The Roundtable

Weekdays, 9 a.m.

Credit Peter Steiner

  WAMC's The Roundtable is an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program. The show airs from 9am to noon each weekday and features news, interviews, in-depth discussion, music, and much (much) more! Hosted by Joe Donahue and produced by Sarah LaDuke, The Roundtable tackles serious and lighthearted subjects, looking to explore the many facets of the human condition with civility, respect and responsibility.

The show's hallmark is thoughtful interviews with A-list newsmakers, authors, artists, sports figures, actors, and people with interesting stories to tell. Since hitting the airwaves in May of 2001, The Roundtable has interviewed the likes of Arthur Miller, Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou, Madeleine Albright, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, Bob Dole, Bill O'Reilly, Steve Martin, James Taylor, Stephen King, Melissa Etheridge and lots of other really cool people. Plus, Wilco does our theme song. What more can you ask for?

If you have any questions or you'd like to be on the show, email us at roundtable@wamc.org

10:25 - The Writer's Almanac
11:10 - Earth Wise
Book Picks lists are here.
You may also hear Pulse of the Planet and Sound Beat on The Roundtable.

A veteran of higher education who grew up in Lee is the new President of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Jamie Birge was named in December to be the college's 12th president. He is now into his first full academic year.

Dr. Birge has worked in higher education for more than 30 years. He spent much of his early career in the student affairs area followed by work with faculty and staff to integrate community-based learning into academic course objectives.

Birge served as the fourth president of Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., from 2009 to 2015. Previously, he served as the executive vice president and interim president at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV. It is a great pleasure to welcome Dr. Jamie Birge to The Roundtable.

Outside Mullingar, a play by John Patrick Shanley - the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Doubt – brings us on a journey to the farmlands of Ireland. It is now playing through October 16th at Capital Rep in Albany.

Outside Mullingar is the story of an unlikely romance between two rural, middle-aged neighbors: Anthony, an introverted farmer and Rosemary, the woman who vows to have him – at all costs.

This morning we meet two of the cast-members - Kenneth Kimmins has a major Broadway/West End resume, with stints in The Music Man and the New York and London companies of Company. On television, Ken spent nine years as series regular Howard Burleigh, on Coach. He was also being a semi-regular on Lois And Clark.

Laurie O’Brien has extensive television and film resume includes work on CSI, CSI: Miami, Detroit 1-8-7, ER, and NYPD Blue

Berkshire Theatre Group and WAM Theatre present the American Premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, by Kate Cayley at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, September 29 through October 23.

In keeping with their double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating 25% of the box office proceeds from this production to their ninth beneficiary, the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Suzi Banks Baum. 

The show is directed by Kristen van Ginhoven and features David Adkins and Corinna May. 

Lawmakers voted late last night to keep the government funded.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about his priorities.

Please note: this interview was recorded before the final house role-call. 

Jodi Picoult is the #1 bestselling author of twenty-six novels. Her latest novel is Small Great Things and she calls it her most personal novel to date.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

She will be at The Clark in Williamstown, MA on Saturday, October 8th giving two author talks followed by book signings. 

9/29/16 Panel

16 hours ago

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Corporate Attorney Rich Honen and Poughkeepsie Journal Executive Editor Stu Shinske.

Ben Neill's Manitoga

Sep 28, 2016


  Ben Neill has been called a “creative composer and genius performer” by Time Out NY and a “musical powerhouse, a serious and individual talent” by Time Out London. Neill’s music blends influences from electronica, jazz, and minimalism.

In 2014 the Hudson Valley resident received a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist grant to compose Manitoga - a piece named for, inspired by, and performed at Manitoga - the estate and modernist home of industrial designer Russel Wright in Garrison, NY.

Ben Neill, Mark Boulanger, Jason Covey, James O'Connor, John Charles Thomas, and Peter Zummo will play Neill’s Manitoga with his mutantrumpet and Phonemophone Alphabet Horns by artist Carol Szymanski in Manitoga’s Annual Open Air Performance this Saturday, October 1st at 4 p.m.

Victuals is an exploration of the foodways, people, and places of Appalachia. Written by Ronni Lundy, regarded as the most engaging authority on the region, the book guides us through the surprisingly diverse history--and vibrant present--of food in the Mountain South.

Victuals explores the diverse and complex food scene of the Mountain South through recipes, stories, traditions, and innovations.

Election Day is coming right up.

In today’s Congressional Corner, WAMC’s Alan Chartock continues his discussion with Connecticut representative Joe Courtney, a Democrat from the 2nd district.

Stephen Burt
Alex Dakoulas

  Stephen Burt, “one of the most influential poetry critics of his generation” (The New York Times), will read from and discuss his new book, The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them on Thursday, September 29 at 8 p.m. in the Huxley Theatre, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, Madison Avenue in downtown Albany.

Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will hold an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the UAlbany uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Friends of the New York State Library.

