Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

Today’s students face a challenging paradox: the digital tools they need to complete their work are often the source of their biggest distractions. Students can quickly become overwhelmed trying to manage the daily confluence of online interactions with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and family life. Written by author and educator Ana Homayoun, "Social Media Wellness" is the first book to successfully decode the new language of social media for parents and educators and provide pragmatic solutions to help students focus and manage distractions. 

Ana Homayoun is a noted teen and millennial expert, author, school consultant, speaker and educator. Her newest book is "Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World."

Known as the king of the rant, Lewis Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.

His new tour "The Joke's On Us" comes to UPAC in Kingston, New York, on Saturday, February 24.

Nobody expected the vice president, a New York political hack, to be president. And after President James A. Garfield was shot in 1881, nobody expected Chester A. Arthur to become a strong and effective president, a courageous anti-corruption reformer, and an early civil rights advocate.

Despite his promising start as a young man, by his early fifties Chester A. Arthur was known as the crooked crony of New York machine boss Roscoe Conkling. For years Arthur had been perceived as unfit to govern, not only by critics and the vast majority of his fellow citizens but by his own conscience. As President James A. Garfield struggled for his life, Arthur knew better than his detractors that he failed to meet the high standard a president must uphold.

Scott S. Greenberger is a journalist, author and the executive editor of Stateline, the daily news service of The Pew Charitable Trusts. His newest book is "The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur." Greenberger will be at Union College in Schenectady, NY on Thursday, February 22nd - to deliver the college’s Founders Day keynote address.

In Tayari Jones’ new novel, “An American Marriage,” newlyweds Celestial and Roy, African-American professional who live in Atlanta, find their lives shattered when Roy is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and is incarcerated. The novel explores race, loyalty, and love that endures.

  Despite the outpouring of books, movies, museums, memorials, and courses devoted to the Holocaust, a coherent explanation of why such ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilized Europe in the twentieth century still seems elusive even seventy years later. 

Peter Hayes' Why? dispels many misconceptions and answers some of the most basic, yet vexing, questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why didn’t they receive more help?

Peter Hayes is professor of history and German and Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor of Holocaust Studies Emeritus at Northwestern University and chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Adam Winkler is a professor at UCLA School of Law, where he specializes in American constitutional law. His scholarship has been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, Atlantic, Slate, and Scotusblog.

In "We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights," Winkler reveals how American businesses won equal rights and transformed the Constitution to serve the ends of capital. Corporations - like minorities and women - have had a civil rights movement of their own, and now possess nearly all the same rights as ordinary people.

George Saunders is the author of eight books, including the story collections “Pastoralia” and “Tenth of December,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” was released last year and won the Man Book Prize.

The book visits the cemetery where President Abraham and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s son, Willie, has just been entombed. The other characters are the less-recently dead who encourage the boy to cross over. “Lincoln in the Bardo” is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. 

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP, supported Pan-Africanism, and was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts 150 years ago this month and Great Barrington's Du Bois anniversary celebration began on January 15 and will continue throughout 2018.

Here to tell us more are Dennis Powell, President of the Berkshire County Branch NAACP;and member of the Steering Committee Du Bois Lecture Series; Professor Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst; Ted Thomas, poet and teacher who directs the student Du Bois spoken word programs; and Barbara Dean, musician, performer, and radio DJ who has worked on Du Bois issues and promotion in Great Barrington for about three decades.

Joseph Califano, Jr. spent thirty years in Washington at the top of the Pentagon, on the White House staff as chief domestic advisor to the President, and in the Cabinet. He worked as an attorney for The Washington Post during Watergate and has represented clients as varied as the Black Panthers and Coca Cola.

His new book, “Our Damaged Democracy: We the People Must Act,” is a primer on the three branches of government that reveals the political, cultural, constitutional, technological, and institutional changes that he believes render our government completely dysfunctional. He says there is an urgent need to fix our democracy before it’s too late.

2/16/18 Panel

Feb 16, 2018

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti .

A wise, warm, and witty gift for new (and gently used) parents seeking to raise positive, thoughtful children, this alphabet book brims with the advice only those who've been there can give. From "D is for Dog" (get one) to "P is for Praise" (do it often but appropriately) to "R is for Romance" (keep it alive after the kids come), each mini essay is coupled with a smart, letter-appropriate full-color photograph in these delightfully grown-up ABCs.

