Jesus and his Brother

With Herschel Shanks and Ben Witherington

Eleven years ago biblical archeologists were enthused over the discovery of the container that had held the bones of the brother of Jesus. Two of the leading scholars of New Testament research reported the find and the way that it deepened our “knowledge” of the historical jesus. Here, in 2003, they discuss what two hundred years of that search have yielded.

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The Birdman of America and the World

With Richard Rhodes

John James Audubon was rumored to be the Dauphin of France who would have succeeded to the French throne but for the revolution. WRONG!! But of course he invented and perfected the new art of bird portraiture and lived a life full of adventure and invention. Rhodes, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, did a great biography of Audubon and gave us this great discussion in 2005 before we went on to discuss his totally different preceding book about the Nazi killing squads.

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How did we (homo sapiens) get here?

With Jonathan Kingdon. Robert Martin and Maeve Leakey

The African origin of our species was scientifically established by Louis Leakey and his family which is represented in this vigorous conversation by his daughter-in-law, paleoanthropologist Maeve Leakey. Two other distinguished researchers on the evolutionary emergence of the “talking, walking, thinking” relative of the higher apes join us in this conversation from 2003. Kingdon is from Oxford University and Martin is from the Field Museum.

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Will Shakespeare as genius and actor-director

With Steven Greenblatt

Our guest on this great program (it caused a flood of positive commentary) is generally considered the leading Shakespeare scholar of the present time. Drawing upon all the available evidence Greenblatt, Professor of English at Harvard, paints a vivid picture of “Will in his world” and provides, as well, revealing commentary on the nature of his genius. And, of course, we also present many recorded scenes from some of the great plays.

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All the Presidents did it

With James Doyle

That is, they secretly recorded conversations with friends, staff, advisors and unsuspecting political visitors. Doyle achieved access to a great, hitherto-unheard archive of such tapes. And here they are, from FDR to LBJ. Some of the content of these conversations is amusing, more is revealing and one or two items generate astonishment.

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