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.

  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. 

  Over the past decade a new and controversial energy extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has rocketed to the forefront of U.S. energy production. With fracking, millions of gallons of water, dangerous chemicals, and sand are injected under high pressure deep into the earth, fracturing hard rock to release oil and gas.

Wenonah Hauter, one of the nation’s leading public interest advocates, argues that the rush to fracking is dangerous to the environment and treacherous to human health. Frackopoly describes how the fracking industry began; the technologies that make it possible; and the destruction and poisoning of clean water sources and the release of harmful radiation from deep inside shale deposits, creating what the author calls “sacrifice zones” across the American landscape.

  The film Everybody Knows…Elizabeth Murray is an intimate portrait of the groundbreaking artist Elizabeth Murray. The film explores the relationship between Murray’s family life and career, and reconsiders her place in contemporary art history.

The film will be shown as part of the Reel Women in Film Series at The Linda in Albany on Saturday night at 8PM.

The film is directed and produced by Kristi Zea who will be speaking after the film is shown Saturday. Zea has been in the contemporary film scene for three decades. She has been acclaimed for her work as a production designer, costume designer and producer of major feature films and we welcome her to The Roundtable.

  At the site of one of America’s worst days, new hope is springing.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from the fifth district, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about the new Sandy Hook Elementary School.

  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: Bad Moms

Upcoming:

  • Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders - Opalka Gallery, Albany, opening reception 9/8 Thursday, 6-8 PM; artist lecture 5 PM; through 10/9
  • Josephine Baker in Zou-Zou - Madison Theater, Albany, 9/8 Thursday, 8 PM
  • Heart, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Cheap Trick - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, 9/8 Thursday, 6:30 PM
  • Justin Townes Earle, Anthony D’Amato - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 9/9 Friday, 9 PM
  • Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Liz Miele - Underground at Proctors, Schenectady, 9/10 Saturday, 8 PM
  • Blackberry Smoke, Stolen Rhodes - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, 9/10 Saturday, 8 PM
  • Kinky Boots - Proctors, Schenectady, 9/10-11 Saturday (2 & 8 PM) - Sunday (1:30 & 6 PM)
  • Of Montreal, Ruby the Rabbit Foot - Pearl Street Nightclub, Northampton, Mass., 9/12 Monday, 8 PM
  • Rob Zombie, with guest DJ Ginger Fish - Palace Theatre, Albany, 9/14 Wednesday, 8 PM
  • Donovan: Sunshine Superman 50th Anniversary - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, 9/14 Wednesday, 7:30 PM

New movies: Sully, Complete Unknown, When the Bough Breaks, The Wild Life

FDR's Right-Hand Woman

Sep 8, 2016

  The FDR Presidential Library will host an author talk and book signing at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2016 with Kathryn Smith author of The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency.

Widely considered the first female presidential chief of staff, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand was the right-hand woman to Franklin Delano Roosevelt—both personally and professionally—for more than twenty years. Although her official title as personal secretary was relatively humble, her power and influence were unparalleled. Everyone in the White House knew one truth: If you wanted access to Franklin, you had to get through Missy. She was one of his most trusted advisors, affording her a unique perspective on the president that no one else could claim, and she was deeply admired and respected by Eleanor and the Roosevelt children.

9/8/16 Panel

Sep 8, 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.

  Called “thoroughly informative and approachable” by The New York Times, Vernon Benjamin’s The History of the Hudson River Valley: From Wilderness to the Civil War presented nearly 250 years of the Hudson River Valley’s dynamic past with unmatched richness and detail.

Now with The History of the Hudson River Valley: from the Civil War to Modern Times, Benjamin completes his historical account of the region by taking readers from the post-Civil War period into the present day.  

  We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process—especially in election season. It's raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies. In A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age, New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports revealing the ways lying weasels can use them.

It's becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from reliable information?

  He’s not a Democrat. He’s not a Republican. So what does Martin Babinec, who’s running for New York’s 22nd House district seat, believe?

That’s the subject of today’s Congressional Corner with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

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