9/28/16 Panel

Sep 28, 2016

   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 corporate attorney, Rich Honen. For the last segment, Rosemary leaves and WAMC's Ray Graf joins the conversation.

When feminist writer Susan Faludi learned that her 76-year-old father ― long estranged and living in Hungary ― had undergone sex reassignment surgery, she was set on an investigation that would turn personal and urgent.

How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known, the photographer who’d built his career on the alteration of images?

This week's Book Picks  come from Kira Wizner of Merritt Bookstore.

List:

Mischling by Affinity Konar
Little Labors by Rivka Galchen
Twenty Four Hours in the Life of Woman by Stefan Zweig
This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
History of the Hudson Valley: Civil War to Modern Times by Vernon Benjamin
Substitute by Nicholson Baker
Urban Forests by Jill Jonnes
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
Alexander Hamilton's Guide to Life by Jeff Wilser

Some Connecticut residents are dealing with a scary situation underground.

In today’s Congressional Corner, WAMC’s Alan Chartock speaks with Connecticut representative Joe Courtney, a Democrat from the 2nd district.

The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives, and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State's black flag.

How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than its competitors.

Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic-including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen - William McCants' The ISIS Apocalypse explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future.

9/27/16 Panel

Sep 27, 2016

  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 Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

Joseph LeDoux, world-renowned expert on the neurobiology of fear and anxiety, will discuss his new book, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety on Tuesday, September 27 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will hold an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the uptown campus.

The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Science Library of the University at Albany Libraries.

Kenneth Woodward edited Newsweek's Religion section from 1964 until his retirement in 2002. He remained a writer-at-large at Newsweek until 2009.

His new book is Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama.

Beginning with a bold reassessment of the Fifties, Woodward’s narrative weaves through Civil Rights era and the movements that followed in its wake: the anti-Vietnam movement; Liberation theology in Latin America; the rise of Evangelicalism and decline of mainline Protestantism; women’s liberation and Bible; the turn to Asian spirituality; the transformation of the family and emergence of religious cults; and the embrace of righteous politics by both the Republican and Democratic Parties. 

Steven Wright
Jorge Rios

Academy Award winning and Grammy nominated comedian Steven Wright will perform at The Egg in Albany on October 1st.

With his deadpan style, Mr. Wright has been a staple on the entertainment scene for more than three decades, dating from his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1982. He was invited to appear on the show again less than a week later.

Wright’s career expanded to albums, film and television appearances. His 1985 debut album I Have A Pony, earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album, and he appeared in his first HBO stand-up special, A Steven Wright Special, later that year.

In 1989, Mr. Wright received an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, in which he starred and co-wrote.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award as a producer for the hit FX series Louie for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and also appears on Louis CK’s new web series Horace and Pete

Is this a post-truth election?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, concludes his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Graham Nash
Graham Nash

It’s always a thrill when two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Graham Nash is in town, and WAMC listeners have plenty of chances to catch his tour over the next couple of weeks.

9/26/16 Panel

Sep 26, 2016

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.

Hattie’s Restaurant has been bringing classic Southern cooking to Saratoga Springs, New York, since 1938, when Louisiana native Hattie Gray, then a household cook, saved up enough money to start Hattie’s Chicken Shack.

Now, their traditional and timeless fare is featured in the Hattie’s Restaurant Cookbook, by Hattie’s owner and chef Jasper Alexander. This book traces the restaurant’s history from the beginning to the present through recipes, anecdotes, and photographs. From downhome jambalaya to good old-fashioned fried chicken, Alexander intertwines Hattie’s Southern roots with nostalgic homemade tastes.

Jasper Alexander studied at the Culinary Institute of America and is featured regularly in regional papers. He has also made several guest appearances on local television and radio. In 2006, he appeared on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, where he beat Flay in a chicken-frying contest. 

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers - focusing on Fanny Mendelssohn.

Tomorrow night, the Albany Symphony will kick off David Alan Miller’s 25th Anniversary Season at the Palace Theatre, celebrating the Grammy award-winning Conductor’s leadership and the orchestra’s world-class musicians. 

Miller, recipient of over 25 ASCAP Awards for adventurous and innovative programming and a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation and a champion of American symphonic music. 

Miller’s commitment to giving voice to new works by living American composers will be celebrated on September 24, 2016 at 7:00PM with the Capital Region debut performance of “Aria” for Hindustani Soprano and Orchestra by two-time ASCAP Morton Gould Award winner, Reena Esmail. 

The Opening Night performance will also feature internationally acclaimed pianist Natasha Paremski performing, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, a three movement concerto inspired by partly by the jazz music Ravel encountered during his 1928 American concert tour; and a centennial performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, originally composed in 1915 and revised first in 1916.

It is a great pleasure to welcome David Alan Miller to the RT this morning. We are also joined by afore mentioned composer Reena Esmail and Hindustani Vocalist Saili Oak.

If you’re a Massachusetts voter, you have more to decide on than just the presidential race.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about four ballot questions.

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