Deborah Copaken is an author and photojournalist. Her newest book is The ABC's of Parenthood: An Alphabet of Parenting Advice.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: “Hostiles,” “Paddington 2”

Upcoming:

Time for Three - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thursday 2/15, 7:30 PM

The Next Women of Country: Sara Evans featuring Raelynn & Kalie Shorr - Palace Theatre, Albany, Thursday 2/15, 8 PM

They Are Waiting for You: Laure Prouvost with Sam Belinfante & Pierre Droulers - EMPAC Theater, Troy, Friday 2/16, 8 PM

Bridgman Packer Dance - The Egg, Albany, Friday 2/16, 8 PM

Loudon Wainwright III - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 2/16, 8 PM

Birdland All-Stars featuring Tommy Igoe - Proctors, Schenectady, Friday 2/16, 8 PM

Warren Miller’s Line of Descent - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 2/17, 7:30 PM

Eddie Izzard: Believe Me Tour - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 2/17, 8 PM

Bindlestiff Cirkus Cabin Fever Cabaret (Adult Oriented Show) - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 2/17, 9 PM

“Looney Tunes”: “Bugs, The Beginning and Beyond” - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Monday 2/19-Saturday 2/24 at 3 PM; Saturday also at 7 PM

New movies: “The Insult,” “Black Panther,” “Early Man”

2/15/18 Panel

Feb 15, 2018

   The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, Siena College Comparative Politics Professor Vera Eccarius-Kelly, and Editor of The Daily Gazette Judy Patrick.

Marilyn Yalom is a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, and the author of "A History of the Wife," among other books.

In "The Amorous Heart," Marilyn Yalom tracks the heart metaphor and heart iconography across two thousand years, through Christian theology, pagan love poetry, medieval painting, Shakespearean drama, Enlightenment science, and into the present. She argues that the symbol reveals a tension between love as romantic and sexual on the one hand, and as religious and spiritual on the other.

Daphne de Marneffe, PhD, is a psychologist and the author of "Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life." In her clinical practice, she offers psychotherapy to couples and individuals. She teaches and lectures widely on marriage, couple therapy, adult development, and parenthood. 

In her new book, "The Rough Patch: Marriage and the Art of Living Together," she explores the pushes and pulls of midlife marriage, where an individual's need to develop can crash headlong into the demands of a relationship.

After five years of war in Syria, the remaining citizens of Aleppo are getting ready for a siege. Through the eyes of volunteer rescue workers called the White Helmets, "Last Men in Aleppo" allows viewers to experience the daily life, death, and struggle in the streets, where they are fighting for sanity in a city where war has become the norm.

The film is nominated for a 2018 Academy Award for Best Documentary and is currently available to view on Netflix. It will also air on PBS on March 1. Director, Feras Fayyed, joins us.

Colson Whitehead’s novel "The Underground Railroad," tells the story of a runaway slave and re-imagines the pre-Civil War South. It won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award and it is now out in paperback.

From an award-winning, “meticulously observant” (The New Yorker) writer, Helen Thorpe, comes a powerful and moving account of how refugee teenagers at a Denver public high school learn English and become Americans.

The Newcomers follows the lives of twenty-two immigrant teenagers throughout the course of the 2015-2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, Colorado, in an English Language Acquisition class created specifically for them. Speaking no English, unfamiliar with American culture, their stories are poignant and remarkable as they face the enormous challenge of adapting. These newcomers, from fourteen to nineteen years old, come from nations convulsed by drought or famine or war. Many come directly from refugee camps, after experiencing dire forms of cataclysm. Some arrive alone, having left or lost every other member of their original family.

Helen Thorpe is an award-winning journalist who lives in Denver, Colorado. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Texas Monthly, and 5280.

"Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting" was conceived when Patricia Nugent realized, at her mother’s funeral, that she knew very little about her mother’s life before her mother was her mother. She’d never asked; her mother had never offered. Nugent deeply regretted missing the opportunity to know her mother more fully. To inspire other families to share personal histories, she compiled this anthology of real-life stories about women before they were mothers.

In addition to deeply evocative first-person accounts, "Before They Were Our Mothers" offers readers a personal glimpse of world events from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, as written in that moment by current-day descendants. We are joined by Patricia Nugent (editor), Sue Van Hook (author) and Crystal Hamelink (author). There will be a reading from the book at Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY on Thursday, February 15 at 7 p.m.

2/13/18 Panel

Feb 13, 2018

         The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain and the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

The 5th Annual New York Craft Brewers Festival will take place on Saturday, March 3 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, New York. The Festival brings together over 60 New York Breweries (and brewers) from every region of the state featuring up to 150+ hard to find and award winning beers.

