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.

  History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s.

In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.

7/20/16 Panel

Jul 20, 2016

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

  In his new book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, Jonah Berger explores the subtle, secret influences that affect the decisions we make—from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat.

Without our realizing it, other people’s behavior has a huge influence on everything we do at every moment of our lives, from the mundane to the momentous occasion. Even strangers have a startling impact on our judgments and decisions: our attitudes toward a welfare policy shift if we’re told it is supported by Democrats versus Republicans (even though the policy is the same in both cases).

  To outsiders, Florida seems baffling. It's a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice, yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor. Florida is touted as a care-free paradise, yet it's also known for its perils - alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few. It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its man-made fantasies.

Craig Pittman's Oh, Florida! explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state. It is the first book to explore the reasons why Florida is so wild and weird - and why that's okay. Florida couldn't be Florida without that sense of the unpredictable, unexpected, and unusual lurking behind every palm tree.

 

This week's Book Picks come to us from Emily Crowe at The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA.

List:
Return by Aaron Becker
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Speak by Louisa Hall
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
Murder on the Quai by Cara Black
Girl in the Afternoon by Serena Burdick
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

  The Northeast has several competitive House districts, which is unusual.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that that fact makes him work even harder for his constituents. 

  Spencertown Academy Arts Center is presenting the new exhibit: “Mysterious and Unexpected: The Merger of Art and Science.” There will be an opening reception on Saturday, July 23rd from 4-6PM and the show will remain on display through August 14th.

Curator Barbara Lax Kranz says the exhibit displays the work of six artists who incorporate science to create their art. We will meet two of the featured artists this morning.

Often inspired by current issues in science, Carrie Crane’s recent work uses the tools of Knowledge Visualization (graphs, maps, and diagrams) to address issues of ambiguity and subjectivity in visual communication.

Karen Schoolman is an abstract painter, a student of botanical illustration, and a physician. A packet of 50-year-old x-rays of her mother’s leg inspired her current artwork.

  PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill along with NPR host Rachel Martin are anchoring the special coverage from the GOP National Convention in Cleveland each evening from 8-11 here on WAMC. 

PBS NewsHour Correspondent Lisa Desjarsins joins us from Cleveland to discuss the national political conventions and what the conventions say about the candidates seeking the presidency.

7/19/16 Panel

Jul 19, 2016

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

  We will be honest, we had two very successful mystery writers booked to be on this morning’s show. But, after what happened in Baton Rouge yesterday after what happened over the past 10 days, we became uncomfortable with the idea of talking about police and crime as entertainment. We will have both authors on in the days to come – but this morning – we wanted to talk with Dr. Frankie Bailey instead.

She is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany. She studies crime history, and crime and mass media/popular culture. She is also the author several mysteries including two police procedural novels featuring Albany police detective Hannah Stuart. 

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch
http://www.welch.house.gov/about-peter/

  Will we be talking about private email servers all the way to November?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch concludes his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

  Ever since Donald Trump entered the presidential race—in a press conference attended by paid actors, in which he slandered Mexican immigrants—he has dominated headlines, becoming the unrestrained id at the center of one of the most bizarre and alarming elections in American history.

It was not always so. In 1996, longtime New Yorker writer Mark Singer was conscripted by his editor to profile Donald Trump. At that time Trump was a mere Manhattan-centric megalomaniac, a failing casino operator mired in his second divorce and (he claimed) recovering from the bankruptcy proceedings that prompted him to inventory the contents of his Trump Tower home. 

In Trump and Me, Singer revisits the profile and recounts how its publication lodged inside its subject’s head as an enduring irritant—and how Singer (“A TOTAL LOSER!” according to Trump) cheerfully continued to bait him.

  In his new book, The End of White Christian America, Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, challenges us to grasp the profound political and cultural consequences of a new reality—that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation.

