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PRI: Radio West Podcast by Doug Fabrizio

PRI: Radio West Podcast

by Doug Fabrizio

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Hosted by Doug Fabrizio, KUER's award-winning program features conversations with authors, politicians, artists and others. Listeners can join live at (801) 585-WEST or radiowest@kuer.org. The conversation continues on our on-line discussion board at www.kuer.org. RadioWest is broadcast live on KUER 90.1 and on XM Public Radio at 11:00 a.m. Mountain/1:00 p.m. Eastern.


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The Road Not Taken

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Fri, Jul 22, 2016


“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . .” Those are the first words to Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken." One hundred years after their publication, Frost’s immortal lines remain unbelievably popular. The poem seems straightforward enough: it's about boldly living outside conformity, right? Wrong, says poetry columnist David Orr. He says nearly everyone hopelessly misreads Frost's poem. Orr joins us Friday as we explore the meaning of "The Road Not Taken" and the history behind it. [Rebroadcast]

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Islam's Shia-Sunni Split

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Wed, Jul 20, 2016


Journalist Lesley Hazleton says that if you want to understand headlines from the Middle East today, you have to understand the story of Islam’s first civil war. When the prophet Muhammad died, factions in the young faith became embroiled in a succession crisis. The power grabs, violence, and political machinations resulted in the schism between Sunni and Shia. Hazleton joins Doug to tell the story of Islam’s sectarian divide and to explain how that history influences current events. [Rebroadcast]

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The Geography of Genius

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Tue, Jul 19, 2016


Where does genius come from? Some people say geniuses are born, or that they’re made by thousands of hours of work. But what if genius is actually grown, like a plant? Travel writer Eric Weiner has scanned the globe and come to exactly that conclusion. He says genius arises in clumps at particular places and times when certain ingredients are present. Think Ancient Greece, 14th-century Florence, or modern-day Silicon Valley. Weiner joins us Tuesday to explain his theory of the geography of genius. [Rebroadcast]

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How the Other Half Banks

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Mon, Jul 18, 2016


In a new book, legal scholar Mehrsa Baradaran argues that America has two systems for personal banking. The rich have personal bank accounts at brick-and-mortar businesses, while the poor either don’t bank at all or rely on payday lenders and check cashers that charge exorbitant rates and fees. The result, Baradaran says, is a sadly ironic situation where “the less money you have, the more you pay to use it.” She joins us Monday to explain how we got into this mess, and how we might get out of it. [Rebroadcast]

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Meet Me in Atlantis

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Fri, Jul 15, 2016


Around 360 BC, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote about a marvelous city that disappeared millennia earlier. Atlantis is one of the world’s great unsolved mysteries, despite the efforts of scholars, amateur sleuths, psychics, and conspiracy theorists. The journalist Mark Adams went on his own quest - not to find Atlantis itself, but to understand the people searching for it. Friday, he joins us to talk about the sunken city and the place it holds in our imagination. [Rebroadcast]

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The Mormon Jesus

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Thu, Jul 14, 2016


Did you know that in the 1850s some Mormons argued that Jesus was married and had children? Or that even today, there’s LDS theology around Jesus Christ that leads Evangelicals to say The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t really Christian? Thursday, scholar John Turner is Doug’s guest. He’s written a book called The Mormon Jesus and he joins us to discuss how the LDS concept of Jesus Christ has changed over time, and what it reveals about Mormonism in American religious life.

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The Evolution of Fitness Culture

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Wed, Jul 13, 2016


For years, Daniel Kunitz lived the life of the mind. His body though “became a trash depot.” Then he started running, which led to swimming, weightlifting, and eventually CrossFit. His health and his life steadily improved. Kunitz’s personal quest got him wondering how fitness culture has changed through the years. Why were the Greeks so buff? Why do guys do dumbbell curls? How have women changed exercise as we know it? Kunitz joins us to share what he’s learned about the evolution of fitness.

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Trump and Me

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Tue, Jul 12, 2016


In 1996, New Yorker staff writer Mark Singer was assigned a profile of Manhattan businessman Donald Trump, and it wasn’t long before Singer realized this was no ordinary subject. The piece has been called one of the best pre-campaign portraits of Trump there is, but Trump wasn’t impressed. He wrote Singer a note to call him A TOTAL LOSER whose WRITING SUCKS! Well, Singer’s at it again with a book that revisits his deeply reported, psychological portrait, and he joins us Tuesday to talk about it.

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Chasing the Last Laugh

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Mon, Jul 11, 2016


Monday, we’re telling the story of what author Richard Zacks calls Mark Twain’s “raucous and redemptive round-the-world comedy tour.” Twain was once America’s highest paid writer, but he was also a remarkably bad businessman. In 1895, with his career on the rocks and with what today would be millions in debt, Twain embarked on a 5-continent speaking tour he hoped would save him. Zacks joins Doug to talk about Twain’s wildly popular humor, his missteps, and what drove his quest for redemption.

