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

In her admired works of fiction, including the recent "The Book That Matters Most," best-selling author Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature.

In her new book, "Morningstar," she reveals the personal story behind beloved novels in her life.

It's one of the most revered movies of Hollywood's golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just thirty-two days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favorite film, celebrating moral fortitude.

Yet what has been often overlooked is that High Noon was made during the height of the Hollywood blacklist, a time of political inquisition and personal betrayal. In the middle of the film shoot, screenwriter Carl Foreman was forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party.

In "High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic," Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of the making of a great American Western, exploring how Carl Foreman's concept of High Noon evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on allegorical weight. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated.

Sheri Bauer-Mayorga and Thomas Chulak from Chatham Bookstore in Chatham, NY join us with this week's Book Picks.

List:
Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
Great Jazz & Pop Vocal Albums by Will Friedwald
Muddy by Michael Mahin with illustrations by Evan Turk
Hunter of Stories by Eduardo Galeano 
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
It's All Relative by A.J. Jacobs
American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee

Can Europe prosper without the euro?

In 2010, the 2008 global financial crisis morphed into the “eurocrisis.” It has not abated. The 19 countries of Europe that share the euro currency―the eurozone―have been rocked by economic stagnation and debt crises. Some countries have been in depression for years while the governing powers of the eurozone have careened from emergency to emergency, most notably in Greece.

In The Euro, Nobel Prize–winning economist and best-selling author Joseph E. Stiglitz dismantles the prevailing consensus around what ails Europe, demolishing the champions of austerity while offering a series of plans that can rescue the continent―and the world―from further devastation.

He also revised his past best-seller: Globalization and Its Discontents, now titled Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited: Anti-Globalization in the Era of Trump. 

12/12/17 Panel

9 hours ago

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

Joining us for the discussion: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain and the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

It is an absolute Christmas Classic. And at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield – it is tradition.

It is the timeless holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol with the whole family, and revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits.

New York Times Cooking Columnist David Tanis is an acclaimed chef and writer known for his simple yet revelatory approach to cooking. As Oblong Books describes his new book, Market Cooking, "A masterwork of recipes, approach, technique, and philosophy, David Tanis Market Cooking is as inspiring as it is essential." 

Berkshire Bach celebrates Bach at New Year’s with Berkshire Bach Ensemble Director and Soloist, Eugene Drucker, Founder of the Emerson String Quartet, and a program of Bach, Purcell and Mozart.

12/11/17 Panel

Dec 11, 2017

 

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

Joining us for the discussion: WAMC’s Alan Chartock and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois and Albany Country District Attorney David Soares.

Annie Leibovitz is one of the most popular photographers of our time. Her new book, Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 is a new collection where she has captured the most influential and compelling figures of the last decade in the style that has made her famous. She will be at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck on December 8th.

For a period of about fifty years, right in the middle of the American Century, many of the the nation’s top comic-strip cartoonists, gag cartoonists, and magazine illustrators lived within a stone’s throw of one another in the southwestern corner of Connecticut—a bit of bohemia in the middle of those men in their gray flannel suits.

Cullen Murphy’s father, John Cullen Murphy, drew the wildly popular comic strips Prince Valiant and Big Ben Bolt, and was at the heart of this artistic milieu. Comic strips and gag cartoons read by hundreds of millions were created in this tight-knit group—Superman, Beetle Bailey, Snuffy Smith, Rip KirbyHagar the HorribleHi and LoisNancy,Sam & SiloAmyThe Wizard of IdThe Heart of Juliet JonesFamily CircusJoe Palooka, and The Lockhorns, among others.

Cullen Murphy will be at the Norman Rockwell Museum this Saturday, December 9, starting at 2 p.m and will talk about the career of his father and Prince Valiant cartoonist John Cullen Murphy.

12/8/17 Panel

Dec 8, 2017

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

Joining me for the discussion: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, Times Union Columnist Chris Churchill, Counter-Terrorism expert Malcolm Nance, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

Robert Lacey is the historical consultant to the Netflix series "The Crown," having worked previously with Peter Morgan on his Oscar-winning movie "The Queen."

