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

Members of the Makkah congregation - men half-bowing in a room with a tiled floor
Jonathan Young/Nutopia/PBS

Beginning tomorrow, PBS will premiere the first of a four-part series, co-hosted by Steven Johnson titled Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer. The series and the companion book are set in the context of today’s COVID-19 crisis and explores the lessons learned from previous global pandemics and reveals how a public health revolution was launched.

Johnson looks at the milestones of this progress from the discoveries of vaccines and antibiotics, to the introduction of things that are now commonplace.

Johnson also turns his keen analytical eye to the present: Do we risk regressing in life expectancy as our public health systems face unprecedented challenges such as the one we’re living through? Are we overlooking any current technologies or field of research that will enable us to live even longer than we do now?

5/10/21 RT Panel

8 hours ago
Microphone in radio studio
WAMC / WAMC

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Vice President for Editorial Development at the New York Press Association Judy Patrick, political consultant and lobbyist Libby Post, and Albany Law School professor and Director of the Immigration Law Clinic Sarah Rogerson.

Book cover artwork for "Rooted"
Little Brown, Spark

In "Rooted," cutting-edge science supports a truth that poets, artists, mystics, and earth-based cultures across the world have proclaimed over millennia: life on this planet is radically interconnected. Our bodies, thoughts, minds, and spirits are affected by the whole of nature, and they affect this whole in return. In this time of crisis, how can we best live upon our imperiled, beloved earth?

Award-winning writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s highly personal new book is a brilliant invitation to live with the earth in both simple and profound ways—from walking barefoot in the woods and reimagining our relationship with animals and trees, to examining the very language we use to describe and think about nature.

Suzanne Simard is one of the world's leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest. Her new book is "Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest."

Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she illuminates the fascinating and vital truths - that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complex, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own.

5/7/21 RT Panel

May 7, 2021
Microphone in radio studio
WAMC / WAMC

  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 Professor of Economics Aaron Pacitti, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Movie poster for "Here Today" and book cover for "Laugh Lines"
provided

Alan Zweibel started his comedy career selling jokes for seven dollars apiece to the last of the Borscht Belt stand-ups. Then one night, despite bombing on stage, he caught the attention of Lorne Michaels and became one of the first writers at “Saturday Night Live,” where he penned classic material for Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and all of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players. From “SNL,” Zweibel went on to have a hand in a series of landmark shows—from “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” to “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

In his new book, “Laugh Lines,” Zweibel weaves together the stories of his influential career, from writing for a generation of Jackies and Mortys and Dickies to meeting Gilda while hiding behind a potted plant.

Alan’s latest film collaboration, “Here Today,” starring Billy Crystal & Tiffany Haddish will be in theaters on May 7th. Alan is the co-producer, the screenplay for “Here Today” was co-written by Crystal and Zweibel, inspired by Zweibel’s short story entitled “The Prize.”

Book cover for "My Time Will Come"
Pantheon

The inspiring story of activist and poet Ian Manuel, who at the age of fourteen was sentenced to life in prison. He survived eighteen years in solitary confinement through his own determination and dedication to art until he was freed as part of an incredible crusade by the Equal Justice Initiative.

The United States is the only country in the world that sentences thirteen- and fourteen-year-old offenders, mostly youth of color, to life in prison without parole. In 1991, Ian Manuel, then fourteen, was sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide crime. In a botched mugging attempt with some older boys, he shot a young white mother of two in the face. But as Bryan Stevenson, attorney and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has insisted, none of us should be judged by only the worst thing we have ever done.

The new book, "My Time Will Come" shows us the capacity of the human will to transcend adversity through determination and art—in Ian Manuel’s case, through his dedication to writing poetry.

5/6/21 RT Panel

May 6, 2021
Microphone in radio studio
WAMC / WAMC

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at RPI and Director of the RPI-IBM Artificial Intelligence research collaboration Jim Hendler, and counter-terrorism expert and best-selling author Malcolm Nance.

cover for The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

"The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia" is a comprehensive reference devoted to musical theater’s most prolific and admired composer and lyricist. Entries cover Sondheim’s numerous collaborators—from composers and directors to designers and orchestras—key songs—such as his Academy Award winner “Sooner or Later” (Dick Tracy), and major works including "Assassins," "Company," "Follies," "Sweeney Todd," and "West Side Story."

The encyclopedia also contains information about Sondheim’s mentoring by Oscar Hammerstein and his early collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, and profiles the actors who originated roles and sang Sondheim’s songs for the first time, including Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Mandy Patinkin, and Bernadette Peters.

Rick Pender has been an award-winning theater critic since 1986. He is past chair of the American Theatre Critics Association and was the executive editor and publisher of "Everything Sondheim" and managing editor of "The Sondheim Review."

