Joe Donahue | WAMC

Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

In a world in which the word masculinity now often goes hand in hand with toxic, comedian, actor, and father Michael Ian Black offers up a way forward for boys, men, and anyone who loves them. Part memoir, part advice book, and written as a heartfelt letter to his college-bound son, "A Better Man" reveals Black’s own complicated relationship with his father, explores the damage and rising violence caused by the expectations placed on boys to “man up,” and searches for the best way to help young men be part of the solution, not the problem.

9/18/20 Panel

4 hours ago

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics Judith Enck, Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti, and UAlbany Lecturer in Africana Studies Jennifer Burns.

A Deal With A Devil

Sep 17, 2020

Tony Schwartz was Donald Trump’s ghostwriter for his bestselling book, "The Art of the Deal." In his new audiobook, "Dealing with the Devil: My Mother, Trump and Me," he confronts the shame that arose in the years after he helped craft a persona for Donald Trump that 30 years later aided in his election as president.

Schwartz explores how the experience of writing "The Art of the Deal" prompted him to take an entirely different path in his life. This path led Schwartz to a lifelong exploration of the factors that shape our beliefs and identity, the influence of our early caregivers, and the ways that we can heal and grow by accepting and acknowledging both the best and the worst in ourselves.

Schwartz’s story is defined not by his time with Trump, but rather by his lifelong quest to become a better human being - as a husband, a father, a grandfather and as the CEO of a company devoted to helping others more skillfully and wisely manage their lives.

Based on the highly acclaimed NPR podcast, "How I Built This" with Guy Raz, his new book offers insights and inspiration from the world’s top entrepreneurs on how to start, launch, and build a successful venture.

Great ideas often come from a simple spark: A soccer player on the New Zealand national team notices all the unused wool his country produces and figures out a way to turn them into shoes (Allbirds). A former Buddhist monk decides the very best way to spread his mindfulness teachings is by launching an app (Headspace). A sandwich cart vendor finds a way to reuse leftover pita bread and turns it into a multimillion-dollar business (Stacy’s Pita Chips).

Award-winning journalist and NPR host Guy Raz has interviewed more than 200 highly successful entrepreneurs to uncover amazing true stories like these. In "How I Built This,: he shares tips for every entrepreneur’s journey.

Nationally, Joe Biden maintains a big advantage among Hispanic voters relative to 2016 exit polling. A Washington Post average of recent polls shows that he’s faring almost as well as Hillary Clinton did with that group four years ago.

In Arizona, he’s outperforming Clinton — a good sign for his candidacy. But in Florida, the picture is starker for the Democrat: His lead over Donald Trump is only in the low double-digits.

The chairman of the Capital District LATINOS Dan Irizarry joins us this morning to discuss the power of Latinos in voting as well as in our region with the Cultural Empowerment and Community Engagement Center – a place for culture, art, music, and poetry. It’s a place for the growing Latino community to come together and stay connected to their roots.

9/17/20 Panel

Sep 17, 2020

      The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist Linda Ellerbee, counterterrorism expert and best-sellingauthor Malcolm Nance, and Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics Vera Eccarius-Kelly.

By the time of his assassination in 1963, John F. Kennedy stood at the helm of the greatest power the world had ever seen, a booming American nation that he had steered through some of the most perilous diplomatic standoffs of the Cold War.

Born in 1917 to a striving Irish American family that had become among Boston’s wealthiest, Kennedy knew political ambition from an early age, and his meteoric rise to become the youngest elected president cemented his status as one of the most mythologized figures in American history.

Fredrik Logevall is Laurence Belfer Professor of International Affairs and professor of history at Harvard University. He has spent much of the last decade searching for the “real” JFK. His new book is "JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956."

In a collaboration devised to meet the challenges posed by the global health pandemic, the 2020 Williamstown Theatre Festival season will be the first-ever complete theatre season released by Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks.

The 2020 WTF Season on Audible is being produced in an audio-only format safe to elevate, entertain, and transform audiences from the comfort of their homes. While this season is different, it is being made with the spirit of invention that has long been a hallmark of the Festival.

The new work looks to transport you into the world of Blanche DuBois in 1940s New Orleans, into a hotel in Thailand where Kina prepares for gender confirmation surgery, onto Tori McClure’s rowboat as she rows solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and so much more.

To tell us about it – we welcome Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director of WTF.

Last year, a best-selling author Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch wrote "The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington," a best-seller that was praised by critics, historians, and two U.S. presidents for its research and propulsive narrative.

