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In Please Explain, we set aside time every Friday afternoon to get to the bottom of one complex issue. Ever wonder how New York City's water system works? Or how the US became so polarized politically? We'll back up and review the basic facts and principles of complicated issues across a broad range of topics — history, politics, science, you name it.
 
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When Daniel Bergner’s younger brother was diagnosed as bipolar and put on a locked ward in the 1980s, psychiatry seemed to have achieved what JFK promised: a revolution of chemical solutions to treat mental illness. Yet as Bergner’s brother was deemed a dire risk for suicide and he and his family were told his disorder would be lifelong, he found h…
 
Oliver Milman joins the scientists tracking the decline of insect populations across the globe, including the soaring mountains of Mexico that host an epic, yet dwindling, migration of monarch butterflies; the verdant countryside of England that has been emptied of insect life; the gargantuan fields of U.S. agriculture that have proved a killing gr…
 
Our Laundry, Our Town decodes and processes the fractured urban oracle bones of Alvin Eng's upbringing in Flushing, Queens in the 1970s. Back then, his family was one of the few immigrant Chinese families in a far-flung neighborhood in New York City. His parents had an arranged marriage and ran a Chinese Hand Laundry. From behind the counter of his…
 
Join us for a discussion when sibling language experts and regular contributors to the program Kathryn and Ross Petras stop by. This language duo are authors of the bestselling You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words—and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse and the hosts of a popular NPR podcast. Kath…
 
The United States federal government has spent over $10 billion on medical protective wear and emergency supplies, yet as COVID-19 swept the nation, life-saving equipment such as masks, gloves, and ventilators was nearly impossible to find.In this nonfiction thriller, award-winning investigative reporter J. David McSwane takes us behind the scenes …
 
In The Forever Prisoner, Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy recount dramatic scenes inside multiple black sites around the world through the eyes of those who were there, trace the twisted legal justifications, and chart how enhanced interrogation, a key “weapon” in the global “War on Terror,” metastasized over seven years, encompassing dozens of de…
 
(5/3/2022) Join us when Ari Rabin-Havt reviews his book The Fighting Soul, which takes a step beyond profiles or televised interviews. As a close advisor and deputy campaign manager on Sanders’s presidential campaign, Rabin-Havt spent more hours between 2017 and 2020 with the Vermont senator than anyone else. Traveling the country for rallies and t…
 
(4/29/2022) Clash explores the political, economic, social, and technological forces that have shaped the relationship between U.S. presidents and the press during times of crisis. In addition to Trump’s presidency, Clash examines those of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, G…
 
(4/28/2022) As regular listeners know, there are few construction questions that Alvin and Lawrence Ubell of Accurate Building Inspectors don’t know how to answer. In this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI, our favorite handymen will answer your questions on any home repair projects you may be working on this Spring.…
 
(4/27/2022) Robert "Bob" Hennelly is an award-winning, print and broadcast journalist. For more than 30 years, he has reported on a broad spectrum of major public policy questions, ranging from homeland security to the economy, environmental contamination to corruption, and occupational safety to homelessness. Join us when Bob Hennelly shares his r…
 
The BBC has broadcast to over two hundred countries and in more than forty languages. With special access to the BBC’s archives, historian David Hendy presents a dazzling portrait of a unique institution whose cultural influence is greater than any other media organization. Mixing politics, espionage, the arts, social change, and everyday life, The…
 
(4/21/2022) Richard Cohen’s forthcoming work MAKING HISTORY.Poignantly addresses Vladimir Putin’s narratives of Russia and Ukraine that have been a long time in the making… Richard Cohen Ask What other parts of the nation’s history has Putin manipulated?In MAKING HISTORY Richard Cohen dives into the many schemes of Putin’s political (and cultural) …
 
World-renowned primatologist Frans de Waal draws on decades of observation and studies of both human and animal behavior in his book “Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist”. He argues that despite the linkage between gender and biological sex, biology does not automatically support the traditional gender roles in human societies. De…
 
Some implode in chaos, others thrive. Morrow thrives. Join us when Composer Charlie Morrow, the writer of the Leonard Lopate at Large theme music, offers fascinating discussion on the phenomena of sound. The project includes experiences recalled during birth. Charlie Morrow’s story begins at birth, a cliché for some, but for him a dearly held fact,…
 
(3/15/2022) Rebroadcast - On April 10, 1977, Leonard Lopate was heard through the airwaves on WBAI for the first time. He was playing gospel records for Easter. With the Easter holiday weekend upon us, we thought the timing couldn’t be better for Leonard to return to his radio roots with another gospel music spectacular. Join us for a Good Friday s…
 
(4/14/2022) Join us when Award-winning journalist Mark Follman examines his book TRIGGER POINTS: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America. Mark Follman gained exclusive access to leaders of the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit and top mental health experts who pioneered the field, and he immersed in confidential threat-assessment pr…
 