Book cover for "No Common Ground"
The University of North Carolina Press

When it comes to Confederate monuments, there is no common ground. Polarizing debates over their meaning have intensified into legislative maneuvering to preserve the statues, legal battles to remove them, and rowdy crowds taking matters into their own hands. These conflicts have raged for well over a century--but they've never been as intense as they are today.

In "No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice," Karen L. Cox depicts what these statues meant to those who erected them and how a movement arose to force a reckoning. 

5/5/21 RT Panel

May 5, 2021
Microphone in radio studio
WAMC / WAMC

       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,  Times Union columnist Chris Churchill, and Dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany Robert Griffin.

Book cover for "This is the Voice"
Simon & Schuster

There’s no shortage of books about public speaking or language or song. But until now, there has been no book about the miracle that underlies them all: the human voice itself. And there are few writers who could take on this surprisingly vast topic with more artistry and expertise than John Colapinto.

Beginning with the novel and compelling argument that our ability to speak is what made us the planet’s dominant species, he guides us from the voice’s beginnings in lungfish millions of years ago to its culmination in the talent of Pavoratti, Martin Luther King Jr., and Beyoncé—and each of us, every day.

The name of the book is "This is the Voice."

Book covers for the books listed below on this page
provided - assorted publishers

Sharon Wienberg and Thomas Chulak from Chatham Bookstore in Chatham, New York join us with this week's Book Picks.

List:
Here Lies a Father by McKenzie Cassidy Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia
Exhausted on the Cross by Najwan Darwish
Hello World! by Kelly Corrigan illustrated by Stacy Ebert
Free Speech and Why You Should Give a Damn by Jonathan Zimmerman and Signe Wilkinson

Book cover for "Northern Spy" by Flynn Berry
Viking

Flynn Berry, the Edgar Award-winning author of "Under the Harrow," has established herself as one of the best new voices in suspense. Her latest, "Northern Spy," is a thriller about the contemporary IRA, and two sisters who find themselves caught in the middle of the re-escalating sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

5/4/21 RT Panel

May 4, 2021

  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.

Book cover for "Can I Recyle This?"
Penguin Books

Since the dawn of the recycling system, we have stood by their bins, holding an everyday object, wondering, "can I recycle this?" This simple question reaches into our concern for the environment, the care we take to keep our homes and our communities clean, and how we interact with our local government.

Jennie Romer’s new book, "Can I Recycle This?" gives straightforward answers to whether dozens of common household objects can or cannot be recycled, as well as the information you need to make that decision for anything else you encounter.

Jennie Romer has been working for years to help cities and states across America better deal with the waste we produce, helping draft legislation to help communities better process their waste and produce less of it in the first place.

Book cover for "Letter To a Young Female Physician"
W. W. Norton & Company

In 2017, Dr. Suzanne Koven published an essay describing the challenges faced by female physicians, including her own personal struggle with "imposter syndrome"―a long-held secret belief that she was not smart enough or good enough to be a “real” doctor. Accessed by thousands of readers around the world, Koven’s “Letter to a Young Female Physician” has evolved into a new book - a reflection on her career in medicine.

With warmth, clarity, and wisdom, "Letter to a Young Female Physician" reveals a woman forging her authentic identity in a modern landscape that is as overwhelming and confusing as it is exhilarating in its possibilities.

5/3/21 RT Panel

May 3, 2021
Microphone in radio studio
WAMC / WAMC

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, UAlbany Lecturer in Africana Studies Jennifer Burns, immigration attorney and Partner with the Albany law firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, Cianna Freeman-Tolbert, political consultant and lobbyist Libby Post.

Book cover for "Let's Talk Race"
New Society

"Let's Talk" Race confronts why white people struggle to talk about race, why we need to own this problem, and how we can learn to do the work ourselves and stop expecting Black people to do it for us.

Written by specialists in race relations and parents of two adopted African American sons, Fern Johnson and Marlene Fine, the book provides unique insights and practical guidance, richly illustrated with personal examples, anecdotes, research findings, and prompts for personal reflection and conversations about race.

Book cover for "The Lowering Days"
Harper

In his debut novel "The Lowering Days," Gregory Brown delivers an emotionally powerful saga, set in 1980s Maine, that explores family love, the power of myths and storytelling, survival and environmental exploitation, and the ties between cultural identity and the land we live on.

4/30/21 RT Panel

Apr 30, 2021
Microphone in radio studio
WAMC / WAMC

        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, Vice President for Editorial Development at the New York Press Association Judy Patrick, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

"Pelosi" By Molly Ball

Apr 29, 2021
Book cover for "Pelosi"
Picador

Molly Ball is TIME magazine's national political correspondent and a political analyst for CNN. She appears regularly on PBS's Washington Week, CBS's Face the Nation, ABC's This Week, and other television and radio programs.

