Week of April 19, 2015
Segment 1: The Company Behind the Gulf Oil Spill
The Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 men and injured 17 others. The resulting oil spill was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Alison Fitzgerald, In Too Deep: BP and the Drilling Race That Took it Down discusses the company and the corporate culture that behind this avoidable tragedy.
"Ultimately, the responsibility goes to BP, they're the ones in charge. They're the ones who tell everyone what they can and cannot do. And they approve everything."
Segment 2: Three Generations of Iranian Women
Raised in California, Jasmin Darznik, The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life never imagined that her mother Lili lived another life in Iran before marrying Jasmin’s German father. Lili was married off at 13 to a violent and abusive man. Lili gave birth to a daughter, Sara, but when her husband's abuse escalated, Lili knew she had no choice but to flee his house and seek a divorce. The move cost her Sara, since Iranian law dictates children stay with their fathers. Taken from tapes her mother sent her after Jasmin discovered a photograph from her mother’s first wedding, Jasmin's memoir recounts her mother’s life and struggles.
"My mom has suffered so much pain. I think in some ways, I've inherited and absorbed all of her guilt about this story, even though she had so little choice in the matter."
Week of April 12, 2015
Segment 1: Afghan War - We Won ... (then lost)
The First American-Afghan War, a CIA war, was approved by President George W. Bush and directed by the author, Robert Grenier, the CIA station chief in Islamabad. Forging separate alliances with warlords, Taliban dissidents, and Pakistani intelligence, Grenier launched the “southern campaign,” orchestrating the defeat of the Taliban and Hamid Karzai’s rise to power in 88 chaotic days. His memoir is, 88 Days to Kandahar: A CIA Diary.
"A big mistake on our part was that we tried too aggressively to completely reform Afghanistan."
Segment 2: A Middle-Class Family in Lahore and a Nation on the Brink
The Reza family live in Lahore, Pakistan and have three adult sons. The eldest runs his father's shop at the bazaar; the middle son has been radicalized and is being trained for a suicide mission; the youngest is in law school and has dreams of reforming Pakistan. Author and State Department diplomat Haroon Ullah, The Bargain from the Bazaar: One Family's Day of Reckoning in Lahore has written the story of this family and what it means for the larger struggle for the soul of Pakistan.
"Look, we've seen this movie before. Sure, we cut off the aid - we did that in 1992. And what happened less than ten years later? I mean, this place is still the most dangerous place in the world."