To tell us more about the festival and craft beer in general we welcome two of the participants: John Fischer from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and Kevin Mullen from Rare Form Brewing.

Hudson Jazz Festival

Feb 12, 2018

Hudson Hall is presenting the inaugural Hudson Jazz Festival February 16-18 in their upstairs theater.

The HJF is curated by Hudson-based jazz pianist Armen Donelian, and has a real international flair. Jazz matriarch Sheila Jordan and Dominique Eade headline Saturday evening, preceded by the 2018 NEA Jazz Master JoAnne Brackeen earlier in the day. The festival opens with the Middle Eastern sounds of The Ara Dinkjian Quartet, and closes with the fiery, Quarterto Moderno.

The festival also features a free documentary screening and a hands-on jazz workshop. To tell us more, we welcome Armen Donelian and Sheila Jordan.

At this moment of rhetoric and fury around the U.S. - Mexico border, writer and former U.S. Border Patrol agent Francisco Cantú has written the new book - "The Line Becomes a River." The book is Cantú’s personal exploration of the border - its politics, gatekeepers, and victims on both sides of the line.

Cantú is the Mexican-American grandson of border-crossers, raised in Arizona by his mother, a park ranger and the daughter of a Mexican immigrant. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joined the Border Patrol. He and his partners learned to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights.

Cantú never imagined the number of bodies he would have to collect of people who died trying to cross the desert in the middle of the scorching summer. And he hadn’t expected the relentless teeth-gnashing nightmares that would plague him for years, nightmares so terrifying that they forced him to quit the Patrol.

2/12/18 Panel

Feb 12, 2018

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, communications consultant Theresa Bourgeois, political consultant Libby Post.

Jimmy Webb’s words have been sung to his music by a rich and deep roster of pop artists, including Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer and Linda Ronstadt. He’s the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration, and his chart-topping career has, so far, lasted fifty years, most recently with a Kanye West rap hit and a new classical nocturne.

He joined us to talk about his memoir, "The Cake and The Rain." 

In The Once and Future Liberal, Mark Lilla offers an impassioned, tough-minded, and stinging look at the failure of American liberalism over the past two generations. Although there have been Democrats in the White House, and some notable policy achievements, for nearly 40 years the vision that Ronald Reagan offered—small government, lower taxes, and self-reliant individualism—has remained the country’s dominant political ideology. And the Democratic Party has offered no convincing competing vision in response.

Mark Lilla is a political scientist, journalist and professor of humanities at Columbia University. His newest book is The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics.

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.”

On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others―including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May.

Jessica Bruder is a journalist who reports on subcultures and economic justice. Her newest book is Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

2/9/18 Panel

Feb 9, 2018

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, corporate attorney Rich Honen, and counter-terrorism expert Malcolm Nance.

Secret societies have fundamentally shaped America’s cultural and political landscapes. In ways that are expected but never explicit, the bonds made through the most elite of secret societies have won members Pulitzer Prizes, governorships, and even presidencies. At the apex of these institutions stands Yale University and its rumored twenty-six secret societies. Tracing a history that has intrigued and enthralled for centuries, alluring the attention of such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Skulls and Keys traces the history of Yale’s societies as they set the foundation for America’s future secret clubs and helped define the modern age of politics.

David Alan Richards, Yale alum and former 'bonesman,' is the author of Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale's Secret Societies. 

The story begins in 2007 when Deborah Campbell travels undercover to Damascus to report on the exodus of Iraqis into Syria following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. There she meets and hires Ahlam, a refugee working as a “fixer”—providing Western media with trustworthy information and contacts to help get the news out. Ahlam, who fled her home in Iraq after being kidnapped while running a humanitarian centre, not only supports her husband and two children through her work with foreign journalists but is setting up a makeshift school for displaced girls. She has become a charismatic, unofficial leader of the refugee community in Damascus, and Campbell is inspired by her determination to create something good amid so much suffering. Ahlam soon becomes her friend as well as her guide. But one morning Ahlam is seized from her home in front of Campbell’s eyes. Haunted by the prospect that their work together has led to her friend’s arrest, Campbell spends the months that follow desperately trying to find her—all the while fearing she could be next.

Deborah Campbell is an award-winning writer known for combining culturally immersive fieldwork with literary journalism in places such as Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, the UAE, Israel, Palestine, Cuba, Mexico and Russia. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, the EconomistForeign Policy, the GuardianNew ScientistMs., and other publications.

Her new book is A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War.

Pages