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.

  Ariel Leve is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Guardian, Financial Times Magazine, the Telegraph, the Observer, and the London Sunday Times Magazine, where she was a senior writer and a columnist.

Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as “a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.” Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother’s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsyturvy world of conditional love?

She writes about her life and her mother in he memoir, An Abbreviated Life.

  Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Grant and Madame JuleMrs. Lincoln's DressmakerThe SpymistressMrs. Lincoln's Rival, and the Elm Creek Quilts series.

Her new novel, Fates and Traitors, is about John Wilkes Booth, the mercurial son of an acclaimed British stage actor and Covent Garden flower girl, committed one of the most notorious acts in American history—the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

  Nora Ephron was a phenomenal personality, journalist, essayist, novelist, playwright, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and movie director (Sleepless in SeattleYou’ve Got MailWhen Harry Met SallyHeartburnJulie & Julia). She wrote a slew of bestsellers (I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman; I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections; Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media; Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women). She was celebrated by Hollywood, embraced by literary New York, and adored by legions of fans throughout the world.

Award-winning journalist Richard Cohen, writes about about his friend in his “third-person memoir,” She Made Me Laugh.

  Does the Capital Region want new representation in Washington?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Joe Vitollo — a Republican running for New York’s 20th Congressional district — continues his talk with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

Downfall By J. A. Jance

Sep 14, 2016

  J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and five interrelated thrillers about the Walker Family as well as a volume of poetry.

Her latest, Downfall, is the latest installment in the Sheriff Joanna Brady series and Joanna has a lot on her plate. Pregnant and gearing up for a reelection bid, She is managing multiple cases plus trying to be a wife and a mother to her college bound daughter and rambunctious five-year-old son.

But when a personal tragedy forces her to the sidelines, she’s torn between the duty to her family and to the people she’s sworn to serve and protect. 

  With eleven No. 1 country singles since 1981, Rosanne Cash is a veritable country music icon. She comes to FreshGrass at MASS MoCA this weekend – on Sunday afternoon - joined by her husband John Leventhal, with whom she co-wrote her GRAMMY award-winning album The River & The Thread.

The record is a self-described “mini-travelogue of the South, and of the soul,” based on a series of road trips the two took together. It travels through centuries of American history and weaves together tidbits of family lore into an “exquisitely profound” whole.

9/14/16 Panel

Sep 14, 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.

  Andy Lazris, MD, is a practicing primary care physician who experiences the effects of Medicare policy on a daily basis. As a result, he believes that the way we care for our elderly has taken a wrong turn and that Medicare is complicit in creating the very problems it seeks to solve. Aging is not a disease to be cured; it is a life stage to be lived

His new book is Curing Medicare: A Doctor's View on How Our Health Care System Is Failing Older Americans and How We Can Fix It.

  The EOD—explosive ordnance disposal—community is tight-knit, and when one of their own is hurt, an alarm goes out. When Brian Castner, an Iraq War vet, learns that his friend and EOD brother Matt has been killed by an IED in Afghanistan, he goes to console Matt's widow, but he also begins a personal investigation. Is the bomb maker who killed Matt the same man American forces have been hunting since Iraq, known as the Engineer?

In this All the Ways We Kill and Die: An Elegy for a Fallen Comrade, and the Hunt for His Killer, Castner takes us inside the manhunt for this elusive figure, meeting maimed survivors, interviewing the forensics teams who gather post-blast evidence, the wonks who collect intelligence, the drone pilots and contractors tasked to kill. His investigation reveals how warfare has changed since Iraq, becoming individualized even as it has become hi-tech, with our drones, bomb disposal robots, and CSI-like techniques.

  One local candidate is counting on an anti-incumbency vote this November.

In today’s Congressional Corner, GOP candidate Joe Vitollo tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock why he’s running for New York’s 20th House district seat.

  While cheats and swindlers may be a dime a dozen, true conmen—the Bernie Madoffs, the Jim Bakkers, the Lance Armstrongs—are elegant, outsized personalities, artists of persuasion and exploiters of trust.

How do they do it? Why are they successful? And what keeps us falling for it, over and over again? These are the questions that journalist and psychologist Maria Konnikova tackles in her mesmerizing new book, The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time.

   This week's Book Picks come from Connie Brooks and Kate Reid of Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY.

List:
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Little Nothing by Marisa Silver
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
The Poet’s Dog by Patricia Maclachlan
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

9/13/16 Panel

Sep 13, 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.

  Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado is the current exhibition at The Clark in Williamstown, MA.

The exhibition features twenty-eight Old Master paintings from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid by Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, and many others. The exhibition explores the role of the nude in European painting in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the collecting and display practices of the Spanish royalty.

We are taken on a tour of the exhibition by The Clark's Kathleen Morris, Sylvia and Leonard Marx Director of Collections and Exhibitions and curator of decorative arts; and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, interim curator of paintings and sculpture.

  The 4th Annual Beacon Independent Film Festival gets underway later this week - September 16th - 18th where they will screen features, shorts, documentaries and more.

Panel discussions, food vendors, green space, interactive activities for kids and adults make it an event for the whole family.

Terry Nelson is the Executive Director of the festival and we welcome him to The Roundtable this morning.

  It’s crunch time in presidential politics.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from the fifth district, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock it’s too early to count any chickens.

Carl Hiaasen On Trump

Sep 12, 2016

  Carl Hiaasen is one of America's finest satirical novelists. His newspaper column is another side of the same talent, examining with a corrosive writer's eye the outrageous carnival of Florida and our world.

His weekly Miami Herald columns are written with the same dark humor and satirical edge as his novels Tourist Season, Strip Tease, Stormy Weather and the rest of Hiaasen's acclaimed fiction. Each week he proves that facts can indeed be stranger than the fiction they inspire.

Hiaasen has a new bestselling novel out, entitled Razor Girl. He will be our guest on this week’s Book Show.

Since its inception in 1985, Hiaasen's "baseball-bat-to-the-forehead" column has become enormously popular for its passionate conviction and willingness to confront powerful interests in pursuit of the public good.

  Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales shares his account of grappling with the critical decisions that helped navigate the Bush Administration through national crisis, politics, and war in his new book: True Faith and Allegiance, A Story of Service and Sacrifice in War and Peace.

Gonzales is the former Attorney General of the United States and former Counsel to the President and is the only lawyer and only Hispanic to hold both these positions.

9/12/16 Panel

Sep 12, 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.

  Abstract Expressionism was the defining movement in American art during the years following World War II, making New York City the center of the international art scene. But, what did it mean? The drips, the spills, the splashes, the blotches of color, the wild spontaneous energy--signifying what?

Richard Klin’s new book Abstract Expressionism For Beginners will not only help you understand, but also appreciate the art of some of the most iconic figures in modern art--Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and others.

Explore their lives and artistic roots, the heady world of Greenwich Village in the 1940s and 1950s, the influence of jazz, the voices of critics, and the enduring legacy of a uniquely inspired group of artists. Richard Klin is a freelance writer and editor and the author of Something to Say: Thoughts on Art and Politics in America. He joins us along with the book's illustrator, Lilly Prince. 

  In June of 2012, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the creators of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, began airing twice-monthly podcasts, hoping to be heard by anyone outside their close circles.

By the anniversary show a year later, the fan base had exploded, vaulting the podcast into the #1 spot on iTunes. Since then, its popularity has grown by epic proportions, hitting more than 100 million downloads, expanding to a successful live international touring stage show, a New York Times bestselling novel, and a podcast network: Night Vale Presents.

Now, for the first time, the first two seasons of Welcome to Night Vale are available as books. Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor will talk about the books and the podcast in an event emceed by Meg Bashwiner at the Morton Memorial Library in Rhinecliff, NY presented by Oblong Books on Thursday, September 15th at 6 p.m.

  It’s one of the toughest public policy questions: how can we improve mental health services and outcomes?

That’s the topic of today’s Congressional Corner with Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from the fifth district, and WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Some of the most memorable moments in sports history aren’t highlights, but snapshots — photographs of a brief time that define a game or an athlete for generations. Indeed, during the recent Rio Olympics, it was a Getty composite of sprinter Usain Bolt that went viral — not a video of his race. Many of these photos—and other, lesser known examples—are gathered in the new book Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to Present, by photography expert Gail Buckland. The book is published by Knopf.

  Kinky Boots is the smash-hit musical that brought together four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein and Grammy Award winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper - who won a Tony Award-winner for Best Score in 2013. The show took home six 2013 Tony Awards, the most of any show in the season and now the National Touring Company is playing at Proctor’s in Schenectady through Sunday.

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price who is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. You know, Kinky Boots.

Tiffany Engen plays Lauren in the touring company and she joins us.

9/9/16 Panel

Sep 9, 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 author and activist Barbara Smith. 

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