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.

We have probably all seen the movies, TV shows and books which tell the story about lawman Wyatt Earp. But, very few make mention of his wife. Married for nearly 50 years, Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp was beautiful, gusty and Jewish.

Thelma Adams has delved into the life and times of Mrs. Wyatt with her new novel, The Last Woman Standing. At once an epic account of an improbable romance and a retelling of an iconic American tale, The Last Woman Standing recalls the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral through the eyes of Josephine.

For over two decades, she has penned celebrity features and criticism for high-profile publications. While covering film for the New York Post, Us Weekly, and Yahoo Movies, Thelma Adams became a regular at film festivals from Berlin to Dubai, Toronto to Tribeca. Her debut novel was Playdate and it is always a pleasure to welcome Thelma back to The Roundtable.

  In the early seventeenth century, a crippled, graying, almost toothless veteran of Spain's wars against the Ottoman Empire published a book. It was the story of a poor nobleman, his brain addled from reading too many books of chivalry, who deludes himself that he is a knight errant and sets off on hilarious adventures. That book, Don Quixote, went on to sell more copies than any other book beside the Bible, making its author, Miguel de Cervantes, the single most-read author in human history. Cervantes did more than just publish a bestseller, though. He invented a way of writing.

In The Man Who Invented Fiction William Egginton explores Cervantes's life and the world he lived in, showing how his influences converged in his work, and how his work--especially Don Quixote--radically changed the nature of literature and created a new way of viewing the world.

  The opioid crisis has worried officials across the Northeast.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Paul Tonko — a Democrat from the 20th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about a recent forum he hosted in Albany. 

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

The goal of the all-volunteer Reading Is Fun Program (RIF) in Schenectady, NY is to keep helping Schenectady's needy 4-9 year olds in pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-3, to learn reading-readiness and conversational skills and vocabulary.  

We are joined by Founder and Executive Director Alvin Magid and Chief Operating Officer Mary Lou Russo.

Over the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages. Eventually Ehrenreich moved to Ramallah, and started writing what would become his new book: The Way To The Spring: Life and Death in Palestine.

Ehrenreich was moved by the injustices that he witnessed, and by the general silence about them in most U.S. media. As well informed as he was on the Arab-Israeli conflict, he nonetheless was consistently shocked by what he saw, and by how little the vast majority of people in the U.S. (and even in Israel, just few miles away) understood about the lived realities of the occupation. He felt strongly that he wanted to write to break through those silences.

In cities and small villages alike, men and women, young and old, shared their lives with Ehrenreich and made their own case for resistance and resilience in the face of life under occupation. The Way to the Spring makes clear that conditions on the ground are changing--and getting worse.

6/27/16 Panel

Jun 27, 2016

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

Brexit - Steven Leibo

Jun 24, 2016
Steven Leibo
Steven Leibo

  Dr. Steven A. Leibo, the Sherman David Spector Professor in the Humanities at the Sage Colleges in New York, specializes in Modern International History & Politics.

He joins us to discuss the Referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union – or Brexit. 

Brexit - Tina Packer

Jun 24, 2016

  One of our favorite Brits, Tina Packer - founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA -  joins us to share her thoughts and feelings on the Referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union.

  Matthew Amroliwala is the host of Global with Matthew Amroliwala on BBC World News each weekday.

As BBC/US partners, WAMC reached out to their pressroom and Matthew agreed to join us today to talk about the Referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union – or Brexit. 

  Tim Vercellotti, political science professor and director of the Western New England University Polling Institute, is in London for a university summer program.

He has had a front row seat for the so-called “Brexit” referendum campaign.

Brexit - Hugh Johnson

Jun 24, 2016

  Nearly every market move over the last two weeks has been attributed to the British referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain with or leave the European Union.

When a poll showed the British might want to leave? Stocks would go down. Then it looked like the U.K. would stay in the political and economic bloc and stocks would bounce up. Now that the U.K. has officially voted in favor of leaving, markets are going wild.

Investors around the world went into crisis mode as British voters chose to leave the European Union in a stunning decision with far-reaching implications. Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors in Albany, New York joins us live in Studio A to discuss the impact of the vote on the world and US economies.

6/24/16 Panel

Jun 24, 2016

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

Listener Essay - I Liked Ike

Jun 23, 2016

  This listener essay is by Steve Lewis. 

I Liked Ike

I liked Ike. He looked like a nice man on the red, white and blue button I saw on someone’s lapel at the Bohack’s. Somebody’s grandpa. He also looked kind of snappy saluting the troops in that tan Army uniform on the newsreels at the Roslyn Movie Theater.

My parents, Jewish immigrants from the boroughs, liked Stevenson, the tall bald guy famous for having a hole in the sole of his shoe. They said, with that adult shake of the head, that he was “very smart, very smart,” which I figured meant that Ike was probably not so sharp. So when my first grade teacher asked who we were voting for I made the brainy choice and raised my right hand for Adlai, my left hand pushing my right elbow up above Joan Nordlinger’s hand waving furiously next to mine. But I privately hoped the nice man with a kindly smile on the button would win.

Universal Collection: A Mark Dion Project
Chip Porter / Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College

  This Spring, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY has hosted Mark Dion as Vassar artist-in-residence.

Dion is a New York and Pennsylvania-based visual artist known for his “cabinets of curiosities” that incorporate found objects into site-specific installations.

