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Barack Obama's 1st biographer, David Mendell: Michelle didn't care for the book23/11/2019
He’s Barack Obama’s first biographer. But journalist David Mendell doesn’t expect his award-winning 2007 book, Obama: From Promise to Power, to land a spot in Obama’s presidential library.Mendell and I were colleagues at the Chicago Tribune through much of the 2000s, but we barely exchanged hellos back then because he was so busy covering Obama’s rise to the U.S. Senate.So I learned a lot—including just how hard Obama worked to conceal his smoking habit—as Mendell and I finally got to catch up on-stage at Dominican University in River Forest, in this installment of the Wednesday Journal Conversations / Chicago Public Square Podcast series, recorded Nov. 20, 2019.Listen here, on your favorite podcast player, via Spotify and Pandora, on Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers* or on iTunes (say “Hey, Siri! Play Chicago Public Square Podcasts”).Enjoying these? Keep them coming by joining The Legion of Chicago Public Squarians.*Even if you don’t have an Alexa speaker, you can turn iOS and Android phones into Alexa d
Science fiction, Radicalized: An interview with Cory Doctorow25/03/2019
Wanna know what terrible technology is headed your way in the years ahead? Journalist and science fiction author Cory Doctorow says it’s not hard: Take a look at what The Powers That Be are foisting on prisoners and students.Doctorow joined the Chicago Public Square Podcast for half an hour or so to talk about police brutality; controversial high-rise developments and “poor-doors”; the criminalization of copyright law; and his new book, Radicalized—a collection of four science fiction novellas that the jacket calls “Tales of Our Present Moment.” Listen here, on your favorite podcast player, on Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers* or on iTunes (say “Hey, Siri! Play Chicago Public Square Podcasts”).Enjoying these podcasts? Keep them coming by joining The Legion of Chicago Public Squarians.And if you’re a Doctorow fan, check out his Craphound website, where you can download many of his works (but not Radicalized) free; and Boing Boing, the news site he co-edits.*Even if you don’t have an Alexa speaker, you can turn
How Steve James overcame doubt—his and others'—to create 'America to Me'14/12/2018
Filmmaker Steve James’s work—including the Oscar-nominated Hoop Dreams and Abacus—has won him critical acclaim galore and goodwill in the town where he lives, Oak Park.But when he set out to create his 10-part documentary series America to Me—about Oak Park, its historic commitment to integration and its high school’s challenges in living up to a reputation for inclusiveness—he had his doubts.Hear all about that—and catch up with two of the students spotlighted by this celebrated Starz series—in a Chicago Public Square Podcast. Listen here or on Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers*, iTunes, Spotify (new!) or your favorite podcast player. (Photo: Wednesday Journal / Alexa Rogals.)If you enjoy this, check out other podcasts in the series.And if you’re new to these parts, please sign up for the free daily Square news update here.* Even if you don’t have an Alexa smart speaker, you can turn iOS and Android phones into Alexa devices for free—a low-impact way to experiment with the technology.
Food Network star Jeff Mauro talks about that time a guy in the audience died20/05/2018
Something different for the Chicago Public Square Newscast (and Podcast) series this time: A visit with Food Network star and Chicago native Jeff Mauro.He joined the Wednesday Journal Conversations series May 15, 2018, to talk about his life and times—including that time he was performing improv comedy and a ticketholder died.And stick around to hear in detail about Mauro’s bathing habits. (Photo: Carmen Rivera.)Listen here, or on Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers*, iTunes or your favorite podcast player.You can hear previous installments in the Conversations series—including chats with Obama administration strategist David Axelrod and Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal—here.And thanks this time out for support from Legion of Chicago Squarians members Marc Magliari, Denise Mattson, David Mausner, Joe McArdle, John & Beth Messina, Barbara Miller and Larry Montgomery. You can join them for pennies a day here.* Even if you don’t have an Alexa smart speaker, you can turn iOS and Android
David Axelrod: From Oak Park to the White House05/01/2018
When President Obama’s former chief strategist—now University of Chicago Institute of Politics founder and CNN senior political commentator—David Axelrod agreed to return to his old suburban neighborhood to kick off the Wednesday Journal newspaper’s series of public conversations at Dominican University, I was honored by the request to moderate the session with my long-ago neighbor and teammate at Chicago’s WXRT-FM. It was an enlightening and—by the account of Axelrod’s fans in the audience—therapeutic evening. Hear for yourself in this podcast, recorded Sept. 6, 2017.(Photo: Alexa Rogals, Wednesday Journal)
'Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me!' host Peter Sagal tells his not-favorite things05/01/2018
Let Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s incredibly successful Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!, tell you this:He hates the show’s name. He also hates the place where he creates that show. You’ll learn why as you listen to a podcast of my onstage interview with Sagal—part of the Wednesday Journal Conversations series—in which he talks about the show, his career, the Constitution under Donald Trump, the challenge sexual harassment poses to comedy writing, the differences between announcers Bill Kurtis and Carl Kasell, and much more … including Sagal’s affection for the village we both call home: Oak Park, Ill. Hear how it went at Dominican University in River Forest, Nov. 20, 2017.P.S. Enjoy this? Check out the previous installment in this podcast series: My interview with President Obama’s former chief strategist, David Axelrod.P.P.S. Imagine how your advertisement or underwriting message would sound as part of the next in this podcast series, with a presence in the show and on this website. Interested? Write to [email protected]