As a renowned British historian and the author of numerous international bestsellers, including "Majesty," his pioneering biography of Queen Elizabeth II, Robert has been writing about the Queen and her extraordinary life for more than 40 years.

Season 2 of "The Crown" will be on Netflix on 12/8. Lacey's new book is "The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen (1947-1955)."

The musical She Loves Me originally opened on Broadway in 1963 with a star-studded cast that included Barbara Cook, Daniel Massey, and Jack Cassidy that went on to inspire such films as The Shop Around the CornerIn the Good Ole Summertime, and You’ve Got Mail.

She Loves Me is now running at theRep in Albany through Christmas Eve. It tells the tale of two bickering coworkers, Georg Nowack (Michael McCorry Rose) and Amalia Balash (Julia Burrows), who have a secret: Each is exchanging letters to a potential mate found through a lonely-hearts club. 

Michael McCorry Rose and Julia Burrows join us this morning. 

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: The Man Who Invented Christmas, Justice League

Upcoming: 
Interwoven - Albany Public Library/Pine Hills Branch, opening reception Friday 12/8, 6-8 PM, on view through March 2018

A Christmas Carol - Home Made Theater, Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, opens Friday 12/8, 7:30 PM through Dec. 16

Reelin’ in the Years: The Music of Steely Dan - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, Friday 12/8, 7 and 9 PM

Sam Green and Kronos Quartet: Work-in-Progress Film with Live Music - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Friday 12/8, 8 PM

Action Bronson: Blue Chips 7000 Tour - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Friday 12/8, 8 PM

Albany Berkshire Ballet’s The Nutcracker - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 12/9, 1:30 and 5:30 PM

Trevor Noah - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 12/9, 7 PM

Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Saturday 12/9, 8 PM and Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday 12/10, 7 PM

Lady Moon & The Eclipse - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 12/9, 9 PM

Albany Symphony Orchestra: 1786, Mozart’s Miraculous Year - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 12/9 at 7:30 PM & Sunday 12/10 at 3 PM

New movies: The Disaster Artist, Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle, Just Getting Started

12/7/17 Panel

Dec 7, 2017

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

Joining us for the discussion: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Professor of Political Science at Siena College Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois.

My Adventures With God

Dec 6, 2017
Book Cover - My Adventures With God
Amazon

From legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky—who currently appears on The Goldbergs, HBO’s Silicon Valley, and Norman Lear’s new One Day at a Time, author of The Dangerous Animals Club and The Tobolowsky Files podcast—My Adventures with God is a funny, introspective collection about love, catastrophe, and triumph, all told through the lens of his evolving relationship with the mystery that is “God.”

As Tobolowsky explains, “It’s hard to believe in nothing. Even cats believe in suppertime. As much as we love certainty, we are often shaped by the invisible, the unexplainable—something we call faith. We are inclined to acknowledge the holy. Even if it is only a paper heart we find in an old suitcase.”

  

A gripping narrative history of the largest manmade detonation prior to Hiroshima: in 1917 a ship laden with the most explosives ever packed on a vessel sailed out of Brooklyn’s harbor for the battlegrounds of World War I; when it stopped in Halifax, Nova Scotia, an extraordinary disaster awaited. . . .

In this definitive account, Bacon combines research and eyewitness accounts to re-create the tragedy and its aftermath, including the international effort to rebuild the devastated port city. As he brings to light one of the most dramatic incidents of the twentieth century, Bacon explores the long shadow this first "weapon of mass destruction" would cast on the future of nuclear warfare— crucial insights and understanding relevant to us today.

 

John U. Bacon has worked more than two decades as a writer, speaker, radio commentator, college lecturer, and hockey coach, winning awards for all five.

John Davidson as Charles Frohman/Captain James Hook
Hartford Courant

The winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart,” says TIME Magazine. Vogue cheers, “It’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!”

Directed by visionary Tony®-winner Diane Paulus and based on the critically-acclaimed Academy Award® winning film, FINDING NEVERLAND tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.

