Joe Donahue

Vice President, 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

Joan Marcus

Innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, Hedwig And The Angry Inch is the American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask is a genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances which tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage.

Winner of four 2014 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, Hedwig And The Angry Inch played to record-breaking sell-out crowds on Broadway and now is in Schenectady for performances tonight and tomorrow at Proctors.

Hannah Corneau plays Yitzhak in the production. She is graduate of Shen High School.

G-Man By Stephen Hunter

May 16, 2017

Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter joins us this morning. His 10th book in the Bob Lee Swagger saga, G-Man, finds Bob uncovering his family’s secret tommy gun war with 1930s gangsters like John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson.

Hunter is the author of twenty-one books and there are over two million Hunter novels in print. He is the retired chief film critic for The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. He has also published two collections of film criticism and a nonfiction work, American Gunfight.

USA Network adapted Hunter’s Point of Impact for its highly-rated TV series Shooter, featuring Ryan Phillippe as Bob Lee Swagger. Mark Wahlberg, who starred in the 2007 movie of the same name, is the executive producer of the series. Again, the new novel is G-Man

5/16/17 Panel

May 16, 2017

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Editor of the Daily Gazette Judy Patrick, and counter-terrorism expert Malcolm Nance.

For more than a decade, Daniel Connolly has reported on Mexican immigration to the U.S. South for news organizations including The Associated Press in Little Rock, and The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. The winner of numerous journalism prizes, he has received grants and fellowships from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Center for Journalists and the Fulbright program.

In his new book, The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America 18-year-old high school senior Isaias Ramos plays in a punk rock group called Los Psychosis and likes to sing along to songs by Björk and her old band, the Sugarcubes. He’s so bright that when his school’s quiz bowl goes on local TV, he acts as captain. The counselors at school want him to apply to Harvard. But Isaias isn’t so sure. He's thinking about going to work painting houses with his parents, who crossed the Arizona desert illegally from Mexico.

America's Needless Wars: Cautionary Tales of US Involvement in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Iraq approaches the history of U.S. foreign policy by examining three unrelated conflicts, all of which ended tragically and resulted in the deaths of millions on both sides. By analyzing what went wrong in each case, the author uncovers a pattern of errors that should serve as a precaution for future decision makers contemplating a conflict abroad. 

David R. Contosta is professor of history at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA, and the author of twenty-three previous books, including Rebel Giants: The Revolutionary Lives of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Contosta has been a Fulbright Scholar to France, a visiting scholar at Cambridge University in England, and most recently a visiting professor at Pyeongtaek University in South Korea.

The Moth is a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Founded in 1997, the organization presents a wide range of theme-based storytelling events across the United States and abroad along with a weekly podcast the national public radio show, The Moth Radio Hour, which won a 2010 Peabody Award.

The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown features stories carefully selected by the creative minds at The Moth, All These Wonders features 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages. The book celebrates The Moth's 20th anniversary and we talk about it with Catherine Burns, editor of the book and Artistic Director of The Moth.

William Kunstler was an American radical lawyer and civil rights activist, known for his politically unpopular clients. He was an active member of the National Lawyers Guild, a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the co-founder of the Law Center for Constitutional Rights. Kunstler's defense of the Chicago Seven from 1969–1970 led The New York Times to label him "the country's most controversial and, perhaps, its best-known lawyer."

Starting later this week, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA will present The Creative Place International/And Theatre Company production of Kunstler starring Jeff McCarthy in the title role. The show will run on BSC’s St. Germain Stage through June 10th. It is directed by Meagen Fay.

Jeff McCarthy is a Tony Award nominated actor and Associate Artist at Barrington Stage and he joins us.

5/15/17 Panel

May 15, 2017

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao, and political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post. 

Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Among Dr. Diamond's many awards are the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan's Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by Rockefeller University. He has published more than six hundred articles and several books including the New York Times bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

The 20th anniversary edition of Guns, Germs, and Steel features a new afterward by Diamond.

Mark Lukach is a teacher and freelance writer. His work has been published in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Wired, and other publications. He is currently the ninth grade dean at The Athenian School, where he also teaches history.

Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Mark recounts their experience in My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward: A Memoir.

Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission by Barry Friedman tells the stories of ordinary people whose lives were torn apart by policing -- by the methods of cops on the beat and those of the FBI and NSA.

Driven by technology, policing has changed dramatically. Once, cops sought out bad guys; today, increasingly militarized forces conduct wide surveillance of all of us.

5/12/17 Panel

May 12, 2017

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, author and activist Barbara Smith, and Director of the Journalism Department at the University at Albany, Rosemary Armao.

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of thirteen previous novels, including the best sellers Bad Monkey, Star Island, Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Lucky You, and five best-selling children’s books, Hoot, Flush, Scat, Chomp, and Skink. His most recent work of nonfiction is Dance of the Reptiles, a collection of his columns from The Miami Herald.

In his most recent novel Razor Girl, now out in paperback, Merry Mansfield specializes in kidnapping for the mob. Her preferred method is rear-ending her targets and asking them for a ride. Her latest mark is Martin Trebeaux, owner of a private beach renourishment company who has delivered substandard sand to a mob hotel. But there's just one problem: Razor Girl hits the wrong guy. Instead, she ends up with Lane Coolman, talent manager for Buck Nance, the star of a reality TV show about a family of Cajun rooster farmers. Buck Nance, left to perform standup at a Key West bar without his handler, makes enough off-color jokes to incite a brawl, then flees for his life and vanishes. Now a routine promotional appearance has become a missing persons case.

Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard? Because it challenges all our modern assumptions about what it takes to flourish.

