Sunday, August 14, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Our guest host this week is Piya Chattopadhyay.
Syria - Haitham Maleh stands up for what he believes in. And saying what he thinks. He's been doing it for six decades. For years, it cost him his freedom, and nearly his life.
Haitham Maleh is one of Syria's most prominent and outspoken human rights activists. He's repeatedly denounced the reign of his country's ruling regime.
After being freed from prison earlier this year, he spoke out again, was forced into hiding and just a few weeks ago escaped from Syria. A conversation with Haitham Maleh and his son Iyas in our First Hour.
Read more about hour one here
Nazi Ambassador - If you've been to Berlin, you most likely visited the Tiergarten, the leafy area in the city's centre that encompasses the German Parliament and Brandenburg Gate. The U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1933 to 37 lived in the neighbourhood ... and his diaries have provided fodder for a new non-fiction book aptly titled, In the Garden of Beasts.
A fascinating account of the rise of Hitler, the attitudes of the day, and why the world failed to act sooner against him. Piya speaks with author Erik Larson in our Second Hour.
Read more about hour two here
Measha Brueggergosman - Her clarion voice as been heralded as among the best in her business. Her talents -- one critic wrote -- are as outsized as her name. Measha Brueggergosman has battled her way to the top of the opera world. And off-stage she's battled a near fatal heart condition. Lend your ear to Measha Brueggergosman in conversation with Michael Enright in Hour Three.
Read more about hour three here
Elsewhere in the program: A cultural history of debt and an encore interview with author Joyce Carol Oates.
Death over indignity.
It's a chant that has echoed through the streets of Syria since March, when protests against Bashar al-Assad's ruling government began. There has been a lot of death since then... the regime's crackdown on the uprising has killed upwards of two thousand people, and shows no sign of easing. And yet, neither does the uprising.
Haithem al-Maleh has been speaking out against the al-Assad regime for nearly sixty years. One of his country's most celebrated human rights lawyers, he has received countless awards abroad for his activism. At home, that same activism has landed him in prison twice. In the 1980s, he spent six years behind bars for criticizing the government. He was arrested again in 2009, at the age of 78.
While Mr. al-Maleh was in prison this last time, his exiled son Iyas campaigned tirelessly on his father's behalf. The elder al-Maleh was finally released from prison in March, just days before the uprising began. He immediately renewed his calls for government reform. In April, Haitam al-Maleh was forced into hiding, where he remained until a few weeks ago when he was able to flee the country and reunite with his son.
Haithem and Iyas al-Maleh were in a studio in The Hague in the Netherlands.
Fawaz Gerges is a professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics. Professor Gerges just returned from a visit to Syria last week and joined Piya from our studio in London.
Disc - Will You Love Me Tomorrow?
That was Amy Winehouse's unique interpretation of the Carole King classic "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"
It's a favourite parlour game of armchair historians. What if Napoleon's armies had conquered Russia and taken over all of Europe? What if you knew in advance that JFK or Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi was about to be assassinated? What if you were the American Ambassador to Nazi Germany when Adolf Hitler took power, before the breakout of World War Two? What would you do?
For author Erik Larson, the last question isn't so much a "What if" as a "what happened." Mr. Larson is a former jourmalist and the author of the 2003 bestseller The Devil in the White City . Earlier this year, he published his latest work of non-fiction, In the Garden of Beasts. In the book, he paints a portrait of the unenviable tenure of the US Ambassador to Berlin from 1933 until 1937.
The Ambassador's name was William Dodd, and thanks to his diary - as well as the personal journal of his daughter, Martha - Erik Larson was able to reconstruct one of the most important, fascinating and excruciating periods of world history.
In the Garden of Beasts is published by Random House here in Canada and Erik Larson was in a studio in Seattle.
Disc - Oh My My
That was Jill Barber with Oh My My
Maybe we should just throw in the towel and call this the summer of our economic discontent.
Last week, world markets were roiling because the United States couldn't seem to come to grips with its debt ceiling.
This week, the markets are roiling because there's too much debt clogging up the world economy. Or the markets are roiling because there is too little credit being extended or taken up by businesses and consumers and as a consequence growth in the economy is sluggish if not non-existent.
Too much debt, not enough borrowing or lending..it seems we can't make up our minds which is worse and so far it seems to depend on the day.
But just maybe we are so conflicted and the economic signals are so mixed because we really are not sure what we mean anymore when we talk about debt.
David Graeber, is an anthropologist, on the faculty of Goldsmiths University of London and the author of the newly published Debt: The First 5000 Years.
Professor Graeber ws in our New York studio.
Personal Essay - The Weight of Earthly Goods
Stuff. There's too much of it. Everywhere. My desk is overflowing.
I'm no hoarder. In fact I think of myself as the opposite. Nonetheless, every surface, every cupboard in my house is cluttered. There are too many books. Too many pieces of furniture - half of them tumbling down.
There's simply too much. Too much of EVERYTHING.
So why not just chuck it all? Or at least give it a fierce cull?
If only it were that simple.
Here's Antonia Morton with her essay "Wrestling With The Weight of Earthly Goods".
Joyce Carol Oates
Theirs was a whirlwind romance ... they were married three months after they met. She was 22, innocent and inexperienced. It was a storybook marriage ... "as measured and decorous as Laura Ashley wallpaper." They lived a bucolically happy life on Honey Brook Drive in Princeton, New Jersey.
And then it ended. Abruptly. Forty-eight years after it began.
On February 18th, 2008, at 12:38 am, Raymond Smith died suddenly - leaving his wife, Joyce Carol Oates, in shock, unmoored.
She wrote her way through the first six months of widowhood -- trying to make sense of an incomprehensible and completely unexpected loss - and her journey is chronicled in a raw and open and painful new memoir, A Widow's Story.
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is one of America's most prolific writers and her novels include We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University.
Here's Michael Enright's interview with Joyce Carol Oates. It first aired in May.
It has been said she has a voluptuous voice and a sovereign stage presence. Said one critic, she is one of the great voices of the 20th century.
Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman began her vocal career performing at funerals and bar mitzvahs in Fredericton and, if not for her parents' influence, she might never have left her hometown.
They prevailed and she has since performed in some of the world's most prestigious venues: Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, and the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris.
She has given a Command Performance for the Queen and sung to more than three billion people watching the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. AND she has lost 150 pounds and become a yoga devotee.
Not much slows down this 34-year-old soprano superstar. Not much, except a near fatal heart condition that almost killed her in 2009. She had a split aorta, which was misdiagnosed at least once, and required emergency open-heart surgery. Thanks to a vigilant GP she got the care she needed. But still, as she's said, she went from a platinum card to a black card in a matter of hours.
Obviously...she has survived and thrived.
Almost two years later, Measha Bruegerrgosman has just starred in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, a production of the baroque opera company, Opera Atelier.
Here's Michael Enright's conversation with Measha Brueggergosman, which first aired in May.