Jean’s Pick of the Week: Europe’s Anti-Muslim Politics: I learned a lot from this program. For starters, Pam Geller, our own homegrown American Islamophobe, who writes the blog Atlas Shrugs, is the deep pockets behind Gaert Wilner’s far right wing Party of Freedom in the Netherlands. It was also interesting to explore some of the deep causes underlying the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment, e.g. the creation of the EU itself which brought about an erosion of national identity and pride; and the excesses of multiculturalism which made it politically incorrect to draw any distinctions among people or cultural critiques. And so the pendulum swings to the right.
Monday: Ian Frazier’s Travels in Siberia: Ian Frazier is in love with Russia. He calls it “the greatest horrible country on earth,” and Siberia its swampy backyard. He made five trips there and Travels in Siberia is what came of them.
Tuesday: Mario Vargas Llosa and the Nobel Prize: One of the leading authors of his generation, Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, was finally awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. Like many of his fellow South American writers, he lived his life between literature and politics. We’ll find out what makes him unique.
Wednesday: The People vs. The Mafia: The Mafia still is a bleak reality in much of Italy, but there is a young, courageous generation of Italians who are fighting the mafia with everything they’ve got: ideals, ideas, and smart business. Could this, finally, be the beginning of the end?
Thursday: The West and the Rest: Does living in a global age change the way we understand the past? Over the past few years, world history has become one of the fastest growing – and most controversial – fields. This hour we’ll talk with a historian at its forefront who’s written a book that puts Turkish explorers of the 16th century in the same league – and competing directly - with the Portuguese.
Friday: Feeding the Dead in Oaxaca: No one has done more to introduce the world to the authentic, flavorful cuisines of Mexico than Diana Kennedy. The “Julia Child of Mexican cooking” joins us to talk about her gorgeous new book Oaxaca al Gusto, and to spill the beans on the foods prepared on the Day of the Dead.
Didn’t I promise you a great line-up?