The Leonard Lopate Show

The Leonard Lopate Show

From WNYC Radio

Host Leonard Lopate lets you in on the best conversations with writers, actors, ex-presidents, dancers, scientists, comedians, historians, grammarians, curators, filmmakers, and do-it-yourself experts. Live interaction is critical to Lopate's conversational and personal style.More from The Leonard Lopate Show »

Most Recent Episodes

Will the New Social Activists Remake American Politics?

Journalist Sarah Jaffe, a Nation Institute Fellow, argues that we're experiencing unprecedented political engagement and social activism in the U.S. In her book, Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, she says that protests and grassroots organizing runs counter to claims of apathy and disconnection. She delves into protests across the country, including the Tea Party, the fight for a $15 minimum wage, Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street, and shows how they're remaking American politics. Event: NYC activists Nelini Stamp, Mary Clinton, and Nastaran Mohit will be speaking with Sarah Jaffe at Housing Works (126 Crosby Street) on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.

'Hystopia' Re-Imagines the 1960s, Pres. Kennedy's Assassination

Booker Prize-nominated novelist David Means imagines a very different 1960s in Hystopia. President Kennedy survived multiple assassination attempts and created a new federal agency called the "Psych Corps." The novel's protagonist is 22 year-old Eugene Allen, a Vietnam veteran determined to write a book about his dysfunctional family and his traumatic experiences in the war.

Breakdancing Legend Michael 'Boogaloo Shrimp' Chambers

In the 1980s, dancer Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers rose to fame by appearing in music videos for artists such as Lionel Richie and Chaka Khan. He went on to found the Rocksteady Crew, and his signature b-boy moves earned him starring roles in the "Breakin'" films, an 8-year gig as Michael Jackson's personal dance coach, and worldwide renown. Event: On August 27 at 7 p.m., he'll be honored at McDonald's B-Boy Royale 3, a breakdancing celebration at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place). Tickets are $25 each.

The Right to a Trial by Jury? Think Again.

Across the US, in both criminal and civil courts, jury trials are growing rarer and rarer. A recent New York Times article noted that in three of New York's federal courts (two in the city and one in nearby White Plains) "the vanishing of criminal jury trials has never seemed so pronounced." Lauren-Brooke Eisen, senior counsel in the Brennan Center's Justice Program, explains why justice is increasingly being served behind closed doors, and what that means for both plaintiffs and defendants.

Uncovering the Abuse Faced by Women in the Trucking Industry

Women in the trucking industry deal with catcalls, harassment, rape, and an unresponsive, often retaliatory, system that denies them justice. Mary Pilon, a freelance journalist and author of The Monopolists, investigated the hundreds of gender-discrimination claims brought against the trucking industry over the past 20 years. She talks about her article recently published in Mary Review titled, "Surviving the Long Haul."

Threats to Tunisia's Young Democracy

In the five years since the Arab Spring, Tunisia has been regarded as a success story in terms of having a functioning democratic government. But Tunisia's stability has been affected by Libya's war and threats from ISIS militants. NPR's Cairo Bureau Chief Leila Fadel discusses the current situation in Tunisia and her reporting on recent developments.

Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler's Tumultuous Love Story

Historian Elizabeth Cobbs tells the true love story of founding father Alexander Hamilton and his remarkable wife, Elizabeth Schuyler, in her new novel, The Hamilton Affair, starting from their passionate beginnings, to Hamilton's fatal duel with Aaron Burr in 1804. Event: Elizabeth Cobbs will be speaking, signing and doing a Q&A at Book Court (163 Court Street, Brooklyn) on August 24th at 7 p.m.

Why Our Presidential Debates are So Dull

From a lack of diversity in the moderators, to restrictive rules negotiated by the campaigns, presidential debates have often become little more than platforms for candidates to recite talking points. In his article, "Why the Presidential Debates Will Suck Even Though They Don't Have To," Zaid Jilani, a writer for The Intercept, reveals how party elites, lobbyists and corporate interests keep debates unremarkable, and argues that it doesn't have to be this way. How would you change the presidential debates? If you were moderating the debates, what questions would you ask the candidates? Write in the comments section below, write to us on Twitter or Facebook, or call us at 212-433-9692.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Reflects on Racial and Political Divides

Former NBA basketball player and writer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about his latest book, Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White, a collection of essays which reflect on racial, cultural and political divides in the United States, in addition to his own experiences as an athlete, African-American, and a Muslim. Event: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be at Barnes & Noble Union Square (33 East 17th Street) on Tuesday, August 23rd at 7:00pm. Click here for more information.

How Three Americans Stopped a Terrorist Attack on a Train to Paris

Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone were on vacation with their friend Alek Skarlatos in Europe last August when they managed to thwart a terrorist attack that would have killed more than 500 people on the 15:17 train from Brussels to Paris. In The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes, they each talk about their personal lives and share their accounts of what happened and what led them to overpower the gunman.

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