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.

  In The Comedians, comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff brings to life a century of American comedy with real-life characters, forgotten stars, mainstream heroes and counterculture iconoclasts.

Based on over two hundred original interviews and extensive archival research, Nesteroff’s groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past one hundred years.

The whole House of Representatives is on the ballot in November.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th district, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock why he always runs like he’s losing.

  In the heart of the Ottoman Empire as World War I rages, Stepan Miskjian’s world becomes undone. He is separated from his family as they are swept up in the government’s mass deportation of Armenians into internment camps. Gradually realizing the unthinkable—that they are all being driven to their deaths—he fights, through starvation and thirst, not to lose hope. He dons disguises, outmaneuvers gendarmes, and, when he least expects it, encounters the miraculous kindness of strangers.

The Hundred-Year Walk alternates between Stepan’s saga and another journey that takes place a century later, after his family discovers his long-lost journals. With his journals guiding her, Dawn Anahid MacKenn grows ever closer to the man she barely knew as a child.

David Finckel and Wu Han
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

  Wu Han and David Finckel join us to talk about their performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC and the final two concerts this season to be performed by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in the Spa Little Theater. 

8/19/16 Panel

Aug 19, 2016

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

  For decades, conversations about poverty have focused on jobs, public assistance, parenting, and mass incarceration. After years of intense fieldwork and study, Harvard sociologist and 2015 MacArthur “Genius” grant winner Matthew Desmond has come to believe that something fundamental is missing from that picture: how deeply housing is implicated in the creation of poverty.

Desmond says, “Not everyone living in a distressed neighborhood is associated with gang members, parole officers, employers, social workers, or pastors, but nearly all of them have a landlord.” The result of his research is the new book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Chase Brock’s "The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty" - lighting by Kevin Adams
Rosalie O'Connor


  The Chase Brock Experience is the Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company led by choreographer Chase Brock. They will perform at PS21 as part of the Chatham Dance Festival at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

Chase Brock is an acclaimed choreographer working in theater, modern dance, ballet, opera, television and video games. He joins us now along with Obie and 4-time Tony Award winning lighting designer, Kevin Adams. Adams has worked extensively on Broadway winning his Tony Awards for The 39 Steps, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Kevin Adams has designed the lighting for Chase Brock’s The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty -- one of 4 pieces being performed at PS21 this week.

  A Republican hasn’t carried New York in three decades.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th district, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock why he doesn’t think that’ll change anytime soon.

  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: Suicide Squad, Anthropoid 

Upcoming:

• The Hudson: River at Risk, plus Q&A w/director Jon Bowermaster - Madison Theater, Albany, 8/18 Thursday, 7 PM

• The Big Takeover - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/19 Friday

• Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Nore Davis - Underground at Proctors, 8/20 Saturday

• Dawes, Basia Bulat - The Egg, Albany, 8/20 Saturday

• Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. (and cartoons, including Felix the Cat) with live music by the BQE Project - MASS MoCA, 8/20, Saturday, 8 PM

• Borromeo String Quartet (Haydn, Beethoven & Russell Platt’s Mountain Interval, a world premiere)

• Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, 8/21 Sunday, 4 PM

• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs

    “Classical Legacy,” Mozart, Schumann & Mendelssohn, 8/21 Sunday, 3 PM

    “Russian Fireworks,” Gliere, Moszkowski, Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky, 8/23 Tuesday 8 PM

• Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul, Tribe Society - SPAC, Saratoga Springs. 8/21 Sunday

• Celtic Thunder - Palace Theatre, Albany, 8/23 Tuesday

 New Movies: Ben Hur, Hell or High WaterKubo and the Two StringsOur Little Sister

  A feminist, an outspoken activist, a woman without a college education, Midge Costanza was one of the unlikeliest of White House insiders. Yet in 1977 she became the first female Assistant to the President for Public Liaison under Jimmy Carter, emerging as a prominent focal point of the American culture wars. Tasked with bringing the views of special interest groups to the president, Costanza championed progressive causes even as Americans grew increasingly divided on the very issues for which she fought. 

In A Feminist in the White House, Doreen Mattingly draws on Costanza's personal papers to shed light on the life of this fascinating and controversial woman.

8/18/16 Panel

Aug 18, 2016

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

  This Saturday, August 20th, Big Slide Brewery and Public House on Cascade Road in Lake Placid, New York will hold its grand opening party from noon to 8 p.m.

The event will include live music, locally sourced food, a mechanical bull, games and activities for kids and families, and, of course, great beer -- including a new Russian Imperial Stout, named "To Russia, with love" which has been aging in a decommissioned Atlas Missile silo for the last eight months.

The new establishment is a sister-brewery to the The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery which has been brewing excellent beer in the Adirondacks since 1996.

Our guest is Stu Ruttan, the General Manager of Big Slide Brewery and Public House.

  Many childhood summers, Mark Woods piled into a station wagon with his parents and two sisters and headed to America's national parks. Mark’s most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks.

