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The Diane Rehm Show
Updated: 9 min 59 sec ago

A Special Readers' Review: Why Fiction Matters (Rebroadcast)

17 hours 4 min ago

A special March Readers' Review: Diane and her guests discuss why fiction matters. A recent study indicates that fewer than half of all Americans are reading novels today. It suggests that those who do read fiction are better able to understand the emotions of others. A conversation about the social and personal benefits of reading fiction.

Matt Richtel: "A Deadly Wandering" (Rebroadcast)

18 hours 4 min ago

Eight years ago, a 19-year-old college student in Utah was driving in the Rocky Mountains. His car jumped a divider and hit another car, causing an accident that killed two scientists on their way to work. The driver said he had no idea what happened, but phone records showed he was texting. The case was one of the first texting-while-driving accidents and helped spark state laws and a national awareness campaign. A New York Times journalist, who won a Pulitzer prize for his reporting on the use of cell phones while driving, is out with a new book about the accident. Matt Richtel argues texting while driving could be as dangerous as drunk driving, but may prove even harder to curb.

Margaret Atwood: "Stone Mattress: Nine Tales" (Rebroadcast)

Thu, 2014-12-25 06:06

A murderess goes on an Arctic cruise and finds her long-ago high school prom date on the same ship. He destroyed her life 50 years before. Now she has the chance to destroy his. That’s the title story in Margaret Atwood’s new collection of short fiction, “Stone Mattress." The book is peppered with odd but believable characters whose lives often take bizarre turns. There’s a fantasy writer who survives an ice storm with the help of her dead husband, a man who finds the corpse of a bridegroom in a storage locker and a woman whose retirement home is under siege by a violent group trying to rid the world of old people. Please join us for a conversation with author Margaret Atwood.

The Future of Classical Music (Rebroadcast)

Thu, 2014-12-25 05:06

Classical music has thrived for centuries. But many say it is now facing its biggest challenges of all time, and risks becoming obsolete. Orchestras across the country face financial trouble, and there’s worry that the younger generations are connecting less and less with Brahms and Debussy. In response, many organizations are venturing into new musical and technological territory to attract loyal audiences…everything from intimate “living room” concerts organized on social media, to collaborations with pop and rock artists. A look at classical music’s place in society, and what’s in store for its future.

Environmental Outlook: Michele Raffin's "The Birds Of Pandemonium: Life Among The Exotic & The Endangered" (Rebroadcast)

Wed, 2014-12-24 06:06

When Michele Raffin rescued an injured bird 18 years ago, she never imagined how that act would change her life. She soon answered a newspaper ad to take in a pet dove, became a volunteer at local bird shelter and then a certified aviculturist. Eventually, she opened her home to a variety of endangered and exotic species, some of which had been illegally captured in the wild. By trial and error -- and with help from a few willing experts -- she went from fostering birds in need of a home to breeding them in captivity. Now she runs one of the nation’s largest bird sanctuaries. Diane talks with Michele Raffin about her journey from naive bird rescuer to accomplished breeder and conservationist.

Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey: "Peter, Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life" (Rebroadcast)

Wed, 2014-12-24 05:06

In the 1960s, the group Peter, Paul and Mary brought folk music out of the coffeehouses and onto the airwaves. With their seamless three-part harmonies, they achieved the commercial success that paved the way for performers like Bob Dylan and John Denver. Their political lyrics struck a chord with the baby boom generation, as they gave voice to the struggle for civil rights, the women’s movement and efforts to end the war in Vietnam. They played together as a trio for nearly five decades, until the death of Mary Travers in 2009. A new book chronicles their time together in a series of photographs and written reflections. “Peter, Paul and Mary: 50 Years in Music and Life.”

Men, Women And Holiday Stress

Tue, 2014-12-23 06:06

It's the most stressful time of the year, for many families. Surveys say women feel especially overwhelmed. Why some argue it's time to re-think our holiday priorities.

