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 would like to be on the show email us at roundtable@wamc.org

Send your comments or questions for The Roundtable Panel to panel@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.

2/2/17 Panel

Feb 2, 2017

     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 Times Union Columnist Chris Churchill.

Why is America living in an age of profound and widening economic inequality? Why have even modest attempts to address climate change been defeated again and again? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers?

In Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer illuminates the history of an elite cadre of plutocrats—headed by the Kochs, the Scaifes, the Olins, and the Bradleys—who have bankrolled a systematic plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.

The book is now available in paperback with a new preface that discusses the results of the most recent election and Donald Trump's victory, and how, despite much discussion to the contrary, this was a huge victory for the billionaires who have been pouring money in the American political system.

Love lurks behind many a musical inspiration, which has inspired the Musicians of Ma’alwyck to put together a program celebrating the music, movement, and poetry of that grand, elusive feeling. Love-music somber and love-music sweet are the heart of the Valentine’s Day concert “Suite of Love,” which weaves poetry and dance into a garland of musical selections written by Bach, Schumann, Mozart, and others.

Beth Fecteau is creating dance pieces for her company, Nacre, to both the words and music; the text, much of it inspired by the writings of the composers themselves, is being written by the eternally love stricken wordsmith Byron Nilsson; the words will be realized by actors from Creative License.

The concert will be performed on Saturday, February 11th at Cohoes Music Hall and on Sunday, February 12th at Schenectady County Community College. The concert combines music, poetry, and dance. Here now to tell us more are Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, Beth Fecteau, and Byron Nilsson.

The new president once called climate change a “Chinese hoax.”

In today’s Congressional Corner, WAMC’s Alan Chartock concludes his discussion with Connecticut representative Joe Courtney.

Chuck Collins grew up in the 1 percent as the great grandson of meatpacker Oscar Mayer, but at age 26 he gave away his inheritance.

He has been working to reduce inequality and strengthen communities since 1982. His new book is Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good.

2/1/17 Panel

Feb 1, 2017

   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.

Raquel D'Apice is a humor writer and founder of the popular blog The Ugly Volvo.

Welcome to the Club is a refreshing spin on the baby milestone book. Instead of a place to lovingly capture the first time baby sleeps through the night, this book shows what it's like the first time baby rolls off the bed/sofa/changing table, leaving mom or dad in a state of pure terror (it happens).

These 100 rarely documented but all-too-realistic milestones—such as "First Time Baby Says a Word You Didn't Want Her to Say"—provide comfort, solidarity, and comic relief for new parents.

Originally published in 1935 as a response to the rise of Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here has renewed relevance in the wake of Donald Trump’s campaign and election.

Physical sales for the Signet Classics mass-market edition of It Can’t Happen Here are up 1100% over last year’s sales, and eBook sales have jumped 750%.

Dr. Sally Parry, executive director of the Sinclair Lewis Society, joins us this morning to discuss this shockingly prescient novel that remains as fresh and contemporary as today’s news. 

As a third-year Harvard Medical School student doing a clinical rotation in surgery, Ronald Epstein watched an error unfold: an experienced surgeon failed to notice his patient’s kidney turning an ominous shade of blue.

In that same rotation, Epstein was awestruck by another surgeon’s ability to avert an impending disaster, slowing down from autopilot to intentionality. The difference between these two doctors left a lasting impression on Epstein and set the stage for his life’s work—to identify the qualities and habits that distinguish masterful doctors from those who are merely competent. The secret, he learned, was mindfulness.

In Attending, his first book, Dr. Epstein builds on his world-renowned, innovative programs in mindful practice and uses gripping and deeply human clinical stories to give patients a language to describe what they value most in health care and to outline a road map for doctors and other health care professionals to refocus their approach to medicine.

What is the nature of the Trump-Putin relationship?

In today’s Congressional Corner, WAMC’s Alan Chartock continues his discussion with Connecticut representative Joe Courtney.

This morning we will talk about Women Against War's Annual Gathering – coming up on February 8th in Loudonville, NY. Their featured speaker is author & activist Phyllis Bennis to discuss ISIS, Syria & the US in the Middle East. 

Bennis is the author of Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror: A Primer.  She is Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., a key resource for peace activists. 

She has served as an informal adviser to several top UN officials on the Middle East and UN democratization issues. In 2001 she helped found and remains active with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. She has recently joined the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace. 

1/31/17 Panel

Jan 31, 2017

 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, and author and activist, Barbara Smith.  

The Story Of Autism

Jan 30, 2017

Nearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism.

Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it.

