The Roundtable

Weekdays, 9 a.m.

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, listener call-ins, 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.

  Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers?

The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against “big government” led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But Jane Mayer shows in her book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.

  In W. B. Belcher's debut novel, Lay Down You’re Weary Tune, a ghostwriter of the memoirs of a reclusive folk music icon attempts to glean fact from fiction, only to discover the deeper he digs into the musician’s past, the more his own past rises to the surface

Despite his fame, Eli Page is a riddle wrapped in a myth, inside decades of mask-making. His past is so shrouded in gossip and half-truths that no one knows who he is behind the act. Jack Wyeth, a budding writer, joins Eli in Galesville, a small town on the border of New York and Vermont, only to learn that the musician’s mind is failing.

As he scrambles to uncover the truth, Jack is forced to confront his own past, his own hang-ups, and his own fears. At the same time, he falls for a local artist who has secrets of her own, he becomes linked to a town controversy, and he struggles to let go of his childhood idols and bridge the divide between myth and reality.

  Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation is stocked with Democrats. So why is the governor a Republican?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti, director of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, and WAMC’s Alan Chartock try to figure it out. 

For more than 2,000 years, the death of Julius Caesar has fascinated us. Most of us only know only what we learned from the high school staple, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: a story of amateur politicians who banded together, however clumsily, to assassinate a tyrant. Since then, countless movies and series have referenced the historical event, but what actually happened on March 15, 44 B.C. is more gripping than any fictional account.

In the new book The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination, Barry Strauss presents a historic account of the real death of Julius Caesar, and an examination of the key players' motives. 

  The year was 1922: World War I had just come to a close, the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and Asa Jennings, a YMCA worker from upstate New York, had just arrived in the quiet coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. Several hundred miles to the east in Turkey’s interior, tensions between Greeks and Turks had boiled over into deadly violence.

Turkish soldiers proceeded to burn the city and rape and kill countless Christian refugees. Unwilling to leave with the other American civilians and determined to get Armenians and Greeks out of the doomed city, Jennings worked tirelessly to feed and transport the thousands of people gathered at the city’s Quay. With the help of naval officer Halsey Powell, and a handful of others, Jennings commandeered a fleet of unoccupied Greek ships and was able to evacuate a quarter million innocent people.

1/26/16 Panel

Jan 26, 2016

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

Art Photograph - The Barn by Gregory Crewdson
Gregory Crewdson

  Photographer Gregory Crewdson’s career has spanned three decades. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and is included in many public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Crewdson’s newest body of work entitled, Cathedral of the Pines, will premiere at Gagosian Gallery in New York City this Thursday - January 28th.

Comprised of 31 digital pigment prints, this series was made during three productions in and around the rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. 

  In his new book - Unfit for Democracy – WAMC Commentator and Albany Law Professor Stephen Gottlieb takes a critical look at the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts, asserting that the interpretation of constitutional law should be applied with a focus on preserving the system of government put in place by our founding fathers.

He joins us this morning to discuss Unfit for Democracy and preview his hour-long conversation tomorrow at Albany Law School with Alan Chartock beginning at 1PM at the Law School’s Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom. That sit-down will be aired at a later date here on WAMC and will take place in front of a live audience and is open to the public.

Prof. Gottlieb, Albany Law School's Jay and Ruth Caplan Distinguished Professor of Law, is the author of Morality Imposed: The Rehnquist Court and the State of Liberty in America he is also an expert on the Supreme Court, constitutional theory and election campaign law.

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