yippies with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. He published material on the psychedelic revolution then took LSD with Timothy Leary Ram Dass and Ken Kesey As a stand up comic he was mentored by Lenny Bruce, then edited Lenny Bruce’s autobiography.

His articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Playboy, Penthouse, Mother Jones, the Nation, New York, N.Y. Press, National Lampoon, Utne Reader, the Village Voice, the San Francisco Examiner, the Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Weekly. He writes a monthly column for High Times, “Brain Damage Control,” and he contributes to The Huffington Post.

His autobiography, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counter-Culture, was published by Simon & Schuster. His newest book is Who's to Say What's Obscene?: Politics, Culture, and Comedy in America Today

In the end, George Carlin was right when he said of Paul Krassner, “This man is dangerous--and funny; and necessary.”  

My conversation with Paul Krassner.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Blog This

What started as an internal means of communication, not unlike "Watson, come here I need you," has become a cultural, political and economic phenomenon. The Blog has become the visual soundtrack of the 21st Century. It is a new kind of public square in which millions participate and millions more observe. How did it start? Who are its stars and what is its future? This is the subject Scott Rosenberg tackles in Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters.

My conversation with Scott Rosenberg.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Beginning of History

Twenty Years ago, this November, the Berlin Wall came down and with it the end of the Cold War.  For the next twelve years, we entered what some called "the end of history."  Then on September 11th, 2001 all of that changed. How did the events of those twelve years lead to 9/11 and how did it shape the world we live in today?  James Goldgeier, professor at The George Washington University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations explains, in his new book America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11, what happened and why.  

My conversation with James Goldgeier: 

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Monday, July 13, 2009

The Business of FREE

We get much of our music on line, for free; but it has devastated the music business. We've seen classified ads on Craigslist undermine the economics of newspapers and journalism. With You Tube, free is jeopardizing the very fabric of the movie and television business. How can the free business model of the Internet coexist with our desire for new, better and quality content? This discussion is at the center of a new book by Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired Magazine and the author of the international bestseller The Long Tail. Now in his new book Free: The Future of a Radical Price he compels us to think in new ways, as Internet users and consumers.

My conversation with Chris Anderson.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

America's most Violent and Deadly Gang

It is the fastest growing and most violent gang in the country. Formed by Salvadorian immigrants on the streets of Los Angeles in the l980's, the Mara Salvatrucha has now grown to more than 60,000 members worldwide.  It combines the best organizational elements of La Cosa Nostra and Al-Qaeda.  The FBI has created a special task force to curb its expansion.  None the less, it continues to grow, seeping deeper into the neighborhoods of America and bringing with it extreme violence, extortion, fear and crime. Investigative journalist Samuel Logan has spent the past five years, reporting on gang activity across the US, Mexico and Central America.  His book  This Is for the Mara Salvatrucha: Inside the MS-13, America's Most Violent Gang tells the brutal tale.  

My conversation with Sam Logan.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

California Nightmare

Previously we talked to California's preeminent historian, Kevin Starr about the '50s and the golden age of abundance in California. Today we have a state whose economy is in shambles, and yet there are politicians who still want to be the Governor of California. It's a little like asking to captain the Titanic? New York Times Washington Correspondent Mark Leibovich, in his NY Times Magazine cover story last week, looks at Newsom, Brown, Campbell, Whitman and Poizner and their quest to replace Arnold.

My conversation with Mark Leibovich:

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

California Dreaming

Joan Didion wrote of California, that "the dream was always teaching the dreamers how to live." Never was that California Dream more evolved than during the '50's.  It was a time when the Golden State's population doubled.  It was a time when California's Freeways, Disneyland, Water Projects and Universities were the envy of the world.  It was a time of unfettered abundance. But was it sustainable?  Arguably from what we are seeing today, maybe not.   The distinguished California historian Dr. Kevin Starr, in his eighth volume of California history,  Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963, looks at this dynamic period from 1950 to 1963.  

My conversation with Kevin Starr.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Post Mortem

Dr. Michael Baden is one of the worlds leading forensic pathologists. He has been there to examine the forensic evidence for some of the most sensational cases of our time, including JFK, O.J., Van Bulow, John Belushi, and Phil Spector. He is the host of HBO's AUTOPSY and a best selling author. Recently we talked about the science of forensics and the publics overwhelming fascination with crime & death and his new book Skeleton Justice.

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