Mon, 23 February 2015
KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks here wih Lee Trimble. Trimble had always known that his father, Captain Robert Trimble, was a WWII hero. Captain Trimble was a fighter bomber stationed in Britain and served with honor, flying 35 missions with the 493rd Bomb Group of the US Eighth Air Force. However, when Captain Trimble was eighty-six years old, he let slip to his son that there were things that happened in the war he never told his children about—incidents that happened while he was stationed in Russia. Lee then began questioning his father for details and was shocked to uncover a secret mission his father had been ordered to keep to himself for over sixty years.
In BEYOND THE CALL, the son of Robert Trimble finally shares his father’s legacy. Robert Trimble was finishing his final mission in England and was given an option by his superiors: go home with the possibility of being called back to the front line or take a position on the Eastern Front in Poland to help ferry damaged planes to be repaired. Captain Trimble, in consultation with his wife, waiting for him back home in Pennsylvania, reluctantly agreed to the latter. However, there was more to this mission than what Robert was told.
Near the end of World War II, thousands of Allied ex-POWs were abandoned to wander the war-torn Eastern Front. In defiance of The Yalta Convention, which required that each Allied country take in and help shepherd POWs from all Allied nations to safety, the Russians viewed their own POWs as cowards and traitors, and saw captured soldiers from other countries as potential spies. The US repeatedly offered to help recover their own POWs, but were continuously refused by the Soviets. With relations between the tenuous allies strained, a plan was conceived for an undercover rescue mission.
In total secrecy, the Office of Strategic Service (the precursor to the CIA) chose an obscure American Air Force detachment stationed at a Ukrainian airfield; it would provide the base and the cover for the operation. Captain Robert Trimble began his mission to recover downed American planes in the Polish countryside, but was soon leading his covert mission by cover of night and during downtime. Dodging his Soviet escorts known as bird dogs, undercover agents of The NKVD (the Soviet secret police), Captain Trimble followed leads given to him in secret to search for stranded American POWs and get them to safety. Outfitted with state department credentials and a vest lined with money, Captain Trimble traveled through war-torn Poland, only to discover atrocities the likes had never been seen before.
Fri, 20 February 2015
KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks here with Ai-Jen Poo. She is the activist who, through the National Domestic Workers' Alliance, spearheaded New York’s successful Bill of Rights for domestic workers shows how we can better care for our growing elderly population and provide millions of good jobs at the same time
By 2035, 11.5 million Americans will be over the age of 85—more than double today’s 5 million—and living longer than ever before. To enable all of us to age with dignity and security in the face of this coming Age Wave, our society must learn to value the care of our elders. The process of building a culture that supports care is a key component to restoring the American dream, and, as Ai-jen Poo convincingly argues in The Age of Dignity, will generate millions of new jobs and breathe new life into our national ideals of independence, justice, and dignity.
This groundbreaking new book from the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance offers bold solutions, such as long-term care insurance and cultural change to get all of us to value care, which are already at the heart of a movement transforming what it means to grow old in the United States. At the intersection of our aging population, the fraying safety net, and opportunities for women and immigrants in the workforce, The Age of Dignity maps out an integrated set of solutions to address America’s new demographic and economic realities.
Tue, 27 January 2015
You may well have noticed that there is now a growing chorus of prominent voices in Congress and elsewhere calling for the expansion of the US Social Security system— people who know that Social Security will not go broke” and that, in truth, it does not add a penny to the national debt.
KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks here with Nancy Altman, co-author of Social Security Works!. This book not only amplifies these voices but also offers a powerful antidote to the three-decade-long, billionaire-funded campaign to make us believe that this vital institution is destined to collapse.
Nancy Altman, a lawyer, is the author of The Battle for Social Security and a co-author, with Eric Kingson, of this book published by The New Press. Altman and Kingson served as staff advisers to the 1982 (Greenspan) National Commission on Social Security Reform and were founding board members of the National Academy of Social Insurance. They founded Social Security Works.org in 2010 and co-chair the Strengthen Social Security Coalition. Altman is the board chair of the Pension Rights Center and lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
From the Silent Generation to Baby Boomers, from Generation X to Millennials and Generation Z, everyone in the US, says Altman, has a stake in understanding the real story about Social Security. Critical to addressing the looming retirement crisis that will affect two- thirds of today’s workers, Social Security is a powerful program that can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and help end the upward redistribution of wealth that has resulted in perilous levels of inequality.
