In Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein, astrophysicist Mario Livio explores the colossal errors committed by scientific greats, from chemist Linus Pauling's botched model of DNA, to Charles Darwin's failure to understand genetics--the very mechanism of natural selection.
Historian Rick Atkinson's new book completes his trilogy on the second world war. He tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that the events of the war may be 70 years in the past, but they're still very much a part of American culture.
In October 2011, Jessica Buchanan, an aid worker in Somalia, was kidnapped by land pirates. For 93 days she fought off despair while her husband, Erik Landemalm, wondered if he'd ever see her again. In a two-part interview, Buchanan and Landemalm recall Buchanan's capture and dramatic rescue.
The fourth volume in Robert Caro's monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson is The Passage of Power; it explores the period between 1958 and 1964 during which Johnson went from powerful Senate majority leader to powerless vice president to — suddenly — president of the United States.
Curse words change over time — back in the ninth century you could say the "s" word and no one would be offended. But we always need a set of words that are off-limits, and in her new book, author Melissa Mohr explains how the words that shock us reveal a lot about society's values.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.