December 19th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, remembering the Iraq War, and the legacy of Vaclav Havel. In the second hour, what's next for North Korea, and author Chad Harbach talks about his debut novel, The Art of Fielding.
NPR logo December 19th: What's On Today's Show

December 19th: What's On Today's Show

Specialist Dante Battle from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division secures the perimeter outside of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle on the way to cross the Kuwaiti border as part of the last U.S. military convoy to leave Iraq Sunday Dec. 18, 2011. Lucas Jackson/AP hide caption

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Lucas Jackson/AP

How Will You Remember Iraq?
As the formal withdrawal from Iraq continues, the legacy of the war has yet to fully be determined. The American public, armed forces personnel, and the intelligence and defense communities were all affected by the decisions that were made throughout the war, and the long-term impacts and lessons from nine years in Iraq are yet to be determined. Host Neal Conan speaks with Tom Ricks, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, Retired Marine Col. Gary Anderson and Army veteran Andrew Exum about how Americans will remember the Iraq War, and what we should learn from it.

Remembering Another Side Of Vaclav Havel
Thousands of mourners gathered in Prague today to mourn the death of former Czech President Vaclav Havel. Havel, a dissident playwright who led the bloodless "Velvet Revolution" against the communist regime in 1989, died Sunday at the age of 75. He is remembered for his ability to weave theatre into politics, and his work informed many peaceful revolutions around the world. Host Neal Conan talks with Ariel Dorfman, a fellow dissident playwright and human rights activist, about the ways Havel inspired him and the legacy he leaves behind.

What's Next For North Korea
The death of North Korea's Kim Jong Il signals a new era for a country faced with malnutrition and security conflicts with its Asian neighbors. His inexperienced son is poised to take over, though there's been no official announcement. Former ambassador to North Korea Christopher Hill joins host Neal Conan to discuss how Kim Jong Il's death will affect the relationship between North and South Korea, and North Korea's relationship with the U.S.

Books We Missed: 'The Art Of Fielding'
Chad Harbach's debut novel, The Art of Fielding is as much about literary fiction as it is about America's national past time. The book follows Henry Skrimshander, a talented but socially awkward shortstop at a small, fictional Midwestern liberal arts college, destined for big-league stardom. But when a routine throw goes wrong, Henry's life starts to fall apart. His errors on the field create problems off the field with his teammates, his roommate, and a school administrator. Neal Conan talks with Harbach about his novel, The Art of Fielding.