John Davidson, a veteran of Broadway’s Wicked and State Fair and television’s Hollywood Squares, plays the role of Charles Frohman/Captain James Hook and joins us in studio today. 

On July 17, 2014, a black man named Eric Garner died on a sidewalk after a police officer put him in what has been described as an illegal chokehold during an arrest for selling bootleg cigarettes.

In his new book, “I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street,” journalist Matt Taibbi writes about Garner's life, the police practices that contributed to his death and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ruby Sales
Nikki Khan / Getty Images

Civil rights legend and educator Ruby Sales will be at the Rowe Center in Rowe, MA in a program titled: Where Does it Hurt?: Overcoming the Pain of White Supremacy. The session will be made up of soul-searching conversations on white supremacy and systematic oppression to come away with a radical new spiritual perspective on the tasks before us.

Ruby Sales believes all Americans are hurt by a racist system that continues to oppress people of color.  For this nation to survive, she says, we must forge new ways of honestly talking about how this brutal reality affects whites as well as blacks.  A new language is needed, she says, that incorporates not only our outrage at the harm that has been done, but also a vision of love through which we could become a new people — the America still waiting to be born. 

Giovanni Boivin from The Book Loft in Great Barrington, MA, joins us with this week's Book Picks list.

List:
Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

Paper Girls Deluxe Edition Vol 1 by Brian K. Vaughn

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben

Ansel Adams: National Parks Service Photographs (Revised) by Ansel Adams and an introduction by Alice Gray

As Benjamin Franklin famously put it, Americans have a republic, if we can keep it. Preserving the Constitution and the democratic system it supports is the public’s responsibility. One route the Constitution provides for discharging that duty—a route rarely traveled—is impeachment.

Cass Sunstein provides a succinct citizen’s guide to an essential tool of self-government. He illuminates the constitutional design behind impeachment and emphasizes the people’s role in holding presidents accountable. Despite intense interest in the subject, impeachment is widely misunderstood. Sunstein identifies and corrects a number of misconceptions.

Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. His newest book is titled Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide. 

12/5/17 Panel

Dec 5, 2017

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

Joining us for the panel: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain and the Empire Report’s JP Miller.

Barry Blitt’s cartoons have been lampooning American politics and culture for decades. His iconic New Yorker covers are defining images for our times, earning him adoration from critics and fans and piles of hate mail from everyone else.

The book, "Blitt" shares his private sketchbooks, drafts, and uproarious rejected illustrations, offering readers an illuminating view into his creative process and features the author's hand-scrawled annotations and self-deprecating witticisms, more than one hundred never-before-seen sketches and drafts, and essays from Blitt’s collaborators and peers, including Frank Rich, Françoise Mouly, and Steve Brodner. 

The World is Just a Book Away is an anthology edited by USC professor James Owens that captures the stories of how books and reading inspired some of the world's most prominent people.

Recognizing the life-changing nature of reading, Owens set out in 2002 to create this deeply moving book. At first glance, the sixty contributors to this anthology may not seem to have much in common yet they all share their personal love of books and reading.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Actor Lucas Hedges was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in "Manchester by The Sea" last year. He is in two films currently in theaters, Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" and Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri."

Another classic way to celebrate the holiday season is with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Magic of Christmas concert will be performed this Sunday afternoon at 3PM at the Palace Theatre in downtown Albany.

And then next weekend - In one remarkable year, 1786, masterwork after masterwork would flow from the pen of Mozart:  the “Prague” Symphony, “The Marriage of Figaro”, and three of music’s greatest Piano Concertos. In two different programs over one weekend at Troy Music Hall, the orchestra will present the genius of Mozart.  

To tell us more we welcome Albany Symphony Orchestra maestro, David Alan Miller to tell us more. 

Gregory Maguire returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him.

Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann-- the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. 

Gregory Maguire is a writer of several dozen crossover books for adults and children. He will be at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, NY on Saturday, December 2nd at 8pm. He'll also be appearing at the Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady on Saturday, December 9th at 1pm and The Book House in Albany on Sunday, December 10th at 2pm. His newest novel is Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker. 

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