July 24, 2008 : Blog Of The Nation The economy, superheroes, a writer who couldn't read, and a [highly-anticipated] speech in Berlin...
NPR logo July 24, 2008

July 24, 2008

For the last few days, Gwen and Sarah have been [patiently] training me to direct the show. Now that they're both on vacation, it's time for this little bird to leave the nest.* (Wish me luck.)

"How Bad Is It Really?" is the tentative title for the first hour. "It," you may have guessed, is the economy. We'll ask Adam Davidson, NPR's international business correspondent, to "take the temperature of the economy today." (Barrie's phrase.) And we'll ask you to tell us what indicators you use to decide whether or not the economy is good or bad.

At the end of the hour, we'll ask A.O. Scott, chief film critic for The New York Times, about superhero movies. This summer, there are tons of them. And wonders if the sun is starting to set on the genre.

In the second hour, Howard Engel, a well-known mystery novelist, will join us, to talk about his new book, The Man Who Forgot How To Read. His is a remarkable story. In 2001, a stroke rendered Engel unable to read.

And we'll hear a few excerpts from the speech Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is expected to give today, in Berlin. Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, and Constanze Stelzenmuller, the director of the German Marshall Fund, will give us their thoughts from their respective sides of the Atlantic.


*Notice how I conservatively wrote, "leave the nest," not "fly."