August 9th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, investing in gold, and the Warren Jeffs trial. In the second hour, the author of Pinched talks about the impact the economy has on American culture, and the best (and worst) apocalyptic movies.
NPR logo August 9th: What's On Today's Show

August 9th: What's On Today's Show

Global markets are falling, but the price of gold continues to rise. But why is gold considered the "safe" investment of choice? hide caption

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Global markets are falling, but the price of gold continues to rise. But why is gold considered the "safe" investment of choice?

As investors worldwide reel from the volatile stock market, the price of gold is climbing. Gold prices have risen steadily since the recession began in 2008, and Monday's price of more than $1700 an ounce set a record high. Investors turn to gold as a safe bet when other forms of investment become unpredictable, so some economists say its a sign that people are getting nervous. Neal Conan talks with NPR Planet Money correspondent Jacob Goldstein about the state of the markets and what makes gold attractive to investors.

Warren Jeffs Trial
Warren Jeffs, convicted polygamist leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, awaits his punishment as the jury begins the deliberation process. The Texas jury has convicted him for aggravated sexual assault of two underage girls that he took as "brides." Attorney and legal historian Ken Driggs is an expert on polygamy and has been following the Jeffs case. He was on the expert witness list for the defense in this case but wasn't called to testify. Driggs thinks there are elements to this case that are not considered typical for a sexual assault trial. Host Neal Conan talks with Driggs about the particulars of this case and polygamy and the law.

During the bleak days of the Great Depression, the unemployment rate neared 25 percent, and the stock market lost nearly 90 percent of its value, but the impact had an even wider reach. American families were restructured, hemlines on skirts were lengthened, and new political movements were born. In his new book, Pinched, writer Don Peck examines the decades-long impact that the panic of the 1890s, the Great Depression, and the oil-shock recessions of the 1970s had on American culture, politics and psychology, as well as the cultural changes that lie ahead. Host Neal Conan talks with Peck about his new book and the ways the most recent economic shock has already begun to change the psyche of the nation.

Best Apocalyptic Movie
As we drag through the dog days of summer, it's time for another edition of the TOTN Summer Movie Festival with our favorite film buff, Murray Horwitz. First up — a nod to the Rise of the Planet of the Apes — best, er, worst? — apocalyptic movies! Bring us your fire and brimstone.