Fri, 9 January 2015
KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks here with Thomas Page McBee, writer (Rumpus, Vice) and author of 'Man Alive'. In this, McBee attempts to answer what it is to be a man by focusing on two of the men who most impacted his life: one, his otherwise ordinary father who abused him as a child, and the other, a mugger who almost killed him. Standing at the brink of the life-changing decision to transition from female to male, McBee is seeking to understand these examples of flawed manhood and explains how a brush with violence sent him on the quest to untangle a sinister past, and freed him to become the man he was meant to be.
'Man Alive' engages through an extraordinary personal story to tell a universal one—how we all struggle to create ourselves, and how this struggle often requires risks. Far from a transgender transition tell-all, Man Alive grapples with the larger questions of legacy and forgiveness, love and violence, agency and invisibility.
Tue, 23 December 2014
CLICK ON 'iPod' icon above left to listen.
In this interview, journalist Claudia Cragg speaks here with Linda Tirado about her thought-provoking and (to some) controversial Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America. Unlike the sheltered, ivory-tower social scientists who usually write about poverty, Tirado is an actual poor person. Or at least, she was. Last fall she posted a lengthy response to someone in an online forum who asked why poor people make decisions that seem so self-destructive. Her essay went viral and before long the shrewd and politically savvy Tirado had crowdfunded more than $60,000 to write a book. No longer officially poor, Tirado has endured a backlash from those suggesting she’s a fraud — which only proves her point that it’s easier to dismiss poor people than to listen to them.
Mon, 15 December 2014
Christmas is a time of seasonal cheer, family get-togethers, holiday parties, and-gift giving. Lots and lots--and lots--of gift giving. And says Joel Waldvogel, in this interview, it's hard to imagine any Christmas without this time-honored custom. But let's stop to consider the gifts we receive--the rooster sweater from Grandma or the singing fish from Uncle Mike. How many of us get gifts we like? How many of us give gifts not knowing what recipients want? Did your cousin really look excited about that jumping alarm clock? Lively and informed, Scroogenomics illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste--to the shocking tune of eighty-five billion dollars each winter. Economist Joel Waldfogel provides solid explanations to show us why it's time to stop the madness and think twice before buying gifts for the holidays.
When we buy for ourselves, every dollar we spend produces at least a dollar in satisfaction, because we shop carefully and purchase items that are worth more than they cost. Gift giving is different. We make less-informed choices, max out on credit to buy gifts worth less than the money spent, and leave recipients less than satisfied, creating what Waldfogel calls "deadweight loss." Waldfogel indicates that this waste isn't confined to Americans--most major economies share in this orgy of wealth destruction. While recognizing the difficulties of altering current trends, Waldfogel offers viable gift-giving alternatives.
Waldvogel argues here, in an interview with Claudia Cragg for KGNU Denver/Boulder's 'It's The Economy', that by reprioritizing our gift-giving habits, Scroogenomics proves that we can still maintain the economy without gouging our wallets, and reclaim the true spirit of the holiday season.
Mon, 17 November 2014
KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks here with historian, Andrew Roberts about his work 'Napoleon The Great', the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last, says Roberts, we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single bestselling book of the nineteenth century.
Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, Roberts argues that Napoleon was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all times.
An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty-three of Napoleon’s sixty battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Many believe this to be a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by a foremost historian.
Thu, 23 October 2014
(To listen to the interview, CLICK 'ipod' icon above left)
Stephen Singular’s first book, Talked to Death, set the tone for his journalistic career. Published in 1987, it chronicled the assassination of a Denver Jewish talk show host, Alan Berg, by a group of neo-Nazis known as The Order. The book was nominated for a national award — the Edgar for true crime — and became the basis for the 1989 Oliver Stone film, Talk Radio. Talked to Death explored the timeless American themes of racism, class, violence, and religious intolerance, and the critics had been alerted to a new author and an important subject.
Here KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks with Singular together with his wife, Joyce Jacques Singular, an author in her own right as well as a co-author with her husband for many projects.
The Singulars are in the midst of writing a book about James Holmes, who carried out the largest mass shooting in American history in July 2012 at the Aurora movie theater. This will examine the larger social issues involving gun control, mental health, video games, neuroscience, the death penalty, doctor/patient confidentiality, and will offer a variety of perspectives from the Twenty-Something generation that’s driven much of this violence.
