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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

FDR Was A Great President — But Do We Really Want Another Great President?

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 3:26pm

In his new book, The End of Greatness, historian Aaron David Miller argues the nation might be better off without any more truly great presidents — or the national crises that produce them.

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'Florence Gordon' Isn't Friend Material, But You'll Appreciate Her

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:33pm

Brian Morton's novel features a 75-year-old woman — an icon of the Second Wave Women's Movement — who's a self-described "difficult woman." It's a witty, nuanced and ultimately moving novel.

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How The Cold War And George Orwell Helped Make The Internet What It Is

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:30pm

In The Innovators, Walter Isaacson explains that Pentagon officials wanted a system the Russians couldn't attack, and 1984 made the public wary of new technology's Big Brother potential.

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How The Cold War And George Orwell Helped Make The Internet What It Is

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:30pm

In The Innovators, Walter Isaacson explains that Pentagon officials wanted a system the Russians couldn't attack, and 1984 made the public wary of new technology's Big Brother potential.

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Sandwich Monday: PB&J Balls

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:16pm

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a new take on a brown-bag lunch classic. Welch's has re-engineered the PB&J in ball form.

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Book News: Murakami Drops A New Story, Just As Nobel Week Begins

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 6:11am

In "Scheherazade," he tells the tale of a captive listener — in more ways than one. Also: A big week to come includes the Nobel Prize announcement, "Super Thursday" and several notable books.

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The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:28am

The Innovators, Walter Isaacson's new book, tells the stories of the people who created modern computers. Women, who are now a minority in computer science, played an outsize role in that history.

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A 'Post-Post-Colonial' Take On The Violent Birth Of Modern Jamaica

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 4:36pm

Marlon James' latest novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is not brief, and it contains many more than seven deaths. It's a portrait of Jamaica in the '70s, when gang warfare and reggae reigned.

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Seeing Neurological Patients As Characters, Not Case Studies

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 9:29am

Legendary theater director Peter Brook is working on a new play centered on people with unusual conditions — like synesthesia, extraordinary memory or the inability to sense their own bodies.

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'Outpost': Stories Of Diplomacy In The World's Most Harrowing Places

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:57am

Former Ambassador Christopher Hill has written his memoir, Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy. NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks to Hill about his tenure as a diplomat in Iraq.

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For Her First Trilogy, Jane Smiley Returns To Iowa, 'Where The Roots Are'

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:57am

Smiley used to live in Iowa and says something about the place still pulls on her imagination. Her new book, Some Luck, begins on a family farm in 1920.

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This 'Book Of Witches' Casts A Fascinating, Sobering Spell

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:03am

A new Penguin compendium of documents relating to three centuries of witch trials lays the blame on fractured communities and cruel governments — and draws unsettling parallels to current events.

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Deciphering The 'Priestly Mumbo-Jumbo' Of The Financial World

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 4:56am

If you're mystified by terms like "Libor," "stagflation" and "Grexit," you should pick up John Lanchester's new book, How To Speak Money, which aims to untangle the tortured language of finance.

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Showtime's 'Homeland' Now Depends On Carrie Mathison As Flawed Hero

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 4:52am

As Showtime's Emmy-winning terrorism drama starts its fourth season Sunday, NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says the show struggles to continue without a key character.

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Does Television Spanglish Need A Rewrite?

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 4:50pm

More Hollywood writers are having Latino characters speak a mix of English and Spanish. But if Latinos themselves are divided over Spanglish, how can the entertainment industry get it right?

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Horror Of Horrors: Is H.P. Lovecraft's Legacy Tainted?

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 4:39pm

Lovecraft, the author who famously invented Cthulhu, was also known for his highly racist opinions. This has created some controversy around the World Fantasy Award statue that bears his likeness.

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Affleck: 'Gone Girl' Was Freeing, And 'Batman' Will Be No 'Daredevil'

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 4:05pm

Ben Affleck says playing a character shrouded in suspicion was liberating, because "likability was sort of thrown out of the window." He also looks back on where his career began: Voyage of the Mimi.

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One Military Family, Two Lost Sons: One To Combat, One To Suicide

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 4:05pm

In The Invisible Front, journalist Yochi Dreazen tells the story of the Grahams, a close-knit family that lost two sons in the span of a year and then took up the fight against military suicide.

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Not My Job: Secretary Of Energy Ernest Moniz Gets Quizzed On Bert

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 10:52am

We asked the nuclear physicist — who either goes by the nickname Ernie, or ought to — how much he knows about the Sesame Street character Bert.

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Q&A: Plumbing The Mysteries Of The Teenage Brain

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 7:03am

In Age of Opportunity, psychologist Larry Steinberg applies neuroscience to risk-taking, peer influence, the boredom of high school and other adolescent conundrums.

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