Sarah Chayes first went to Afghanistan to report on the Taliban for NPR, but in 2002, after the fall of the Taliban government in Kabul, she left journalism and dedicated herself to rebuilding the country. She drew on her experiences to write her 2006 book, The Punishment of Virtue. Chayes is an advocate for economic development in Afghanistan, and she founded a cooperative in Kandahar that produces skin-care products from local crops. The cooperative aims to help farmers earn a living from licit crops rather than opium. Chayes joins Fresh Air to explain how the Taliban is using both fear and persuasion to once again expand its power in Afghanistan.
ALSO, Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid joins Fresh Air to discuss recent Taliban advances in Pakistan. Taliban-led violence in Pakistan, especially on the Afghanistan border, appears to be escalating. On Feb. 3, militants associated with the hard-line religious movement destroyed a bridge in Northwest Pakistan that supplies food, gas, and equipment to US-led forces in Afghanistan. On Feb. 2, an American U.N. official was kidnapped and his Pakistani driver were killed; officials say they suspect Taliban militants. Rashid covers Pakistani culture and politics for a number of publications including The Daily Telegraph and The Far Eastern Economic Review. He has written several books, including Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia and the bestseller Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. He is a regular guest on Fresh Air.
We learn about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s first one hundred days in office and how his administration reinvented the role of the federal government. Our guest is ADAM COHEN, author of “Nothing to Fear: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America.” He is assistant editorial page editor of the New York Times, where he has been a member of the Editorial Board since 2002. Listen to the mp3
We discuss the ethical and medical issues raised by case of Nadya Suleman. Last week, this single mother of six gave birth to octuplets. Our guests are RUTH LEVY GUYER, bioethics professor at Haverford College. She is author of Baby at Risk: The Uncertain Legacies of Medical Miracles for Babies, Families, and Society. JACQUELINE GUTMANN, Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology. She practices at Northern Fertility and Reproductive Associates in Philadelphia. Listen to the mp3
Stories about what happens when someone new takes over—someone with a vision of how things ought to be. Plus, NPR international economics correspondent Adam Davidson of the Planet Money podcast on how Obama’s new stimulus plan might actually be the first ever test of a very, very old theory. Our crack economics duo, Producer Alex Blumberg and NPR International Economics Correspondent Adam Davidson, on how a dead, slutty, elitist British man, John Maynard Keynes, is about to take over the American economy. President Obama’s new stimulus plan relies on Keynes’ theory, which says that government can spend its way out of a downward economic spiral. Alex and Adam explain why this might actually be the first ever test of this very old idea. You can hear Alex and Adam’s other economics stories on the Planet Money podcast.
Global superstar Tom Jones is “opening up shop” once more with the release of 24 Hours, his first U.S. album release in more than 15 years. The exuberant performer first rose to fame in the early 1960s, but it was his hit single “It’s Not Unusual” in 1965 that made him a living legend. Jones’ clean-cut style, infectious blues and energetic pop tunes have helped him sustain a long career that continues unabated. With 24 Hours, perhaps his most intimate album to date, Jones opted to get more involved in the songwriting process. The result is a highly personal collection, including a soul-baring track written for his wife of more than 50 years, Linda. The album also features a cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s “The Hitter” and a collaboration with Bono. The genre-crossing crooner talks with host David Dye about how the vintage sound of new music by Amy Winehouse and Duffy inspired him to recapture the essence of his ’60s-era work. He’ll also share some priceless memories of encounters with Elvis Presley and Otis Redding.
TOM JONES: Delilah