John Donvan is a multiple Emmy Award-winning correspondent for ABC and the moderator of the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate series.

Caren Zucker is a Peabody award-winning television news producer, a twenty-five-year veteran of ABC News, and producer and co-writer of the six-part PBS series Autism Now.

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us to discuss the ins-and-outs of dealing with your new iPad.

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.

His new book is: iPad For Seniors for Dummies – which we discuss this morning.

The Trump era is officially under way.

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

Howard Frank Mosher
author's website

Howard Frank Mosher, award-winning author, often referred to as “The Voice of Vermont” died this weekend. A week after announcing he had cancer and was in hospice care, Mosher died Sunday morning at his home in Irasburg. He was 74.

His acclaimed fiction set in the world of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom chronicled intertwining family histories of natives, wanderers, outcasts, and fugitives.

A frequent guest on WAMC, Howard Frank Mosher made his last appearance with us on The Book Show in November 2016, discussing his career and most recent novel, God’s Kingdom.

We air part of that interview today, in memoriam. 

1/30/17 Panel

Jan 30, 2017

    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.

What would you do if your 80-year-old father dragged you into his search for new romance after 50 years of marriage? David, a resolute bachelor learns more about love than he bargained for and as his father's wingman and screener, sees some things he'd like to forget. It is the subject of the play Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating With My Dad, now at The Rep through February 19th.

Based on Bob Morris’s award winning memoir, it is a heartfelt and hilarious true tale of a year of dating dangerously. Here to tell us more – we welcome Director Gordon Greenberg and author Bob Morris.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begin a series of conversations about women who influenced composers.

Today Yehuda shares scandalous stories about the life of Alma Mahler.

Is love alone enough to raise a child or does someone need the means to give that child a better life? Lucky Boy is the story about two unforgettable women in Northern California: an undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian-American wife.  Both are bound together by their love for the same boy.

The novel weaves together the themes of motherhood, immigration, infertility, adoption and minority life in America.  It’s also a story about California and a larger portrait of what the state looks like now – who does the work and who has the power.

A native of author California, Shanthi Sekaran was inspired by her own upbringing as a child of immigrants, by the news stories she was hearing about undocumented mothers losing their children when they were put into detention centers, and by living in Berkeley, a place that for all of its progressiveness is also incredibly privileged.

Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists’ Colony and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. 

Abortion remains a critical fault line in American politics.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Republican John Faso tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock why he doesn’t support wholesale defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Some longtime residents think the calling Albany, Smalbany is a cheap shot. Others embrace it. Like our next guest.

With new and updated entries on everything from food, shopping, and the arts to people, history, and places to visit, The Smalbanac 2.0 is a wry, affectionate, and practical guide to New York State’s capital city and surrounding area.

Packed with information, the guide is perfect not only for visitors, new students, and those relocating to the area but also for long-term residents who want to get out of their comfort zones and explore the many hidden and some not-so-hidden treasures the area has to offer.

A local artist and writer, Christine Garretson-Persans has worked at The Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center since 2004. 

1/27/17 Panel

Jan 27, 2017

   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, Author and Activist Barbara Smith.

In September 1998, Claudia Rowe was a young reporter working as a stringer for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York when local police, confounded by two years of missing-women reports, discovered eight decayed bodies stashed in the home where Kendall Francois lived with his mother, father and teenage sister.

The corpses were found only after Kendall, a polite twenty-seven-year-old, confessed while being booked for something far more routine. He fit few traditional descriptions of a serial murderer, and many in Poughkeepsie struggled to comprehend how this “gentle giant” could be responsible for such brutality.

Reaching out after Kendall’s arrest, Rowe began an intense four-year conversation with the killer through letters, phone calls and face-to-face meetings. Rowe writes about this in her new book, The Spider And The Fly: A Reporter, A Serial Killer, And The Meaning Of Murder.

Claudia Rowe is a staff writer at The Seattle Times and has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. 

Best-selling author Ayelet Waldman’s new book, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life is her firsthand experience taking microdoses of LSD, the effect it had on her, and the ethical problems it presented.  To be clear: Ayelet did not drop a tab of acid; rather, she took a “microdose” (ten milligrams under her tongue) a few times each week for one month. 

What drove her to using LSD? It was perimenopause (and years of accompanying treatments with psychiatrists and psychologists, meditation, to little or no avail). When her mood storms became intolerable, she did what many of us do: she fell down an internet rabbit hole, eventually receiving a vial in her mailbox. Within a month, Ayelet joined the ranks of scientists and civilians successfully using LSD in therapeutic microdoses. 

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