Ball's book, "Pelosi" is now out in paperback. The portrait takes readers inside Pelosi’s life and times, from her roots in urban Baltimore to her formative years as a party activist and fundraiser, from the fractious politics of San Francisco to high-stakes congressional negotiations with multiple presidents.

Book cover for "The Invention of Miracles"
Simon & Schuster

Joe Donahue: The "Invention of Miracles" is a biography of Alexander Graham Bell, a revisionist biography, if you will. While best known for inventing the telephone, Bell's central work was in Deaf Education. In fact, he considered his true life's mission to be teaching the deaf to speak. However, by the end of his life, he had become the American Deaf community's most powerful enemy, as he positioned himself at the forefront of the oralist movement. They oralist movement's aim was to teach the deaf to speak and extinguish the use of American Sign Language in the face of growing evidence that focusing on speaking orally often came at the additional expense of all other education, causing serious harm to brain development. Katie Booth is the author of the new book, "The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell's Quest to End Deafness."

Book cover for "Hype" - bright sky blue background, "hype" in black serif text, sheep with a shadow in the shape of a wolf and a computer mouse cursor clicking on the sheep
Hanover Square Press

We live in an age where scams are the new normal. A charismatic entrepreneur sells thousands of tickets for a festival that never happened. Respected investors pour millions into a start-up centered around fake blood tests. Reviewers and celebrities flock to London’s top-rated restaurant that’s little more than a backyard shed. These unsettling stories of today’s viral grifters have risen to fame and hit the front-page headlines, yet the curious conundrum remains – why do these scams happen?

Drawing from scientific research, marketing campaigns, and exclusive documents and interviews, Vice reporter Gabrielle Bluestone delves into the irresistible hype that fuels our social media ecosystem, whether it’s from the trusted influencers that peddled Fyre or the consumer reviews that sold Juicero. Her new book is "Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet and Why We're Following" that pulls back the curtain on the manipulation game behind the never-ending scam season – and how we as consumers can stop getting played.

Gabrielle Bluestone is a journalist and Emmy-nominated producer of Netflix’s “Fyre”.

4/28/21 RT Panel

Apr 28, 2021
Microphone in radio studio
WAMC / WAMC

      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, Lecturer and Adjunct Professor in Communications for SUNY New Paltz and RPI Terry Gipson, and Dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany Robert Griffin.

*Originally aired as The Book Show #1668.

Joe Donahue: Amity Gaige's new novel “Sea Wife” is a swift and thrilling literary page turner about a young family who escaped suburbia for a year-long sailing trip that up ends all of their lives. "Sea Wife" is told in dual perspective. Juliet's first-person narration after the journey, as she struggles to come to terms with the life-changing events that unfolded at sea. And Michael's Captain's log which provides a slow motion account of these same inexorable events, a dialogue that reveals the fault lines created by personal history and political divisions. Amity Gaige is the author of three novels, "O My Darling", "The Folded World", and "Schroder", which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize in 2014.

Book cover for "The Climate Diet" (grass green background with text)
Penguin Books

Paul Greenberg is the author of the James Beard Award-winning bestseller "Four Fish," "American Catch," and "The Omega Principle," and a regular contributor to The New York Times.

His new book is "The Climate Diet: 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint."

Book covers for the books listed below on this page
provided - assorted publishers

    This week's Book Picks come from Nadja Tiktinsky of Northshire Books in Saratoga Spring, New York and Manchester Center, Vermont.

List:
365 Days to Alaska by Cathy Carr
The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold
The Deepest Breath by Meg Greehan
Starfish by Lisa Fipps
Where We Used to Roam by Jenn Bishop
Bloom by Nicola Skinner
The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton

4/27/21 RT Panel

Apr 27, 2021
Microphone in radio studio
WAMC / WAMC

 

     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, Cohoes City Director of Operations Theresa Bourgeois, and  and Bard Center for Civic Engagement Senior Fellow and Dean of the School of Continuing Education at the American University Cairo Jim Ketterer.

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono is the first Asian American woman and the only immigrant currently serving in the U.S. Senate.

In her new book, "Heart of Fire," Senator Hirono chronicles her evolution from a dogged yet soft-spoken public servant into the fiery critic and advocate we know her as today. Hers is a uniquely American story, of immigrating to a new country in search of a better life and then dedicating her own life to advocating for her constituents.

Personal stories explain her stance on healthcare, immigration, family separation, and education—and readers are given fly-on-the-wall access to Congress, where Senator Hirono reveals how the governing body functioned before and after the Trump administration came to power.

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