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

  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: "I, Tonya" and "The Shape of Water"

1/11/18 Panel

Jan 11, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultants Theresa Bourgeois and Joe Bonilla and Chair of the Department of Communication at the College of St. Rose Cailin Brown.

Ray Padgett founded the blog Cover Me in 2007 and has run it ever since, growing it into the largest blog devoted to cover songs on the web, with 80,000 individual readers a month.

His new book, "Cover Me," is packed with insight, photography, and music history. Each of the chapters investigates the origins of a classic cover and uses it as a framework to tell the larger story of how cover songs have evolved over the decades. 

David Brooks
CNN

David Brooks has a gift for bringing audiences face-to-face with the spirit of our times with humor, insight and passion. He is an observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs.

He holds several positions as a commentator, including bi-weekly Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, and regular analyst on PBS "NewsHour" and NPR’s "All Things Considered."

David’s newest book, "The Road to Character," explains why selflessness leads to greater success. He tells the story of ten great lives that illustrate how character is developed, and how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth.

David Brooks will be at Proctors on Wednesday, January 17th at 7:30 p.m.

1/10/18 Panel

Jan 10, 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, Albany County District Attorney David Soares, and Berkshire Eagle Reporter Jenn Smith.

Roz Chast has published more than a thousand cartoons in The New Yorker since 1978. Her frantic and disheveled characters have become icons of American humor. Her new book is "Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York" – a graphic ode/guide/thank-you note to Manhattan.

The new book, "The Destruction of Hillary Clinton" looks to answer 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?

In her narrative of the 2016 campaign year and the events that led up to it, Susan Bordo unpacks the Rights' assault on Clinton and her reputation, the way the left provoked suspicion and indifference among the youth vote, the inescapable presence of James Comey, questions about Russian influence, and the media's malpractice in covering the candidate.

Susan Bordo is a media critic, cultural historian, and feminist scholar. She is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky.

    This week's Book Picks come from Phil Lewis of The Bennington Bookshop.

List:
"The Soul of an Octopus" by Sy Montgomery
"Varina" by Charles Frazier (April 2018)
"White Houses" by Amy Bloom (March 2018)
"Only Killers and Thieves" by Paul Howarth (February 2018)
"The Italian Teacher" by Tom Rachman (March 2018)
"The Flight Attendant" by Chris Bohjalian (March 2018)
"A Midsummer’s Equation" by Keigo Higashino

Cathy N. Davidson is a lifelong educational innovator - and instigator. After twenty-five years as a professor and an administrator leading innovation at Duke University, Davidson moved to CUNY in August 2014 to direct the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center. Appointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Humanities (2011-2017), she also sits on the Board of Directors of Mozilla. 

In her new book, The New Education, Davidson argues that the current approach to education is wholly unsuited to the era of the gig economy. Our system of higher education dates to the period from 1865 to 1925, when the nation's new universities created grades and departments, majors and minors, in an attempt to prepare young people for a world transformed by the telegraph and the Model T. From the Ivy League to community colleges, she introduces us to innovators who are remaking college for our own time by emphasizing student-centered learning that values creativity in the face of change above all. 

Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual Winter Lecture marks its 21st year with an illustrated talk, “The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change” presented by lecturer, photographer and author Ken Druse. The event will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2 p.m. at Lenox Memorial High School.

Called “the guru of natural gardening” by The New York Times, Druse is best known for his twenty garden books published over the last twenty-five years. The American Horticultural Society listed his first large-format work, The Natural Garden," among the best books of all time.

In 2013, the Smithsonian Institute announced the acquisition of the Ken Druse Collection of Garden Photography comprising 100,000 images of American gardens and plants.

1/9/18 Panel

Jan 9, 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.

Since the 1970s, Sigmund Freud’s scientific reputation has been in an accelerating tailspin - but nonetheless the idea persists that some of his contributions were visionary discoveries of lasting value. Now, drawing on rarely consulted archives, Frederick Crews has assembled a great volume of evidence that reveals a surprising new Freud: a man who blundered tragicomically in his dealings with patients, who in fact never cured anyone, who promoted cocaine as a miracle drug capable of curing a wide range of diseases, and who advanced his career through falsifying case histories and betraying the mentors who had helped him to rise. The legend has persisted, Crews shows, thanks to Freud’s fictive self-invention as a master detective of the psyche, and later through a campaign of censorship and falsification conducted by his followers.

Frederick Crews is an author who has published a variety of books and criticisms including The Pooh Complex, Follies of the Wise and his newest book Freud: The Making of an Illusion

We all want to be happy. Yet as we consume ever more in a frantic bid for happiness, global warming worsens. Alarmed by drastic changes now occurring in the Earth's climate systems, the author, a climate scientist and suburban father of two, embarked on a journey to change his life and the world. He began by bicycling, growing food, meditating, and making other simple, fulfilling changes. Ultimately, he slashed his climate impact to under a tenth of the US average and became happier in the process.

Being the Change explores the connections between our individual daily actions and our collective predicament. It merges science, spirituality, and practical action to develop a satisfying and appropriate response to global warming.

Peter Kalmus is a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University. His new book is Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution.

1/8/18 Panel

Jan 8, 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, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares. 

Thomas A. Kochan, is the George M. Bunker Professor of Work and Employment Relations at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Co-Director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research.

"Shaping the Future of Work" lays out a comprehensive strategy for changing the course the American economy and employment system have been on for the past 30 years. The goal is to create more productive businesses that also provide good jobs and careers and by doing so build a more inclusive economy and broadly shared prosperity. This will require workers to acquire new sources of bargaining power and for business, labor, government, and educators to work together to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the next generation workforce.

