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 9 a.m. 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, Lin-Manuel Miranda 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.

What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States -- as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and -- most crucially -- enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks. 

Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeen living chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity in his book, The Gatekeepers.

Veteran New York City songwriter Garland Jeffreys has done it all. His discography stretches back to the 1960s, when he met Lou Reed before The Velvet Underground and played at countless Manhattan nightclubs.

He's been called an edgy urban poet, the sound of New York, a confessional singer-songwriter and an explorer of the links between rock, race and rebellion. His Atlantic Records version of "Wild in the Streets" has become an anthem for skaters, and he's been featured in Martin Scorsese's documentary on blues music.

He has just released his latest album, 14 Steps To Harlem, his third in six years. He will be at The Linda - WAMC's Performing Arts Studio in Albany, NY on Saturday night.

It’s a volatile time in Europe.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal wraps up his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

  Nineteenth-century New York City was one of the most magnificent cities in the world, but also one of the most deadly. Without any real law enforcement for almost 200 years, the city was a lawless place where the crime rate was triple what it is today and the murder rate was five or six times as high. The staggering amount of crime threatened to topple a city that was experiencing meteoric growth and striving to become one of the most spectacular in America.

In Law & Disorder: The Chaotic Birth of the NYPD, award-winning historian Bruce Chadwick examines how rampant violence led to the founding of the first professional police force in New York City. 

5/1/17 Panel

May 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 political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post. 

Emily Padgett at opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Emilio Madrid-Kuser / broadway.com

A new musical stage adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, opened on Broadway last Sunday.

Directed by three-time Tony Award-winner Jack O’Brien, the new musical features beloved songs from the 1971 film version, including “Pure Imagination” and “The Candy Man,” alongside a brand new score from the songwriters of Hairspray, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, a book from David Greig and choreography by Joshua Bergasse. The magic of Mr. Wonka’s factory is created through Mark Thompson’s sets and costumes, lighting by Japhy Weideman, projections by Jeff Sugg, and puppets by Basil Twist.

The cast features Christian Borle and Willy Wonkoa, the titular Charlie Bucket is played by three young actors, and his mother, Mrs. Bucket, is played by Emily Padgett.

Emily’s previous Broadway credits include Legally Blonde, Rock of Ages, the revival of Side Show, and Bright Star.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers - concluding their conversation about Augusta Holmes.

In Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980, New York Times bestselling biographer Craig Shirley charts Ronald Reagan’s astonishing rise from the ashes of his lost 1976 presidential bid to overwhelming victory in 1980. American conservatism—and the nation itself—would never be the same.

Will the government shut down Friday night?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

As Americans take to the streets in record numbers to resist the presidency of Donald Trump, L.A. Kauffman’s timely, trenchant history of protest offers unique insights into how past movements have won victories in times of crisis and backlash and how they can be most effective today.
 
Direct Action is a deeply researched account, twenty-five years in the making, traces the evolution of disruptive protest since the Sixties to tell a larger story about the reshaping of the American left. Kauffman, a longtime grassroots organizer, examines how movements from ACT UP to Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter have used disruptive tactics to catalyze change despite long odds.

4/28/17 Panel

Apr 28, 2017

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, author and activist Barbara Smith, and Director of the Journalism Department at the University at Albany, Rosemary Armao.

  Jonathan Coulton is a singer-songwriter, fan-cruise operator, public radio one-man-house-band, and internet personality -- if in fact that is still a thing. In 2005 the Yale educated computer programmer, pledged to release one song per week for a year to prove to himself that he could produce creative output to a deadline and to see whether a professional artist could use the Internet and Creative Commons to support himself. A hair more than a decade -- and a good many musical adventures -- later, Coulton is releasing a new full-length album, Solid State, tomorrow on SuperEgo records.

SuperEgo records is Aimee Mann’s label, and Jonathan Coulton is opening for her on tour - in support of the Solid State release and that of her new album, Mental Illness.  When the tour was at The Egg in Albany, NY earlier this week, Coulton came by the studio to talk about the concept album, its companion graphic novel (written by Matt Fraction and drawn by Albert Monteys), NPR’s Ask Me Another, and The Spongebob Musical.

Since the early 1800's, Washington County has been a welcoming home for wool and other fiber production.