Astonishing teachings emerged two thousand years ago through the work of a succession of Chinese scholars exploring how humans can improve themselves and their society. And what are these counterintuitive ideas? Transformation comes not from looking within for a true self, but from creating conditions that produce new possibilities.

The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life is written by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh. 

Our guest is Michael Puett -- the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. He is the recipient of a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

5/11/17 Panel

May 11, 2017

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond. Today we did the show with a live audience at the Times Union's Hearst Media Center.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Editor Rex Smith, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, and Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

Nancy Isenberg’s bestselling book: White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America is now in paperback with a new preface covering the 2016 election.

Nancy Isenberg said the following about the political climate years ago surrounding Sarah Palin, “When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win.” And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters that put Trump in the White House have always been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg.

In White Trash, Isenberg looks to obliterate the myth of America as a land of unbounded opportunity and social mobility and makes the case that while both class and identity politics matter, neither are sufficient alone to define categories of voting behavior. Again the name of the book is: White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America. 

The Roundabout Theatre Company production of Kander and Ebb’s classic Tony Award winning musical drama, Cabaret, is at Proctors this week. This touring production was directed by Sam Mendes and co-directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall.

To set the stage:

1930s, Berlin: The Kit Kat Klub is a seedy cabaret, a place of decadent celebration. The Klub's Master of Ceremonies, or M.C., is joined by the cabaret girls and headliner-of-sorts, Sally Bowles.

In a train station, Cliff Bradshaw arrives, a young American writer coming to Berlin to work on his new novel.

At Proctors this week, Jon Peterson plays the Emcee and Benjamin Eakeley plays Cliff.

5/10/17 Panel

May 10, 2017

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Specialist Theresa Bourgeois, and corporate attorney Rich Honen.

Anita Shreve is the New York Times best-selling author of The Weight of Water and The Pilot's Wife. Her latest,

The Stars are Fire, brings 1947 – the year Maine burned – to life, in a story about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event and its aftermath.

In the 1950s, a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics, and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader.

In The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple, Jeff Guinn examines Jones’s life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America.

This week's Book Picks from Amy Lane at The Open Door Bookstore and Gift Gallery in Schenectady, NY.

List:
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
The Widow's House by Carol Goodman
Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York by Justin Davidson
Bread Toast Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford - Event at Open Door - Saturday, May 13
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely - Event at Schenectady High School - Tuesday, May 16
Escargot  story by Dashka Slater, pictures by Sydney Hanson

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill is now open for its 2017 season and features two new landmark exhibitions. 

“The Parlors” is an immersive installation that combines technology and meticulous historic restoration of the two parlors of Cole's 1815 Home, the rooms where America's first major art movement was born. It features a stunning discovery revealed during the restoration: the earliest-known, interior decorative painting by an American artist. 

Also, “Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills” is an exhibition of Catskills paintings of Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), a leading member of the Hudson River School of landscape painting, who credited Cole’s works with stimulating his interest in landscape painting. Gifford grew up in Hudson, and this is the first such show of this magnitude to take place in the region that inspired Cole and Gifford.

Betsy Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, joins us this morning to discuss the opening these two exhibitions and their importance to the history of the region. 

5/9/17 Panel

May 9, 2017

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Associate Editor of The Times Union, Mike Spain, and WAMC's Ray Graf.

Linda Hirshman
Nina Subin

Close Encounters with Music is presenting Linda Hirshman and The Feminine Mystique at The Mount in Lenox this coming Sunday at 3 p.m. It is part of their series: Conversations With - intimate and stimulating conversations about music and ideas.

Lawyer, best-selling author, and cultural historian Linda Hirshman has chronicled battles that have changed the social landscape of America in her books Get to Work: A Manifesto For Women of the World, Hard Bargains: The Politics of Sex, and others.

Hirshman will analyze the 14th and 19th Amendments in tandem as two paths to equality in the suffrage effort and as they affected private and public lives of women. 

Over his career, Jerome F. Buting has spent hundreds of hours in courtrooms representing defendants in criminal trials. When he agreed to join Dean Strang as co-counsel for the defense in Steven A. Avery vs. State of Wisconsin, he knew a tough fight lay ahead. But, as he reveals in Illusion of Justice, no-one could have predicted just how tough and twisted that fight would be -- or that it would become the center of the documentary Making a Murderer, which made Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey household names and thrust Buting into the spotlight.

His book is Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America's Broken System.

5/8/17 Panel

May 8, 2017

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao, political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post, and Communications Specialist Theresa Bourgeois.

  When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.

In Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics, historian Kim Phillips-Fein tells the remarkable story of the crisis that engulfed the city.

The Airbnb Story

May 5, 2017

Fortune editor Leigh Gallagher explores the success of Airbnb along with the more controversial side of its story. Regulators want to curb its rapid expansion; hotel industry leaders wrestle with the disruption it has caused them; and residents and customers alike struggle with the unintended consequences of opening up private homes for public consumption.

Gallagher's book is ​The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions ... and Created Plenty of Controversy.

5/5/17 Panel

May 5, 2017

 

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, author and activist Barbara Smith, and Counter-Terrorism Expert Malcolm Nance.

The Destruction of Hillary Clinton is an answer to the question many have been asking: How did an extraordinarily well-qualified, experienced, and admired candidate -- whose victory would have been as historic as Barack Obama's -- come to be seen as a tool of the establishment, a chronic liar, and a talentless politician?

Susan Bordo is a media critic, cultural historian, and feminist scholar. Her books include Unbearable Weight, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and, most recently, The Creation of Anne Boleyn. She is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky.

Pages