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KERA Think Rundown – Week of 7/23/12

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Think airs Monday to Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. Encore airings of Think can be heard Monday to Thursday nights on KERA FM beginning at 9:00 p.m. Podcasts and streamed video are available online at www.kera.org/think.

Monday, 7/23

Hour 1:  What personality and character traits lead a person to run for the highest office in the land and how does the human persona of a president differ from the political persona? We’ll talk this hour with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss whose new biography is “Barack Obama: The Story” (Simon & Schuster, 2012).

Hour 2:  How does our country’s nearly eleven-year war in Afghanistan compare to the first time America was involved in the region over 30 years ago? We’ll spend this hour with Rajiv Chadrasekaran who examines the history of the American-Afghan relationship and the current state of the war in his new book “Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan” (Knopf, 2012).

Tuesday, 7/24

Hour 1:  Just how hard is it to start a business in a still-developing country? We’ll find out this hour with journalist Max Alexander, author of “Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan” (Hyperion, 2012)

Hour 2:  What role did “The Star-Spangled Banner” lyricist Francis Scott Key play in preserving slavery? We’ll talk this hour with Jefferson Morley, Washington correspondent for Salon and author of the new book “Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835” (Nan A. Talese Doubleday, 2012).

Wednesday, 7/25

Hour 1:  How do the lingering stresses of combat, continuous bomb blasts, and the uncertainty of life in a war zone impact a soldier’s life once the fighting is finally over? We’ll talk this hour with decorated Air Force veteran Brian Castner. He writes about his multiple tours of duty, his work as an explosive ordinance disposal officer, and picking up the pieces after leaving the military in the new memoir “The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows” (Doubleday, 2012).

Hour 2:  How might today’s young adults change the world as they come of age and begin to take positions of influence and responsibility in society? We’ll find out this hour with Jack Myers, chairman of Media Advisory Group and author of the new book “Hooked Up: A New Generation’s Surprising Take on Sex, Politics and Saving the World” (York House Press, 2012).

Thursday, 7/26

Hour 1:  What’s it really like to be a Mary Kay cosmetics consultant? We’ll talk this hour with investigative reporter Virginia Sole-Smith, whose piece “Pink Pyramid Scheme: How Mary Kay cosmetics preys on desperate housewives” appears in the August, 2012 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Hour 2:  We often hear reports about the conditions our soldiers face in Afghanistan, but what is life like for Afghan civilians, many of whom have never known a life without war? We’ll spend this hour with journalists Anna Badkhen and Thorne Anderson. The two have collaborated on many reporting projects over the years and Badkhen’s recent E-book from Foreign Policy, “Afghanistan by Donkey: One Year in a War Zone,” includes a portfolio of photographs by Anderson.

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