April 12th Show : Blog Of The Nation In our first hour, what we don't know about war, and slavery and the Confederacy. In our second hour, "Whistling Vivaldi", and Stanley Tucci.
NPR logo April 12th Show

April 12th Show

Are these girls working past a "stereotype threat"? In our second hour, social psychologist Claude Steele talks about his book, Whistling Vivaldi, and explains how stereotypes affect our lives. iStockphoto hide caption

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What We Don't Know About War
The video of U.S. gunners in an Apache helicopter shooting and killing two reporters in Baghdad was viewed more than five million times after the grainy black and white footage leaked online last week. It gave many civilians a rare, unvarnished look at war, and the troops who operate in the heat of combat. For those with experience in war, the scene may be familiar: an order — and a response — followed by what could be harrowing consequences. Guests on the program talk about life on the ground, rules of engagment, and what we don't understand about war.

Slavery and The Confederacy
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell declared April "Confederate History Month" in Virginia, at the urging of Brag Bowling, the commander of the Virginia Division of The Sons of Confederate Veterans. However, after criticism mounted over the lack of any reference to slavery, McDonnell backpedaled and added a line to the proclamation. But the debate over slavery and the celebration of the confederacy continues. Columnist Clarence Page contacted Bowling to talk about the truth of American history, which they agreed is "always more complicated." Page explains what he learned from that conversation.

Don't Be A Stereotype
Stereotypes are potent things — women taking a math test will perform worse when reminded that women aren't expected to do well in math. Social pychologist Claude Steele calls this "stereotype threat" and says it's responsible for racial and gender gaps. In his new book, Whistling Vivaldi, he lays out a plan to reshape those expectations. Steele talks about his book, and about how to overcome the negative effects of stereotypes.

Stanley Tucci
Actor, producer and director Stanley Tucci is no stranger to the big and small screens. He made his film directorial debut with "Big Night," in which he also starred, and he's appeared in dozens of films and television programs, from "The Lovely Bones" and "Julie and Julia" to "ER" and "Monk." Now Tucci is trying out Broadway directing for the first time with a revival of the 1989 farce "Lend Me A Tenor," now playing in New York City. Tucci talks about taking his first crack at directing for Broadway, and the value of farce in tough times.