Now Meltzer and Mensch return to uncover another fascinating episode previously lost to history in the new book, "The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President and Why it Failed." In our current climate of uncertainty and fear, the book is a reminder of the capacity for American greatness in the form of one of its most lauded and inspirational heroes, Abraham Lincoln.

9/16/20 Panel

Sep 16, 2020

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, investigative journalist and UAlbany adjunct professor Rosemary Armao, Dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Cybersecurity at the University at Albany Robert Griffin, and Times Union columnist Chris Churchill.

Vanessa Veselka’s new novel, "The Great Offshore Grounds," tells the story of sisters Livy and Cheyenne as they set out to claim an unusual inheritance from their estranged father. The book explores how individuals begin to navigate ethics and emotions until they find where in the world they belong.

Nolan Gasser is a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist. Most notably, he is the architect of Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project and the chief musicologist from its founding in 2000. Dr. Gasser lectures widely on the nature of musical taste and the intersections of music, science, and culture. He received his Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford.

His new book is "Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste."

This week's Book Picks come from Kira Wizner of Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, New York.

List:
“His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope” by Jon Meacham and John Lewis
“Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gysai
“What Are You Going Through” by Sigrid Nunez
“Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell
“Lying Life of Adults” by Elena Ferrante
“Big Friendship” by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman
“Three Keys” by Kelly Yang
“Experience and Education” by John Dewey
I Give It to You” by Valerie Martin
"Heroes Wear Masks: Elmo's Super Adventure"

Proponents of large-scale learning have boldly promised that technology can disrupt traditional approaches to schooling, radically accelerating learning and democratizing education. In "Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education," Justin Reich delivers a sobering report card on the latest supposedly transformative educational technologies.

Reich takes readers on a tour of auto-graders, computerized “intelligent tutors,” and other educational technologies whose problems and paradoxes have bedeviled educators. Technology does have a crucial role to play in the future of education, Reich concludes. We still need new teaching tools, and classroom experimentation should be encouraged. But successful reform efforts will focus on incremental improvements, not the next killer app.

9/15/20 Panel

Sep 15, 2020

  

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, investigative journalist and UAlbany adjunct professor Rosemary Armao, The Empire Report’s J.P. Miller, and former Associate Editor of The Times Union Mike Spain.

The new book, "A Wonderful Life," is a series of essays that explore the notion of what brings significance to our existences, clarifying why we have this longing beyond the present moment and an insatiable dissatisfaction with where we are, scholar Frank Martela tackles the subject of finding meaning in life.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This week we focus on the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley and welcome their Executive Director - Denise Figueroa.

American politics are obsessed with sex and religion has been wound up in these political struggles, and blamed for not a little of the resistance to meaningful change in America political life.

In "The Sex Obsession," Janet R. Jakobsen examines how gender and sexuality have reappeared time and again at the center of political life, marked by a series of widely recognized issues and movements.

P. J. O’Rourke says we’ve worked ourselves into a state of anger and perplexity, and it’s no surprise because perplexed and angry are what Americans have been since the Roanoke Colony got lost.

His new book, "A Cry From the Far Middle," looks at the state of these United States and includes essays on everything from the political effects of social media, (“Whose Bright Idea Was It to Make Sure that Every Idiot in the World Is in Touch with Every Other Idiot?”) to a plan advanced to reform federal poverty programs (“Just Give Them the Money”); and a rant is made against the “Internet of Things” because your juicer is sending fake news to your Fitbit about what’s in your refrigerator.

P. J. O’Rourke has written nineteen books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. He is a regular panelist on NPR's "Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me," a contributing writer for the Washington Post editorial page, and the editor in chief of the free web magazine "American Consequences."

9/14/20 Panel

Sep 14, 2020

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, investigative journalist and UAlbany adjunct professor Rosemary Armao, political consultant and lobbyist Libby Post, and Bard Center for Civic Engagement Senior Fellow and Dean of the School of Continuing Education at the American University Cairo Jim Ketterer.

Joshua L. Powell is the NRA--a lifelong gun advocate, in 2016, he began his new role as a senior strategist and chief of staff to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. What Powell uncovered was horrifying: "the waste and dysfunction at the NRA was staggering."

'"Inside the NRA" reveals for the first time the rise and fall of the most powerful political organization in America - how the NRA became feared as the Death Star of Washington lobbies and so militant and extreme as "to create and fuel the toxicity of the gun debate until it became outright explosive."