He co-taught a course with anthropology professor Anne Pike-Tay, culminating in a work comprised of items drawn from the collections of the Art Center, Special Collections, and Vassar College Artifacts Project. This wealth of resources includes materials as diverse as nineteenth-century scientific instruments, Native American objects, examples of taxidermy, sculpture, geological specimens, and antique books.

Universal Collection: A Mark Dion Project will be on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY through December 11th.

  Vermont's Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is turning 80 and their summer 2016 season boasts a line-up that includes groundbreaking partnerships, collaborations with major stars, and the Vermont Premiere of one of Broadway's longest-running hits.

Producing Artistic Director, Steve Stettler, joins us now to tell us all about it.

  The Orlando nightclub shooting has inspired new debate over gun control.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Paul Tonko — a Democrat from the 20th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock it’s time for a new approach. 

  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: Finding Dory

Upcoming:
Michelle Shocked performs “Short Sharp Shocked”, plus Dryer - Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 6/23
Beware of a Holy Whore - Time + Space Limited, Hudson, Thursday-Friday, 6/23-24 (6:15 PM)
Troy Night Out - Downtown Troy, Friday 6/24, 5-9 PM
Miranda Lambert, plus Kip Moore, Brothers Osborn - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Friday 6/24
Chris Botti - Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., Friday 6/24
The Suitcase Junket - MASS MoCA, Saturday 6/25
Don Byron’s Junior Walker Tribute - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 6/25
Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Anthony DeVito - Underground at Proctors, Saturday 6/25
Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Saturday-Sunday, 6/25-26; Sat: Isley Brothers, Steps Ahead; Sun: Smokey Robinson, Chick Correa, Lizz Wright
A Very Intimate Evening with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo - The Egg, Albany, Monday 6/27

New Movies: Independence Day: Resurgence, Dheepan, Free State of Jones,The Neon Demon

  At the dawn of the nineteenth century, as Britain, France, Spain, and the United States all jockeyed for control of the vast expanses west of the Mississippi River, the stakes for American expansion were incalculably high. Even after the American purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Spain still coveted that land and was prepared to employ any means to retain it. With war expected at any moment, Jefferson played a game of strategy, putting on the ground the only Americans he could: a cadre of explorers who finally annexed it through courageous investigation. 

Julie M. Fenster is the author of many works of popular history, including The Case of Abraham Lincoln, Race of the Century, the award-winning Ether Day, and, with Douglas Brinkley, Parish Priest, which was a New York Times bestseller. She also co-wrote the PBS documentary First Freedom, about the founders and religious liberty. Her new book is Jefferson's America: The President, the Purchase, and the Explorers Who Transformed a Nation.

6/23/16 Panel

Jun 23, 2016

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

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 and since then they’ve been presenting world-class classical and contemporary theater with a focus on none other than The Bard of Avon in Lenox, MA.

The season includes three Shakespeare plays: The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Twelfth Night, plus Regional Premieres by three women playwrights: of Or, by Liz Duffy Adams; The Taming by Lauren Gunderson and Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino, a bracing drama fresh from an acclaimed Off-Broadway production.

Additional titles include Sotto Voce by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz, and the return of Stephan Wolfert in Cry "Havoc!", and a new adaption of Aphra Behn’s Emperor of the Moon by Jenna Ware.

Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy are serving as co-interim Artistic Directors at Shakespeare & Company. They join us along with Daniella Varon who is directing Ugly Lies the Bone

Tony Award-winning Fiorello! is a big-hearted look at Mayor La Guardia and his battle for the people of New York City. With music and lyrics by Tony Award-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and book by Tony Award and Drama Desk-Winner George Abbott and Jerome Weidman, the Berkshire Theatre Group production is directed by Playwrights Horizons founder, Bob Moss. Fiorello! is one of only nine musicals to have been awarded the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Fiorello! through July 23rd on their Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge.

Cast members Katie Birenboim and Austin Lombardi join us now. They play Marie and the title character, Fiorello, respectively. 

  A year ago, the notion of a Donald Trump White House was little more than a lark. Things have changed.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Paul Tonko — a Democrat from the 20th district — talks politics with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

  Herbert Clark Hoover was the thirty-first President of the United States. He served one term, from 1929 to 1933. Often considered placid, passive, unsympathetic, and even paralyzed by national events, Hoover faced an uphill battle in the face of the Great Depression.

Many historians dismiss him as merely ineffective. But in Herbert Hoover in the White House,Charles Rappleye draws on rare and intimate sources—memoirs and diaries and thousands of documents kept by members of his cabinet and close advisors—to reveal a very different figure than the one often portrayed. The real Hoover, argues Rappleye, just lacked the tools of leadership.

  New England in the late nineteenth century was home to a set of high-spirited and ambitious writers who were, for the first time, creating a distinctly American literature. From this close-knit literary society emerged Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who were known to be friends. In The Whale: A Love Story, novelist Mark Beauregard explores the boundaries of this friendship.

Through a nuanced reading of Melville’s real letters and other original sources, Beauregard offers the fictionalized story of two men who shared a deep, emotionally charged bond that may have transformed the writing—and meaning—of Moby-Dick. Scholars, academics, and essayists have written about Melville and Hawthorne’s relationship, trying to suss out what may have really happened between them.

6/22/16 Panel

Jun 22, 2016

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

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