All Things Considered

Weekdays 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
Melissa Block, Michele Norris & Robert Siegal

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Heard by more than 13 million* people on over 600 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. Guy Raz hosts a one-hour edition of the program on Saturday and Sunday.

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Three Books...
4:49 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

When Empires Fail: 3 Books That Predict The Crash

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 6:10 pm

It begins with a political leader or a businessman who hits on a powerful new idea, one that puts him miles ahead of everyone else. It could be a new innovation, like the financial derivative, or a new way of doing business, like Microsoft selling software. It could be something destructive, like Hitler's blitzkrieg, which ran over France in two months. No matter the specifics, it leaves everyone else flat-footed and looking foolish.

Our man (it's usually a man) is now indestructible and untouchable. With nothing in his way, he is, for a while, an irresistible force.

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Planet Money
2:42 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

How Mitt Romney's Firm Transformed A Struggling Company, In 5 Steps

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 11:19 am

Mitt Romney says his experience in private equity taking over troubled companies would make him a good manager of America's economy. So we're reporting on companies that Bain Capital bought while Romney was in charge of the firm. This morning, we told the story of one that went bust. Here's the story of one that succeeded.

How A Private-Equity Firm Turns A Company Around

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Law
5:56 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Is A Lie Just Free Speech, Or Is It A Crime?

The Supreme Court heard arguments over whether it should be a crime to lie about receiving military medals. Here large replicas of the Medals of Honor hang at the Medal of Honor Museum.
Bruce Smith ASSOCIATED PRESS

The U.S. Supreme Court took up the subject of lying on Wednesday.

Specifically at issue was the constitutionality of a 2006 law that makes it a crime to lie about having received a military medal. But the questions posed by the justices ranged far beyond that — from advertising puffery to dating lies.

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Law
5:19 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Supreme Court Considers Case On Military Honors

The Supreme Court engaged in a lively debate Wednesday when it heard oral arguments in a case testing whether the 2006 Stolen Valor Act is constitutional. The law makes it a crime to lie about military honors.

Book Reviews
4:52 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

What Happened In 'Watergate': An Alternate Take

Getty Images

Nearly 40 years after the Watergate scandal, Watergate, Thomas Mallon's latest historical novel, captures both the metastasizing dishonesty and the ludicrousness of this great American tragedy of political ambition run amok.

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Music Reviews
2:28 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

A 'Giant Anthology' Of Profile Records, Rap's Early Champion

Profile Records never meant to get into the rap game, but the label launched the careers of rap groups like Run-D.M.C.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 11:59 pm

Before the rise of Def Jam as hip-hop's definitive record label, there was Profile, which helped shepherd in some of the genre's early shifts in sound and style. A new two-CD anthology, Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology, chronicles the label's 15-year history and legacy.

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Music Interviews
2:19 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Galactic: A Funky Day In The Life Of Mardi Gras

The New Orleans funk band Galactic's latest album, Carnivale Electrico, takes listeners from Fat Tuesday to Ash Wednesday.
Zack Smith

Get ready to dance, because it's Mardi Gras — a day to cut loose before Lent begins. In New Orleans, that means a day of parades, costumes and music everywhere you turn.

For the members of Galactic, Mardi Gras actually started on Monday, with an "annual gig that goes until the sun comes up at local club Tipitina's," saxophonist and harmonica player Ben Ellman says. For the long-running New Orleans funk band, it's one of the biggest gigs of the year.

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You Must Read This
4:50 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

A Depressive Diarist Chronicles His Descent

istockphoto.com

Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers.

"Doesn't the act of noticing matter as much as what's noticed?" So asks the narrator of Harry Mathews' masterpiece of minutia, The Journalist.

On the mend from a nervous breakdown (though it's mentioned only in passing — "the steering wheel came off in my hands," he says), he's been encouraged by his doctor to keep a journal. A seemingly benign idea, and he throws himself into the task with gusto — far too much gusto, it turns out, as the journal soon eclipses his entire life.

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Arts & Life
2:52 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Our Media, Ourselves: Are We Headed For A Matrix?

Design Within Reach? The cool sterility of 2001: A Space Odyssey is just one example of how pop culture expresses an anxiety that's seemingly about technology, but may be as old as time.
MGM

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 9:31 am

When Hollywood imagines the future, from Logan's Run to Avatar, it tends to picture living spaces as sterile and characterless, without any cultural clues to the person who lives there. No record library, no DVDs, no Hemingway on bookshelves ... often no bookshelves.

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Book Reviews
2:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Book Review: 'The Darlings'

Bernie Madoff's investment scandal inspired financial analyst Christina Alger to write a novel based on the personal and financial turmoil created by the collapse. It's called The Darlings, and Alan Cheuse — writing professor at George Mason University — has a review.

Europe
2:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Eurozone Ministers Close To Greek Bailout Deal

Host Audie Cornish talks with Eric Westervelt about the decision on whether to grant Greece another bailout, this time worth $171 billion.

Three Books...
6:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Screen Time: 3 Books That Should Be Movies

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 8:09 am

J.D. Salinger famously refused to sell the film rights to The Catcher in the Rye, saying it was "unactable." It's true the subtleties of such great novels can get lost in translation. But I thought I'd take a look at three of my favorite novels that have never made it to the multiplex in wide release. Each of these will transport you to another time and another place.

