The linguist John McWhorter joins us to talk about his book What Language Is (And What It Isn't, and What It Could Be). From Standard English to Black English; obscure tongues only spoken by a few thousand people in the world to the big ones like Mandarin—What Language Is celebrates the history and curiosities of languages around the world and smashes our assumptions about "correct" grammar. Plus, a look at the career con man and serial impostor Clark Rockefeller, who wasn't, ya know, actually a Rockefeller at all.
Pete Seeger may be one of the most important folk singers of the 20th century. But he’s more than a musician – he’s a political activist and an environmentalist too. At age 93, he is still thriving. He was even featured on the Colbert Report in August.
According to Kathleen Kelley Reardon, our success—or failure—in the workplace depends on how we handle ourselves in conversation with our colleagues, whether in one-on-one interactions or large meetings. Workplace conversations are like a chess game, Reardon argues. The outcome is all in the strategy. Her book is Comebacks at Work: Using Conversation To Master Confrontation.
Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio stop by to discuss their book, What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets. Their collection of profiles features a Japanese sumo wrestler, a Massai herdswoman, world-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria, an American competitive eater, and more, and expands our understanding of the complex relationships among individuals, culture, and food.
If you find out your friend's partner is cheating do you say something or keep it to yourself? Amy Bloom offers some suggestions. Vanity Fair contributing editor Ned Zeman writes an honest memoir about his life and diagnosis of manic depression.
What was poet Emily Dickinson really like? Award-winning biographer Lyndall Gordon tells the riveting story of the Dickinson family and reveals some surprising discoveries. Gordon, through his unprecedented use of letters, diaries and legal documents, digs deep into the life and work of the famous poet in his book Lives Like Loaded Guns.
Wendy Wasserstein was the first woman playwright to win a Tony Award. Her play, The Heidi Chronicles, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1989. We’ll look at Julie Salamon’s biography, Wendy and the Lost Boys. Plus a conversation about Internet addiction.
Through a Dog's Eyes: Understanding Our Dogs by Understanding How They See the World by Jennifer Arnold A “transformative,” inspiring book with the power to change the way we understand and communicate with our dogs.
Nutty spiritual ideas. Do you say something or let it be? Gina Barreca joins us for a conversation on spiritual beliefs. Plus, what makes one plant an unworthy weed and another one lovely? The author of Weeds is our guest.
Generosity Unbound: How American Philanthropy Can Strengthen the Economy and Expand the Middle Class
In Generosity Unbound, Claire Gaudiani mounts a spirited defense of philanthropic freedom addressed to conservatives, liberals and centrists. She acknowledges the good intentions of those who favor greater regulation of private philanthropy, but powerfully demonstrates the dangers of this approach.
The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships by Robert Feldman
In The Liar in Your Life, psychology professor Robert Feldman, one of the world's leading authorities on deception, draws on his immense body of knowledge to give fresh insights into how and why we lie, how our culture has become increasingly tolerant of deception, the cost it exacts on us, and what to do about it. His work is at once surprising and sobering, full of corrections for common myths and explanations of pervasive oversimplifications.
Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned by John A. Farrell
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography
The definitive biography of Clarence Darrow, the brilliant, idiosyncratic lawyer who defended John Scopes in the “Monkey Trial” and gave voice to the populist masses at the turn of the twentieth century, thus changing American law forever.
Conversation that should not be missed. Faith interviews Augusten Burroughs about his prickly self-help book. And the remarkable stage and film actor Charles Roc Dutton, about his life story, and training at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.
Join Faith for a look at the novel, We Argued All Night. Amy Bloom and Sarah Moon on The Letter Q, asking well known authors who are gay to write letters to their younger selves. And, psychologist Dr. Nancy Horn on the art of connecting.
One thing we mostly don't do on this show is interview an "author who has a book out." As you can probably imagine, that's just about the easiest show or segment to schedule. We're barraged all day every day with solicitations from publishers and publicists. And usually we say we won't do it, unless it fits into some larger theme we're working on.
Today we're breaking the rule for authors Luanne Rice and Joseph Kanon. One reason for that is that they're both old friends of mine, and Luanne was actually involved in the launching of this show three years ago.
One of America's greatest living writers, Joan Didion, talks about her new memoir. A-list celebrities are quietly making their way to an artist's studio in New York City. And New Haven psychologist Nancy Horn on issues for couples.