U.S. Police And Public Safety

Tue, 2014-12-23 05:06

The assassination of two New York City police officers is raising tensions in the ongoing debate about the role of police and their relationship with local communities: The latest on the tragedy and its repercussions

Sven Beckert: "The Empire of Cotton"

Mon, 2014-12-22 06:06

A Harvard professor on the history of cotton and its central role in remaking global capitalism.

New Challenges For U.S. Cybersecurity Posed By The Sony Hack

Mon, 2014-12-22 05:06

The hacking of Sony Pictures poses new challenges for U.S. cybersecurity. Diane and her guests discuss why this is different from other attacks and what a "proportional response" by the Obama administration might look like.

Friday News Roundup - International

Fri, 2014-12-19 06:06

World leaders react to a historic shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba. Pakistan buries victims of a school massacre by the Taliban. And U.S. officials say North Korea is behind the hacking of Sony Pictures. A panel of journalists joins Diane for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Fri, 2014-12-19 05:06

President Barack Obama announces an historic shift in U.S.-Cuba relations. SONY cancels release of the movie “The Interview”. And Jeb Bush announces he’s exploring a possible presidential run. A panel of journalists joins Diane for analysis of the week's top national news stories.

How 3-D Printing And Stem Cell Research Are Driving Medical Advances

Thu, 2014-12-18 06:06

Bioengineers are creating human body parts to replace organs and manage life-threatening diseases. How techniques like 3-D printing and stem cell research are driving medical advances and raising ethical questions

The Future Of U.S.-Cuban Relations

Thu, 2014-12-18 05:06

Cuba releases American contractor Alan Gross after five years' imprisonment on espionage charges. The U.S. releases several Cubans in exchange. Details on the prisoner swap and the future of U.S.-Cuban relations.

The Social And Economic Effects Of Ebola In West Africa

Wed, 2014-12-17 06:06

The ebola epidemic in West Africa is not just a health care crisis. It has affected every corner of society in the countries most affected. Schools have been closed for months, infrastructure projects have been put on hold and GDP growth has slowed to a crawl. A discussion of the social and economic cost of ebola in West Africa.

What Falling Oil Prices And New U.S. Sanctions Mean For Russia

Wed, 2014-12-17 05:06

The Russian ruble is sliding despite a rate hike by the Russian central bank. Diane and her guests discuss what falling oil prices and new U.S. sanctions mean for the Kremlin and the Russian economy.

The Latest Research On Bilingualism And The Brain

Tue, 2014-12-16 06:06

Speaking multiple languages is like exercise for your brain. That’s according to a growing body of research suggesting that bilingualism can have cognitive benefits beyond the realm of language use. Recent studies say it may improve the brain’s ability to multitask, and could even mean a four- to five- year delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Some believe this area of research will advance our understanding of how to keep our brains healthy longer, and could prompt people to reconsider the value of bilingual education. The latest on the impact of bilingualism on the brain.

Terrorist Attack In Pakistan

Tue, 2014-12-16 05:06

Six heavily armed gunman stormed a military school in Peshawar, Pakistan yesterday killing at least 120 people, mostly teenagers, and many the children of military officers. Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, possibly in retaliation for Pakistan’s military operations against it. The death toll makes this attack one of the worst in the region in decades and is a grim reminder of the ongoing political turmoil. Please join us for an update on the attack and its implications for the region.

New Research On The Safety Of Using Midwives For Low-Risk Deliveries

Tue, 2014-12-16 05:06

A new UK study corroborates other research on the safety and cost-effectiveness of low-risk deliveries by midwives: Trends in maternity care and growing support for deliveries outside of doctor-run maternity wards.

Rethinking the Benefits of Homeownership

Mon, 2014-12-15 06:06

Owning a home has long been a linchpin of the American Dream. But the recent housing crisis and changing bank lending practices have led to a drop in the number of people buying houses: The nationwide rate of homeownership is at its lowest rate in 20 years. While some have mourned this loss for the U.S. economy, a new study finds that half of American homeowners would have built more wealth by renting. The new research says many people looking to buy a home overestimate tax deductions, rely on biased, online calculators and underestimate expenses. Diane and a panel of experts discuss rethinking the benefits of homeownership.