For most of our nation’s history, White Christian America (WCA)—the cultural and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians—set the tone for our national policy and shaped American ideals. But especially since the 1990s, WCA has steadily lost influence, following declines within both its mainline and evangelical branches. Today, America is no longer demographically or culturally a majority white Christian nation.

7/18/16 Panel

Jul 18, 2016

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

  It’s 1942 and the Nazis are racing to be the first to build a weapon unlike any known before. They have the physicists, they have the uranium, and now all their plans depend on amassing a single ingredient: heavy water, which is produced in Norway’s Vemork, the lone plant in all the world that makes this rare substance. Under threat of death, Vemork’s engineers push production into overdrive.
 
For the Allies, the plant must be destroyed. But how would they reach the castle fortress set on a precipitous gorge in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on Earth?
 
Based on a trove of top secret documents and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is an arresting chronicle of a brilliant scientist, a band of spies on skies, perilous survival in the wild, sacrifice for one’s country, Gestapo manhunts, soul-crushing setbacks, and a last-minute operation that would end any chance Hitler could obtain the atomic bomb—and alter the course of the war.

  After completing her MFA program in non-fiction, Hannah Tennant-Moore set off on a two-month sojourn to Sri Lanka to examine her longtime interest in Buddhism before beginning the next chapter of her professional career.

Immersed in the culture of the country and surrounded by the fascinating people that she got to know, she began to connect the threads that would form her new novel, Wreck and Order.  The result is a novel of ideas that looks at spirituality, sex, life, friendship, and the eternal quest for fulfillment in life and love that drives us all. 

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch
http://www.welch.house.gov/about-peter/

  Who will Hillary Clinton pick for the ticket?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock who his favorites are.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about the political impact of millennials and about a public lecture happening in August in Charlemont, MA, on the profound demographic transformation happening today, as characterized by the Millennial and Boomer generations.

We are joined today by Pam Porter, of The Charlemont Forum, and by Paul Taylor, who is the former Executive Vice President of the Pew Research Institute and the author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown Paul will be speaking at the Charlemont Forum in Charlemont, MA, on Wednesday, August 10th. 

  But What If We’re Wrong? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who'll perceive it as the distant past.

Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown (or—weirder still—widely known, but entirely disrespected)? Is it possible that we “overrate” democracy? And perhaps most disturbing, is it possible that we’ve reached the end of knowledge?

7/15/16 Panel

Jul 15, 2016

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


  In her one woman show, Forever, Pulitzer prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith travels to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where, by the graves of legendary artists such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison, she finds unexpected grace in a gripping tale of the legacy a daughter inherits from her mother.

Forever opens tonight on Weston Playhouse’s OtherStages in Weston Vermont, directed by Steve Stettler.

  Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, Eric Jay Dolin's book, Brilliant Beaconstraces the evolution of America's lighthouse system from its earliest days, highlighting the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation's hardscrabble coastlines.

Beginning with "Boston Light," America's first lighthouse, Dolin shows how the story of America, from colony to regional backwater, to fledging nation, and eventually to global industrial power, can be illustrated through its lighthouses.

  The Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award-winning rock, horror, musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors, is open for business at The Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, MA!

The Berskhire Theatre Group production is directed by Ethan Heard the celebrated, farcical production has music by Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Tony Award-winners Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman.

Stanley Bahorek plays Seymour Krelborn. He and Ethan Heard join us. 

  Trump and Clinton are getting most of the attention, but the entire House is up for grabs in November too.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock whether he thinks the Democrats can retake control.

  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: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Upcoming:

  Constance Shulman is best known as Yoga Jones on Orange is the New Black on Netflix and the voice of Patti Mayonnaise on the cartoon, Doug

She is currently performing at The Williamstown Theatre Festival as The Strega in Tennesse Williams' The Rose Tattoo, starring Marisa Tomei and directed by Trip Cullman. Shulman's daughter, Gus Birney, plays Rosa in the production. 

7/14/16 Panel

Jul 14, 2016

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

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