The 25th annual Washington County Fiber Tour will take place on April 29th and 30th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the tour, you can learn about a cottage industry that has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years as people re-invest in their local community.  This self-guided tour of eleven farms and a fiber mill is free and open to the public.

Here to tell us more are: Mary Jean Packer, owner of Battenkill Fibers Carding and Spinning Mill; Norma Johnson of Crazy Legs Farm; and Sister Mary Elizabeth of St. Mary's on-the-Hill Cashmere.  

An unpopular Republican president has House Democrats looking forward to 2018.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal continues his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

4/27/17 Panel

Apr 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, and special guest Tom Vilsack, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Obama.

For the final portion of The Panel, Director of Albany Law’s Government Law Center, Andrew Ayers joins us to talk about the four distinguished graduates will be honored at the 2017 Alumni in Government Awards.

Over the course of his distinguished career, Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions -- including Union College in Schenectady.

Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American.

The book is entitled The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For

John Cariani is an actor and a playwright. He has appeared on and Off Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and in several films and television shows.

He’s been nominated for a Tony Award. He’s done movies with Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Ed Asner. Most people seem to know him from Law & Order, where he played Forensics Tech Beck from 2002-2007.

He started writing plays when he moved to New York City in the late nineties. They include Almost Maine, Love/Sick and Last Gas. His second play, Cul-De-Sac is being produced by the Half Moon Theatre in Poughkeepsie beginning this Saturday through May 14th.                        

It is National Poetry Month and to celebrate, we welcome one of our favorites to the program this morning. Djelloul Marbrook will tell us about his latest collection: Riding Thermals to Winter Grounds.

Djelloul Marbrook was born in Algiers and grew up in New York. He served in the U.S. Navy and for many years was a newspaper reporter and editor. His awards include the Wick Poetry Prize and the International Book Award in Poetry. He hails from New York's mid-Hudson Valley. 

4/26/17 Panel

Apr 26, 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.

In a career spanning more than thirty years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive, figure whose career is often widely misunderstood.

In his new book – Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night - Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes reporting with unprecedented access and critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer’s titanic legacy.

Moving from his early days in Indiana to his retirement, Zinoman goes behind the scenes of Letterman’s television career to illuminate the origins of his revolutionary comedy, its overlooked influences, and how his work intersects with and reveals his famously eccentric personality.

Jason Zinoman writes the “On Comedy” column for the New York Times

  Today's Book Picks come from Matt Tannenbaum from The Bookstore in Lenox.

List:
Inspiring Courage by Barbara Bonner
This Fight is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren
Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley
Let Us Watch Richard Wilbur by Robert Bagg and Mary Bagg
For This We Left Egypt?: A Passover Haggadah for Jews and Those Who Love Them By Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel, and Adam Mansbach

In How May I Help You?: An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage, Deepak Singh chronicles his downward mobility as an immigrant to a small town in Virginia. Armed with an MBA from India, Singh can get only a minimum-wage job in an electronics store. Every day he confronts unfamiliar American mores, from strange idioms to deeply entrenched racism.


  Bandstand is a new musical at the Jacobs Theatre on Broadway tomorrow night.

Starring Laura Osnes and Corey Cott and directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbeuler, Bandstand features book, music, and lyrics by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by former Capital Region habitant and arts participant, Robert Taylor.

Set just after World War II, musician Donny Novitski -- a veteran recently returned home to Ohio -- has to figure out where he fits now that the fighting is done. When a national contest to find America’s next music sensation offers a chance at fame and Hollywood fortune, he assembles a swing-band of fellow veterans and a young war widow and throws everything he has at winning.

4/25/17 Panel

Apr 25, 2017

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, Director of the Journalism Department at the University at Albany, Rosemary Armao.

Listener Essay - Yearning

Apr 24, 2017

Debbie Slack enjoys hiking in CT, especially at Trail Wood, the home of Edwin and Nellie Teale, with her husband Bob and their two Labs. Besides exploring, Debbie loves when her four children and their families can spend time together. Presently Deb is on a mission searching for “the” literary agent to represent her novel, Henry Cooper and the Gutsy Girls. Deb believes there is value in everyone’s words and is leading the Writers’ Clinic in her home town of Tolland, CT. 

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