Since 1991, Joyce Jacques Singular, has worked closely with her husband on many of the true crime books. They both have an intense interest in the psychological aspects of murder and have unconventional views of spirituality. Over time, this combination filtered into their work together. They've been intrigued with the place where darkness meets the light — and with looking at certain crimes not just from a legal, forensic or sociological point of view but from a spiritual angle as well. This is especially true when killers have committed acts of violence in the name of religion.
Since 1987, Singular has published 19 more non-fiction books that reflect a wide range of interest and diversity of styles. Twice a New York Times best selling author, he’s written three books about sports, including collaborations with NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and controversial NFL superstar Terrell Owens, and biographies of Hollywood power players Michael Ovitz and David Geffen. True crime remained the focal point of his work, but he’d begun writing less about individual crimes and more about social crimes. His 1995 study of the O.J. Simpson case, Legacy of Deception, went beneath the media hysteria surrounding these murders and connected the violent bigotry of The Order with the racist corruption inside the Los Angeles Police Department. Singular’s 1999 book, Presumed Guilty: An Investigation into the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the Media, and the Culture of Pornography, performed a similar role for the infamous child killing in Boulder, Colorado.
In 2001, Singular brought out The Uncivil War: The Rise of Hate, Violence, and Terrorism in America documenting the increasing dangers of the nation’s deepening cultural war. The book was published well before terrorism struck the United States on September 11, 2001, and the country had plunged into a bitterly divisive conflict in Iraq. The same themes the author had first uncovered in Talked to Death – Fundamentalist religion and intolerance, racism and violence – were re-examined in this book, but now the stakes were much higher and the stage was global. Singular was probing not just the violence itself, but its underlying emotional and spiritual causes. His 2006 book,Unholy Messenger: The Life & Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer, goes even deeper into the convergence of distorted religious beliefs and bloodshed.
In her work on the books, Joyce has attended legal proceedings, visited inmates in prison, interviewed witnesses, studied forensic data, and been involved in developing ideas for stories, photo selection, editing, creative suggestions, and re-writing. The use of both a male and female perspective has added a unique dimension to the true crimes books, three of which have been about women who committed murders. These include A Killing in the Family which was an NBC-TV mini-series entitled Love, Lies, and Murder; Sweet Evil, about a young Colorado Springs wife and mother who killed another woman; and Charmed to Death, which became a FOX-TV movie titled “Legacy of Sin.” In Anyone You Want Me to Be, the story of the Internet’s first known serial killer, Joyce was especially insightful in chronicling women who were drawn into online romances that ended with their deaths.
(KGNU Denver/Boulder Broadcast Link)
Wed, 1 October 2014
KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks here with Naomi Klein who argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. As she points out in her latest book. 'This Changes Everything', it is as she sees it alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.
Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.
Wed, 24 September 2014
In Carbon Shock, veteran journalist Mark Schapiro, explains here to KGNU's Claudia Cragg, how in this book he takes readers on a journey into a world where the same chaotic forces reshaping our natural world are also transforming the economy, playing havoc with corporate calculations, shifting economic and political power, and upending our understanding of the real risks, costs, and possibilities of what lies ahead.
In this ever-changing world, carbon—the stand-in for all greenhouse gases—rules, and disrupts, and calls upon us to seek new ways to reduce it while factoring it into nearly every long-term financial plan we have. But how?
From the jungles of the Amazon to the farms in California’s Central Valley, from ‘greening’ cities like Pittsburgh to rising powerhouses like China, from the oil-splattered beaches of Spain to carbon-trading desks in London, Schapiro deftly explores the key axis points of change.
For almost two decades, global climate talks have focused on how to make polluters pay for the carbon they emit. It remains an unfolding financial mystery: What are the costs? Who will pay for them? Who do you pay? How do you pay? And what are the potential impacts? The answers to these questions, and more, are crucial to understanding, if not shaping, the coming decade.
Carbon Shock evokes a world in which the parameters of our understanding are shifting—on a scale even more monumental than how the digital revolution transformed financial decision-making—toward a slow but steady acknowledgement of the costs and consequences of climate change. It also offers a critical new perspective as global leaders gear up for the next round of climate talks in 2015.