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Howard French on Africa in a Chinese Century (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

Fifty years almost to the day after the catastrophic assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, the journalist Howard French is sketching an alternative path ahead for African development today.

Lydia Davis: Miniatures from a Mind on Fire (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Christopher Lydon

Theo Cote photoLydia Davis keeps popping up in conversation as a favorite writer of our favorite writers -- Rae Armantrout, the Pulitzer poet, among t...

Pakistan 3.0: The "CIA Jihad" and the Whirlwind Today (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

It is well known that the term 'Pakistan', an acronym, was originally thought up in England by a group of Muslim intellectuals. P for the Punjabis, A ...

Reading Obama's Mind: Pragmatism and Its Perils (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Christopher Lydon

If there is a problem with Barack Obama's thinking, his "intellectual biographer" James Kloppenberg is saying on the morning after Obama's mid-term "h...

Noam Chomsky: the American Socrates on an Upbeat (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Christopher Lydon

Noam Chomsky, after all these years, retains the power to shock -- in the bright title of his new collection, Hopes and Prospects, and with what sound...

V. S. Naipaul's "Gloomy Clarity" About Africa and Himself (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Christopher Lydon

V. S. Naipaul, in the winter of his long writing life, doesn't disguise his melancholy or his frailty. Still, his inquisitorial eye and his magic with a prose sentence have not abandoned him, nor the organ tones of his mesmerizing voice.

Jill Lepore: Tea Party Time... and the Death of Compassion (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Christopher Lydon

There's more religion than politics in the 2010 Tea Party, Jill Lepore is saying. There's less of 1776 about it than of 1976 -- that dyspeptic post-Vietnam, post-Watergate bicentennial moment.

Andrew Bacevich: how war without end became the rule (VIDEO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Christopher Lydon

Andrew Bacevich is the soldier turned writer who's still unlearning and puncturing the Washington Rules of national security. The rules have turned i...

Real India: Ashis Nandy's post-colonial "intimate enemies" (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

NEW DELHI -- Ashis Nandy has a big idea about "loss and recovery" in the history of colonialism. The bumpersticker version is that the conquerors and...

Namita Gokhale: the revolution will be written! (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

Listen to the conversation here: NEW DELHI -- Namita Gokhale -- novelist, publisher, sparkplug of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival -- says the...

Tarun Tejpal's heart-ache for "the idea of India" (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

NEW DELHI -- Tarun Tejpal -- muckraker, editor and novelist -- is speaking with professional zeal and a certain generational remorse about his remark...

Real India: A Historian's Cautions on "The Indian Century" (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

Ramachandra Guha, the provocative, critical historian of India After Gandhi, has vitality and charisma to match his country's. Writing and talking with fire-hose force, he's come to mirror India's sense of it's 63-year-old self.

Graham Robb's Paris: 18 Arrested Explosions (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Christopher Lydon

Graham Robb is making France irresistible again. His new book, Parisians, delivers nearly a score of long anecdotes about famous people in real scenes beyond imagining.

Bill McKibben: Coming into View, Another Eaarth (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Christopher Lydon

Bill McKibben in conversation is counting a few of the ways that earth has changed since Apollo 8 Commander Frank Borman on his fourth turn around the...

Mustafa Barghouti: Is there Room for Gandhi in Palestine? (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

Ask Palestinians why there is no Gandhi in their movement, and often the answer comes: but there are several, and Mustafa Barghouti should be recognized more widely as one of them.

The Political Economy of FIFA, With Vishwas Satgar (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

Like the Beijing Olympics in Summer '08, this World Cup is a coming-out party, and a historic marker for Africa at the center of the maximum stage.

Steve Kinzer's 'Reset' Roles for Turkey and Iran (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

Stephen Kinzer is a journalist of a certain cheeky fearlessnes and exquisite timing. In his new book he's ahead of the game again. The ink was bar...

India's Swift, Strange Social Change (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

Patrick Heller was 16 years old, a school boy, when his Swiss parents moved to New Delhi in the late 1970s. India became his school -- his inescapabl...

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The 'Fragility' Crisis Is Just Begun

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Christopher Lydon

For a world that wants better than the fatuous "perfect storm" account of the economic meltdown -- or of BP's gusher -- Taleb has revised and extended his cult classic, The Black Swan.

Ted Bogosian: Confessions of a Truth Hound

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Christopher Lydon

Ted Bogosian's story of his own motivation could be construed as ethnic determinism or something stranger: a rationale for ethnic revenge by journalism.

What's Wrong with Our Afghan War: the Indian Perspective

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

The dirty little secret of the US drone war in Afghanistan is that the civilian "kill rate" is worse in the Obama "surge" than it was in the bad old B...

Poet-Critic Dan Chiasson, the Natural (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Christopher Lydon

Dan Chiasson has the easy charm of a natural New England oracle, in a tradition encompassing Emily Dickinson and William James, Robert Frost and Robe...

Damion Searls: A Thoreau Journal for Writers & Moderns (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Christopher Lydon

Damion Searls has found and freed the lean, shapely and modern American classic inside the very definition of a "baggy monster." Henry David Thoreau'...

Jared Malsin: the kid next door reports from Bethlehem

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Christopher Lydon

Jared Malsin looks, sounds and writes like your bright and earnest American kid from down the street. And until this January, he was getting his journ...

Pulitzer Poet Rae Armantrout (AUDIO)

Christopher Lydon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Christopher Lydon

Rae Armantrout, this year's Pulitzer Prize poet, calls her stance "quizzical." Fellow poets and critics write of her "oppositional temperament" (Stev...