The book explains this intentional toxic messaging was wholly the product of LaPierre's leadership and the extremist branding by his longtime PR puppet master Angus McQueen. In damning detail, Powell exposes the NRA's plan to "pour gasoline" on the fire in the fight against gun control, to sow discord to fill its coffers, and to secure the presidency for Donald J. Trump.

"Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump" is the final book in Seth Abramson’s Proof series following "Proof of Collusion" and "Proof of Conspiracy," both national bestsellers.

"Proof of Corruption" looks to connect the dots between worldwide headlines to create a comprehensive history and analysis of the Trump administration. The book is a searing indictment of Trump’s brazen behavior in office and the dire consequences for the world.

Seth Abramson is a former criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator who teaches journalism and legal advocacy at the University of New Hampshire. A graduate of Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is a political columnist at Newsweek and the author.

As the head of Open Learning at MIT, renowned professor Sanjay Sarma has a daunting job description: to fling open the doors of the MIT experience for the benefit of the wider world. But if you're going to undertake such an ambitious project, you first have to ask: How do we learn?  What are the most effective ways of educating? And how can the science of learning transform education to unlock our potential, as individuals and across society?

The new book, "Grasp" takes readers across multiple frontiers, from fundamental neuroscience to cognitive psychology and beyond, as it explores the future of learning. 

9/11/20 Panel

Sep 11, 2020

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics Judith Enck, Communications Faculty member at SUNY New Paltz & R.P.I. and former NYS Senator Terry Gipson, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

In "The Hunting of Hillary," Pulitzer prize winning political reporter Michael D’Antonio details the years of lies and insults heaped upon Hillary Clinton as she pursued a life devoted to politics and policy. The worst took the form of sexism and misogyny, much of it barely disguised.

A pioneer for women, Clinton was burdened in ways no man ever was. Defined by a right-wing conspiracy, she couldn’t declare what was happening lest she be cast as weak and whiny. Nevertheless, she persisted and wouldn't let them define her.

As "The Hunting of Hillary" makes clear, her achievements have been all the more remarkable for the unique opposition she encountered. The 2016 presidential election can only be understood in the context of the primal and primitive response of those who just couldn’t imagine that a woman might lead.

We are in the middle of a cultural revolution, where the spectrum of gender and sexual identities is seemingly unlimited. So when author and journalist Lisa Selin Davis's six-year-old daughter first called herself a "tomboy," Davis was hesitant.

Her child favored sweatpants and T-shirts over anything pink or princess-themed, just like the sporty, skinned-kneed girls Davis had played with as a kid. But "tomboy" seemed like an outdated word--why use a word with "boy" in it for such girls at all? So was it outdated?

In an era where some are throwing elaborate gender reveal parties and others are embracing they/them pronouns, Davis set out to answer that question, and to find out where tomboys fit into our changing understandings of gender.

The name of the book is "Tomboy: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different."

Published in 37 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, Karin Slaughter's twenty novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated "Cop Town" and the instant New York Times bestselling novels "Pretty Girls," "The Good Daughter" and, her latest, "The Silent Wife."

9/10/20 Panel

Sep 10, 2020

 

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist Linda Ellerbee, immigration attorney and associate with the Albany law firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, Cianna Freeman-Tolbert, and Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at RPI and Director of the RPI-IBM Artificial Intelligence research collaboration Jim Hendler.

The final volume of Ian Toll’s definitive history of the Pacific War, "Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945," comes on the 75th anniversary of the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay marking the formal close of World War II.

It is narrative history, full of drama and the texture of lived reality, of decisions and actions with consequences. The book encompasses all aspects of the war, bringing each into focus, arresting both the heroic and tragic, the powerful and powerless, diplomat and warrior, sailor and admiral, American and Japanese, winner and loser - one that by its conclusion had transformed the future of the 20th century and beyond.

Ian Toll’s past books include the New York Times bestseller "The Conquering Tide," "Pacific Crucible," and "Six Frigates."

The Woodstock Film Festival is announcing its 2020 lineup of screenings and events that will be held virtually and at area drive-ins, including a pop-up drive-in at Andy Lee Field in Woodstock.

The 21st annual festival is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 4. This year's festival will be a "reformatted virtual edition," due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with in-person screenings limited to drive-in venues in Woodstock, Greenville and Poughkeepsie.

Festival Executive Director and Co-founder Meira Blaustein joins us this morning to tell us more. 

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