On the eve of turning fifty and a little burned-out, Mark decided to reconnect with the great outdoors. He'd spend a year visiting the national parks. He planned to take his mother to a park she'd not yet visited and to re-create his childhood trips with his wife and their iPad-generation daughter.

But then the unthinkable happened: his mother was diagnosed with cancer, given just months to live. Mark had initially intended to write a book about the future of the national parks, but Lassoing the Sun grew into something more: a book about family, the parks, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.

  Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and National Humanities Medalist Krista Tippett has interviewed the most extraordinary voices examining the great questions of meaning for our time. The heart of her work on her national public radio program and podcast, On Being, has been to shine a light on people whose insights kindle in us a sense of wonder and courage. 
 
In Becoming Wise, Tippett distills the insights she has gleaned from this luminous conversation in its many dimensions into a coherent narrative journey, over time and from mind to mind.

Renée Fleming
Decca/Andrew Eccles

  This Thursday at 8pm the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will take the stage at SPAC and be joined - for her first time at that venue - by opera star, Renée Fleming.

Ms. Fleming joins us to discuss that concert, travel, language, and her role as Kennedy Center Artistic Partner.

8/17/16 Panel

Aug 17, 2016

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

Maverick Concerts

Aug 16, 2016

Maverick Concerts, America’s oldest continuous summer chamber music festival and winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, thrives on the love of great music and the spirit of its unique site in the unspoiled woods. The rustic 1916 concert hall is ideally suited to chamber music and the intimacy of live performance.

This is Maverick’s 101st season and we will hear about the remainder of their season including this weekend’s Chamber Orchestra Concert featuring the Maverick Concert Players. We welcome Maverick Concerts Music Director and Conductor, Alexander Platt.

The Flying Deer Nature Center in New Lebanon, NY is a non-profit wilderness school and community dedicated to mentoring children, youth, adults, and families in deep connection to nature, self, and others.

In September they are starting a program entitled: Awakening Wild: Nature Immersion for Adults. Awakening Wild will meet one weekend a month, September to May, and will offer an ongoing experience of fun, exciting nature immersion to awaken senses, bolster sense of comfort and confidence in the woods, and strengthen connection with the natural world.

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning to discuss augmented and virtual reality. What are they and what is the difference? We will get into that in just a moment.

Jesse Feiler helps people and organizations get to know and use new technologies. Projects have included building the page caching module for the Prodigy Web Browser for Mac in the very early days of the Web, location-based apps for iPhone and iOS, as well as books and classes on new technologies. Forthcoming books include “iPad For Seniors for Dummies" (9th edition) and “Learn Apple HomeKit on the Mac and iOS.”

Current projects involve using apps and FileMaker databases for identifying and managing risk in nonprofit organizations as well as helping small communities build location-based apps to promote tourism, downtown economic development, and the wise use of natural resources.

Margaux Bergen began writing her new book when her daughter Charlotte turned nine and she gave it to her right after graduation from high school, when she was setting off for her first day of college.

In Navigating Life: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, Bergen shares her own lessons learned in hopes that her trials and errors might benefit her daughter as she set off for college and prepares to navigate life for the first time on her own.

Margaux Bergen has spent the last twenty years raising three children and working all over the world at large and small institutions focused on international development and women’s leadership.

  Former two-term Hudson Valley Congressman John Hall has been out of office since losing the 2010 election, but he’s stayed busy.

Today, Hall speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock in their first Congressional Corner segment in six years.

This is a segment from an hour-long interview about Hall’s new memoir (Still The One: A Rock'n'Roll Journey to Congress and Back) which airs Thursday 8/18 at 1 p.m.

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

List:
Mr. Eternity by Aaron Thier
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett
Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams
Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr
Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrick

8/16/16 Panel

Aug 16, 2016

 

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

Paper By Mark Kurlansky

Aug 15, 2016

  Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art; it has formed the foundation of civilizations, promoting revolutions and restoring stability.

Now, amid discussion of “going paperless”―and as speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society grows rampant― we’ve come to a world-historic juncture. By tracing paper’s evolution from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the contributions made in Asia and the Middle East, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology’s influence, affirming that paper is here to stay.

  He was a 19-year-old sailor ashore in Japan. She was a 31-year-old Japanese woman. This is the beginning to the memoir, Please Enjoy Your Happiness - the story of Paul Brinkley-Rogers, former sailor and Pulitzer-winning journalist.

The author talks of 1959 and the lingering impact of the woman he left behind a lifetime ago.

For many years Paul Brinkley-Rogers worked in Asia as a staff member of Newsweek, covering the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, the death of Chairman Mao, and Japan's economic miracle. He also reported from Latin America for The Miami Herald, sharing the Pulitzer Prize with a reporting team in 2001 for coverage of the Elian Gonzalez custody battle.

  The Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year and newly appointed Music Director of The Metropolitan Opera, returns to SPAC for the final week of the orchestra's summer residency. 

He joins us to talk about this week's concerts in Saratoga.

**Correction - in the audio introduction of this interview it is said that Andre Watts will perform - sadly he has had to cancel. The opening concert will feature Czech pianist Lukas Vondracek.

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