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NPR Story
6:58 pm
Sun February 19, 2012

The Role Of Political Spouses: Decoding An Image

One of the most talked about personalities on the Republican presidential campaign trail, Callista Gingrich, rarely says a word. That hasn't kept her out of the spotlight, though. From their hair to their home life, potential first ladies get attention on the campaign trail.

Technology
4:39 pm
Sun February 19, 2012

The New Running Game Where 'Zombies' Chase You

The Zombies, Run! iPhone app is a running game and audio adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world.
Six to Start

The new iPhone app called "Zombies, RUN!" is not your standard running game.

It's designed to encourage folks, such as say, video gamers, who aren't usually associated with exercise to take up running.

British writer Naomi Alderman, who is a gamer herself as well as an Orange-award winning novelist, came up with the idea for "Zombies, RUN!" while in a class for amateur runners she tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Mary-Louise Kelly.

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Remembrances
2:00 pm
Sun February 19, 2012

The Man Who Revolutionized Pinball Dies At 100

Originally published on Sun February 19, 2012 6:58 pm

Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Mary Louise Kelly. Today, the world lost a man who elevated a simple arcade game...

(SOUNDBITE OF PINBALL GAME)

KELLY: ...into an American obsession.

(SOUNDBITE OF PINBALL)

KELLY: Steve Kordek was Mr. Pinball. Before he came along, the game looked totally different.

DAVID SILVERMAN: The other companies had games that were six flippers per game.

KELLY: That's David Silverman, founder of the National Pinball Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Music News
5:40 pm
Sat February 18, 2012

Houston Fan: 'We Got Tears Outside The Perimeters'

Fans mourn outside the funeral service for singer Whitney Houston in Newark, N.J., on Saturday. The pop superstar was found dead in a California hotel room a week ago. The cause of death has yet to be determined.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 18, 2012 6:20 pm

It was at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., where Whitney Houston first learned to sing, and it was there that friends and family gathered on Saturday to say goodbye to the pop superstar.

The star-studded service lasted more than three hours. Among those in attendance were Dionne Warwick, Kevin Costner and Alicia Keys.

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Author Interviews
3:15 pm
Sat February 18, 2012

Murder, Corruption And Cover-Ups In 'Bloodland'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 5:11 pm

A troubled starlet dies in a helicopter crash off the Irish coast after sending a series of mysterious text messages. Three years later, a hungry young reporter desperate for work takes an assignment to write a quickie celebrity biography of her — but finds complexity and danger.

That seemingly accidental death is the catalyst for the events in Bloodland, a new thriller by Irish author Alan Glynn.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Sat February 18, 2012

Week In News: Payroll Tax Cut, China VP Visit

In a victory for the White House, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed an extension of the payroll tax cut on Friday after weeks of refusal. Host Mary Louise Kelly speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about the political reasoning behind the vote.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Sat February 18, 2012

The Future Of Children's Books

Originally published on Sat February 18, 2012 5:41 pm

Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

So here's a conundrum for parents. If you have kids, you get told over and over limit their screen time. And you're also told, instead of screen time, get them reading more, which is all well and good, except that these days, many children do their reading on a screen, which raises some interesting questions about how children read today and what direction things are headed in children's book publishing.

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Music Interviews
5:46 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Gretchen Peters: Personal Pain As Universal Truth

Gretchen Peters' new album is Hello Cruel World.
Gina Binkley

Country Music Award winner Gretchen Peters had an eventful 2010: The BP oil spill washed up on her doorstep, a good friend committed suicide, and her son announced that he's transgender. The last of those in particular, she says, got her thinking about personal conflict.

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Let Them Eat Funnel Cake: A Napoleon-Based Theme Park for France

A dark cloud passes over a statue of Napoleon in Vienna.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

No celebrity can be truly world renown unless they have their own theme park. Mickey Mouse and Disney have theirs. Now, Napoleon might get his chance too.

Christian Mantei the head of Atout France, the tourism group supporting the endeavor, once told the The Economist that "bosses at Disneyland Paris once said that only Napoleon had the stature to take on Mickey Mouse".

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Music Interviews
2:32 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Conor Oberst, Ron Sexsmith Pay Tribute To Leonard Cohen

It's natural for Leonard Cohen to think a lot about mortality near the end of his life, but Ron Sexsmith says Cohen has never sung about "frivolous things."
Dominique Issermann

Originally published on Sun February 19, 2012 5:50 pm

Who'd have thought a 77-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter would be hovering near the top of the pop charts?

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Media
2:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Murdoch Tries To Calm Fears At 'Sun'

Following days of rebellious complaints from The Sun tabloid's newsroom, News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch was in London Friday to reassure journalists of his commitment to the paper. Murdoch also announced plans to create a Sunday edition of The Sun.

Election 2012
2:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Santorum Picks Up Momentum In Michigan

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum gained two endorsements on Friday, including one from Ohio's attorney general who had previously supported Mitt Romney. Santorum and former Massachusetts governor Romney are campaigning in Michigan ahead of its Feb. 28 primary.

Movies
2:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Oscar Lobbying On The Other Campaign Trail

The 2012 Academy Awards are fast approaching, but behind all the glitz and glamor of Hollywood there is furious lobbying going on for that golden statuette. Robert Siegel talks with Christy Grosz, the awards editor at Variety, about the ins and outs of Oscar campaigning.

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