4/12/2022)New York Times journalist Keith O'Brien reviews his book Paradise Falls: The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe. O’Brien uncovers how mothers who loved their neighborhood on the east side of Niagara Falls were exposed to the poisonous secrets buried in their neighborhood. Join us on this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large, whe…
 
(4-11-2022) In Democracy under Fire, Lawrence Jacobs provides a history of political reforms since the late-eighteenth century that over time weakened democracy, widened political inequality as well as racial disparities, and rewarded toxic political polarization. Much of the attention paid to Trump's rise to power has focused on his corrosive pers…
 
(4/8/22)Philosopher Elizabeth Cripps approaches climate justice not just as an abstract idea but as something that should motivate us all. In her book, What Climate Justice Means and Why We Should Care, Cripps uses irrefutable science and uncontroversial moral rules. By unraveling the legacy of colonialism and entrenched racism she explores our obl…
 
Sally Hayden the Africa correspondent for the Irish Times, based between the UK and Uganda focused on migration, conflict, and humanitarian crises. Hayden sheds light on a human rights disaster of epic proportions in "My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World's Deadliest Migration Route". It is an intimate portrait of life for detaine…
 
(4/5/22) Before working at WNYC, investigative journalist and regular contributor Bob Hennelly was national affairs correspondent for Pacifica Network News. His written work has appeared in the New York Times, the Village Voice, the Christian Science Monitor, the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press along with dozens of other magazines and newspape…
 
(4-4-22)Join us when author Daniel Treisman examines his book Spin Dictators. Which traces how leaders have pioneered less violent, more covert, and more effective methods of monopolizing power. While they have cultivated an image of competence, concealed censorship, and used democratic institutions to undermine democracy, all while increasing inte…
 
Join us for a thought-provoking conversation with author and activist Andre Henry, when he shares his new book, All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep. In his book Henry explores how the historical divides between Black people and non-Black people are expressed through our most mundane interactions, and why he suggests this struggle won’t be resolve…
 
(3/30/22) Join us when Pete Muroski of Native Landscapes Garden Center, shares information on planting and landscape maintenance as we move into the growing season. Because Spring is the best time of year to begin planting, Pete will take questions from callers and cover topics such as: finding the optimal location of the home for the right plant, …
 
(3/29) Join us when acclaimed author, Buddy Levy examines River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana and the Deadly First Voyage through the Amazon, a thrilling account from one of history's greatest adventures of discovery. Levy shares the narrative non-fiction, based on historical facts and research of a legendary 16th-century explorer and his death-d…
 
Join us, when NYT Bestselling author Azar Nafisi explores the role of literature in an era when politics can greatly influence writers and the press. Drawing on her experiences as a woman and voracious reader living in the Islamic Republic of Iran, her life as an immigrant in the United States, and her role as literature professor in both countries…
 
In this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI 99.5FM, Ted Hamilton, co-founder, and staff attorney at the Climate Defense Project, a legal organization fighting for a stable planet for present and future generations, discusses the legal system’s complicity in the climate crisis. In his new book Beyond Fossil Law, Hamilton exposes how judge…
 
In Majority Minority, Dr. Justin Gest examines how societies respond to great demographic change. Dr. Gest discusses contemporary politics of the United States and other countries where persistent immigration has altered populations and may soon produce a majority minority milestone, where the original ethnic or religious majority loses its numeric…
 
In A Molecule Away from Madness: Tales of the Hijacked Brain, author, and neurologist Sara Manning Peskin examines extraordinary stories of the brain under siege.Sara Manning Peskin is an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, and the Philad…
 
(3/17/2022) Chemist, artist and industrial hygienist Monona Rossol is the founder of Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, Inc. A not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing health and safety services to the arts. She is also the Health and Safety Director for the Local 829 union of the United Scenic Artists International Alliance of Theatrical St…
 
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walter Pincus exposes the darkest secret in American nuclear history. How sixty-seven nuclear tests in the South Pacific’s Marshall Islands decimated a people and their land. Unknown to many people, the most important place in American nuclear history is the Marshall Islands. It was here, from 1946 to 1958, that Am…
 
(3/11)In Tyranny from Plato to Trump: Tyrants, Sycophants, and Citizens, noted philosopher Andrew Fiala looks to uncover the true implications of a tyrant. He asks what is a tyrant and what makes a tyrant possible? He states, when tyrants rise to power, sycophants blindly follow, and the entire nation suffers; The solution can be found through lega…
 
The Socially Relevant Film Festival was founded by Actress/Filmmaker Nora Armani as a response to the proliferation of violence and violent forms of storytelling in media and entertainment. S.R.F.F believes in the power of film, raising awareness of social issues and promoting positive social change. This year the ninth edition of SR Socially Relev…
 