In the last five years, eight states have legalized recreational marijuana. To many, continued progress seems certain. But pot was on a similar trajectory forty years ago, only to encounter a fierce backlash. 

Emily Dufton holds a PhD in American Studies from George Washington University. Her new book is "Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America." In it, she tells the remarkable story of marijuana's crooked path from acceptance to demonization and back again, and of the thousands of grassroots activists who made changing marijuana laws their life's work.

Pamela Tatge, Jacob’s Pillow artistic director
Hayim Heron/Jacob’s Pillow Dance

Jacob's Pillow has announced their full season lineup for Festival 2018, including U.S. company debuts, world premieres, International Artists, newly commissioned work, rich historic Festival connections, and the formal presentation of work developed through the organization's growing residency program at the Pillow Lab.

Jacob's Pillow is the longest-running dance festival in the United States, a National Historic Landmark, a National Medal of Arts recipient, and has recently expanded to become a year-round center for dance research and development. Festival 2018 opens on June 20, engaging visitors and community members from throughout the region and beyond, on and off-site, through August 26.

They aren’t resting during the winter months - Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge joins us.

  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: "Darkest Hour," "All the Money in the World"

Upcoming:
Anders Parker and Cloud Badge - The Low Beat, Albany, Thursday 1/4, 8 PM
Slambovian Circus of Dreams - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 1/5, 8 PM
Josh Gondelman - The Comedy Works, Saratoga Springs, Friday 1/5 & Saturday 1/6 at 7:30, 9:30 PM
"Chicago: The Musical" - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Friday 1/5 through Sunday 1/7, various times
"Cinderella Tales" - Steamer No. 10 Theatre, Albany, Friday 1/5 at 7 PM; Saturday-Sunday 1/6-7 at 3 PM; thru Jan. 15
Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 1/6, 8 PM
Albany Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven’s Fifth with Richard O’Neill, viola - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 1/6 at 7:30 PM, Sunday 1/7 at 3 PM
Black Label Society - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Sunday 1/7, 8 PM

New movies: "I, Tonya," "Molly’s Game," "Insidious: The Last Key"

1/4/18 Panel

Jan 4, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois.

  When Sara Zaske moved from Oregon to Berlin with her husband and toddler, she knew the transition would be challenging, especially when she became pregnant with her second child. She was surprised to discover that German parents give their children a great deal of freedom - much more than Americans. German parents did not share her fears, and their children were thriving. Was she doing the opposite of what she intended, which was to raise capable children? Why was parenting culture so different in the States?

In her book, "Achtung Baby," Zaske shares the many unexpected parenting lessons she learned from living in Germany.

Through his roles as a "Daily Show" Correspondent, Deranged Millionaire, the PC to Justin Long’s Mac, and his own bestselling books, the real John Hodgman has always remained hidden: a mystery wrapped beneath his signature dry, absurdist wit (and a moustache or beard, depending on the year).

But now -- for the first time -- he turns to the truth, exposing his real-life roles as a father, husband, and hater of fudge. He’s the first to admit that his path to success has been a strange one, and he’s the best person to explain why. 

His new book: "Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches," follows his journeys as a very citified only child nerd, navigating wildernesses where he does not belong. 

A Tale Of Three Cities

Jan 3, 2018

Istanbul has long been a place where stories and histories collide, where perception is as potent as fact.

From the Koran to Shakespeare, this city with three names--Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul--resonates as an idea and a place, real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between East and West, North and South, it has been the capital city of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was the very center of the world, known simply as "The City," but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a global story.

Professor Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past. Her newest book is Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities. 

James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He’s authored thirty-six novels and two short story collections.

In his latest novel, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves.

1/3/18 Panel

Jan 3, 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 Joe Bonilla, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois and Berkshire Eagle Reporter Jenn Smith.

Alexandra Fuller is best known for her memoirs about her African childhood and the family she left behind; she’s just written her debut novel, Quiet Until the Thaw.

The book brings us into the world of the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota and the fictional family she has imagined there. 

New York Times bestselling YA author Holly Black will be at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck tonight at 6PM to launch the first book in her new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue. Her new book is "The Cruel Prince." 

Holly Black is the author of the "Modern Tales of Faerie" series, "Curse Workers" series, "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown," the "Magisterium" series (with Cassandra Clare) and "The Darkest Part of the Forest." She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor.

James Conrad from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

List:
"The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" by Margareta Magnusson
"The Book of Resting Places: A Personal History of Where We Lay the Dead" by Thomas Mira y Lopez
"The How Not to Die Cookbook" by Michael Greger
"The Perfect Nanny" by Leila Slimani
"Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical" by Jacqueline Jones
"The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilized World" by Jeff Goodel
"Call Me by Your Name" by André Aciman

It is a sad week in Radioland this week as one of our brightest lights retires from his post. 

Robert Siegel joined NPR in 1976 and he’s been there ever since. He’ll leave the network at the end of next week. Siegel became host of All Things Considered in 1987. But before that he played an important role in the network’s growth. He opened NPR’s first overseas bureau, in London, in 1979 and stayed there for four years.

Robert Siegel’s final day as host of All Things Considered will be January 5th and it is a great pleasure to welcome his to the RT this morning.

1/2/18 Panel

Jan 2, 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.

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions.

Khizr Khan's new book is "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice."

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