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The Gunning of America

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Fri, Jul 08, 2016


Historian Pamela Haag says there’s a mythology around American gun culture. The conventional wisdom is that since the Revolutionary War we’ve had some primal bond with our firearms. But Haag argues that our guns were once just another tool of everyday life, and that the gun industry convinced us we needed to be armed. In a new book, she follows the rise of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the marketing campaign she says created our gun culture. Haag joins us Friday to tell the story. (Rebroadcast)

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The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Thu, Jul 07, 2016


Thursday, biographer Kate Clifford Larson is with us to talk about the life of Rosemary Kennedy. She was a sister of John F. Kennedy, a vivacious beauty, and also intellectually challenged. As the Kennedy family’s power grew, her parents were anxious to keep her from the public eye. So at 23, she was lobotomized and institutionalized. Larson joins us to explain what Rosemary’s story reveals about the way we once dealt with disabilities, and how her life eventually inspired the Kennedys’ activism. (Rebroadcast)

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Righting America at the Creation Museum

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Wed, Jul 06, 2016


The Creation Museum in Kentucky aims to scientifically prove a literal reading of the Bible. There’s a replica of the Garden of Eden, a Natural Selection Room that argues against evolution, and this week, they’re opening a life-sized Noah’s Ark. But the scholars Susan and William Trollinger say it’s a big mistake to dismiss this as wacky or irrelevant. Wednesday, they join Doug to explain what The Creation Museum teaches us about American fundamentalism and why we should be paying attention.

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Through the Lens: Don't Make Me Over

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Tue, Jul 05, 2016


For the latest installment in our Through the Lens series, we’re trying something different and talking about an in-the-works documentary. Director Ellen Goosenberg-Kent is working on a film called Don’t Make Me Over about the life and career of famed singer Dionne Warwick. Recognized at an early age for her vocal talent, Warwick was one the greatest female voices of her generation and an outspoken advocate for social and political change. Warwick and others will join us to talk about her inspiring journey.

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dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Mon, Jul 04, 2016


Monday, writer Nathaniel Philbrick joins us to talk about George Washington and his buddy Benedict Arnold. Arnold has long been regarded as the archetypal American traitor. But before he betrayed his country, he was actually one of Washington’s favorite and most trusted generals. In a new book, Philbrick examines the complicated relationship between the two men. Ultimately, he says, it’s about their different reactions to a dysfunctional Congress that was driven by self-righteous opportunism. (Rebroadcast)

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Intelligence in the Flesh

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Fri, Jul 01, 2016


For years, science has told us that intelligence originates in the brain and that the body is just a vehicle to be controlled and piloted. But what if we’ve got it wrong? The cognitive scientist Guy Claxton thinks we do. The mind, he says, is more like a chat room, where the body’s systems share information and debate the best actions. So it’s the really the body, not the mind, that constitutes the core of our intelligent life. Claxton joins us to explore the intelligence in our flesh. (Rebroadcast)

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Sebastian Junger on Conflict and Coming Together

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Thu, Jun 30, 2016


The journalist Sebastian Junger has noticed that for many veterans, and even some civilians, war feels better than peace, and he has a theory about why that might be. War, he says, compels us to band together and support one another in pursuit of a clear goal. But under the normal conditions of modern culture, we lose those connections, and we feel lonely and lost. Thursday, Junger joins us to discuss why we’re stronger when we come together and what tribal societies can teach us about leading meaningful lives.

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Coyote America

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Wed, Jun 29, 2016


Wednesday we’re talking about a homegrown American success: coyotes. The country has been at war with the iconic species since white settlers first reached the heartland plains. But coyotes, according to biologist Dan Flores, not only survived our assault on them, they simultaneously expanded their range across the continent and into our cities. Flores joins us Wednesday to explore the coyote’s fascinating story of resilience and adaptability and how it parallels our own version of Manifest Destiny.

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A Conversation with Judith Freeman

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Tue, Jun 28, 2016


When she was 22 years old, Judith Freeman was struggling. Having abandoned her family’s Mormon faith, she was in the process of a divorce and having an affair with her son’s heart surgeon, a married father of three. In the midst of this turmoil, Freeman resolved to become a writer. Well, she did. Her seventh published book is a memoir, called The Latter Days. It’s about that pivotal, trying time in her youth. Freeman joins us Tuesday to talk about her story of resilience, forgiveness, and self-discovery.

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Radiolab Presents: More Perfect

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Mon, Jun 27, 2016


Legal journalist Elie Mystal says the Supreme Court is our least transparent branch of government and people are very uninformed about it. That’s where WNYC’s Radiolab is stepping in. They’ve created their first spin-off series and it’s focused on the court and what its rulings mean for “we the people.” Mystal is legal editor of More Perfect, and Monday, he and host Jad Abumrad join Doug to talk about getting past the wonkiness and bringing the stories of our highest court to life.

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The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

dfabrizio@kuer.org (Doug Fabrizio) Author: Doug Fabrizio
Fri, Jun 24, 2016


When it set sail from New York on May 1, 1915, the Lusitania bore a full manifest of passengers and the ingenuity and hubris of its era. It was immense and luxurious, the fastest civilian ship in service. It was also under threat. The Germans declared that British ships sailed “at their own risk,” a risk the Lusitania’s operators perilously defied. They claimed theirs was the safest ship at sea. Friday, the writer Erik Larson joins us to recount the disastrous tale of the Lusitania’s last crossing. [Rebroadcast]

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