Martin Abrahamson, MD and Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, MD have collaborated to create “Conquer Your Diabetes: Prevention, Control, Remission”. Deepak Chopra, MD says "If you want your wellness to include mastery over diabetes, this book is a must-read". Drs. Abrahamson and Chopra are renowned master clinicians and teachers at Harvard Medical School, with dec…
 
(3/7) Rosemarie Reed began her career in radio at WBAI, starting as a volunteer and finally as General Manager. After five years at WBAI, she became an independent radio producer, receiving numerous grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to produce dramatic readings based upon little known books concerning human rights issues. sh…
 
America’s public lands include more than 600 million acres of forests, plains, mountains, wetlands, deserts and shorelines. In his latest release, Our Common Ground, A history of America's public lands, John Leshy traces the emergence of a bipartisan political consensus in favor of the national government holding these vast land areas primarily for…
 
According to Jason Pack, we no longer inhabit a world governed by international coordination, a unified NATO bloc, or an American hegemon. Traditionally, the decline of one empire leads to a restoration in the balance of power, via a struggle among rival systems of order. In his latest book Libya and the Global Enduring Disorder, Pack draws on over…
 
In her book, "A Block in Time," author Christiane Bird shares a story of New York City, told through the prism of one block. The block is located between Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Streets, Fifth Avenue and Broadway to the east, and Sixth Avenue to the west. It's the story of high life and low life, immigrants and tourists, farmers and aristocr…
 
Author Andrew Rice chats on his book THE YEAR THAT BROKE AMERICA, which examines how the year 2000 portended what would follow, and where we’d find ourselves 22 years later.Back at the start of the new millennium, it was easy to laugh and roll our eyes about the crazy events in Florida in the year 2000—but what happened then and there has determine…
 
Author Amy Zegart provides an analysis of her latest publication -- Spies, Lies, and Algorithms, in which she draws on decades of research and hundreds of interviews with intelligence officials. Zegart provides a history of U.S. espionage, from George Washington’s Revolutionary War spies to today’s spy satellites. She examines how fictional spies a…
 
On this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI, Michael Clinton, author of “ROAR into the Second Half of Your Life," will share his findings about the most significant social movement of our time. He says it's happening now. In this “people’s revolution,” mature Americans (50 and over) kick-start new careers, pursue new lifestyles and find …
 
On this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI-99.5FM, author Tim Kane discusses his book The Immigrant Superpower, How Brains, Brawn, and Bravery Make America Stronger. In his book Kane combines stories of immigrants who have contributed to the American experience in the military and in business. He also analyzes immigration’s effects on w…
 
In his book, Gal Beckerman editor at The New York Times Book Review, takes us back to the seventeenth century, to the correspondence that jump-started the scientific revolution, and then forward through time to examine engines of social change: the petitions that secured the right to vote in 1830s Britain, the zines that gave voice to women’s rage …
 
Award-winning journalist and writer for the Washington Post -- spanning over several decades, John Pomfret converses about his book “From Warsaw with Love”. Pomfret’s publication is a portrait of an unlikely and largely secretive relationship between Americans and Poles, spanning dozens of operations ranging from daring rescue missions to a “black …
 
Join us for a discussion when sibling language experts and regular contributors to the program Kathryn and Ross Petras stop by. This language duo are authors of the bestselling You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words—and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse and the hosts of a popular NPR podcast. On t…
 
Join us for a compelling conversation with historian Neil Lanctot, Ph.D. When he discusses his book, The Approaching Storm. A colorful triptych of three American icons who changed history and the engrossing story of the roots of World War I. In the early years of the twentieth century, the most famous Americans on the national stage were Theodore R…
 
(2/8/2022) Tune in to this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large, when author Dr. John Abramson, one of America's top drug litigation experts discuss Sickening, How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It. In his exposé, Dr. Abramson has compiled a wealth of research alongside multiple patient stories in which he reports the…
 
Stephen Zunes, a leading scholar of the Middle East and North Africa gives in depth insight into The Western Sahara and Moroccan conflict. Western Sahara a sparsely populated territory about the size of Colorado located in Northwestern Africa along the Atlantic coast, with rich phosphate deposits has been occupied and annexed by the Kingdom of Moro…
 
(2/3/2022) In the past thirty years alone, more than 2,800 innocent American prisoners – their combined sentences surpassing 25,000 years – have been exonerated and freed after being condemned for crimes they did not commit. Terrifyingly, this number represents only a fraction of the actual number of persons wrongfully accused and convicted over th…
 
(2/1/22) As some listeners may recall, Leonard Lopate at Large premiered on July 16, 2018 on WBAI. What they may not be aware of is that other than Leonard, the show only had one staff member—executive producer Jesse Lent. As Jesse heads to Europe to pursue his career in music full time, the two of them look back at the highs and lows of putting to…
 
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