The Roundtable

Felix Clay / http://www.theguardian.com/

  British mystery and crime writer Ruth Rendell - one of the most prolific authors in the genre, with more than 60 novels - has died at age 85 following a stroke in January.

Rendell was best known for creating Inspector Reginald Wexford, a character that was later translated for television, becoming a popular series on British and American TV. She brought a psychological depth to the class mystery that gave readers unusual access to the emotional makeup of seeming ordinary people capable of foul deeds.

In an unaired interview we did with her in November of 2014 for her most recent novel, The Girl Next Door, we spoke about how she thought she'd grown as a writer over the course of her career.

  Historian Jonathan Schneer joins us to talk about his new book on Winston Churchill and the politics of the Second World War, Ministers at War.

Schneer says while Churchill’s most notable contribution was to rally his embattled country behind the war effort, he highlights yet another major achievement: the putting together and managing of the domestic coalition that allowed Britain to mobilize all of its resources for war.

The team he put together was extremely talented, but they were also ambitious, self-confident, and opinionated.

  Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young photographer when September 11 changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she got the call to return and cover the American invasion.

Addario finds a way to travel with a purpose. She photographs the Afghan people before and after the Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.

She writes about her experiences in her memoir, It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War.

5/4/15 Panel

8 hours ago

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

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Editor of The Daily Gazette, Judy Patrick, and Associate Editor of The Times Union, Mike Spain.

Scheduled topics include: Skelos Arrests, Ben Carson on President Obama, David Goldberg death, Baltimore Curfew.

  Stanford psychiatrist Dr. Irvin Yalom has practiced in the area of group psychotherapy for over 50 years, and often writes about his personal experiences with his patients.

In his new book Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy, he deals with questions of mortality, from his work with terminally ill patients to his own fear of dying.

He joins us to talk about his career as a psychotherapist and what he's learned from his patients in the process. 

  When Emma Sky volunteered to help rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, she had little idea what she was getting in to. Her assignment was only supposed to last three months. She went on to serve there longer than any other senior military or diplomatic figure, giving her an unrivaled perspective of the entire conflict.

  We’re often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the idea of “Christian America” is an invention—and a relatively recent one at that.

As Kruse argues, the belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when businessmen enlisted religious activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal. Corporations from General Motors to Hilton Hotels bankrolled conservative clergymen, encouraging them to attack the New Deal as a program of “pagan statism” that perverted the central principle of Christianity: the sanctity and salvation of the individual. Their campaign for “freedom under God” culminated in the election of their close ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.

  Some Congressional Democrats are at odds with the White House over the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that he opposes the deal.

Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we are talking with John Sisko, Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Fellow in the Humanities and Social Sciences at The College of New Jersey, who has been co-directing a yearlong program exploring the topic of economic justice. The program is entitled Exploring Economic Justice: New Jersey, the Nation, and the World.

Dr. Sisko's project has been supported by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, which has allowed a number of political scientists, economists, philosophers, historians, and other humanities scholars, as well as local communities, to weigh in on the topic, leading to conversations, not only about our society's basic values, but also about the ways in which our norms and policies for determining the distribution of economic resources may impact and shape the long-term welfare of our society.

Pages