The Roundtable

Weekdays, 9 a.m.

Credit Peter Steiner

 WAMC's The Roundtable is an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program. The show airs from 9 a.m. to noon each weekday and features news, interviews, in-depth discussion, music, and much (much) more! Hosted by Joe Donahue and produced by Sarah LaDuke, The Roundtable tackles serious and lighthearted subjects, looking to explore the many facets of the human condition with civility, respect and responsibility.

The show's hallmark is thoughtful interviews with A-list newsmakers, authors, artists, sports figures, actors, and people with interesting stories to tell. Since hitting the airwaves in May of 2001, The Roundtable has interviewed the likes of Arthur Miller, Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou, Madeleine Albright, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, Bob Dole, Steve Martin, James Taylor, Stephen King, Melissa Etheridge, Lin-Manuel Miranda and lots of other really cool people. Plus, Wilco does our theme song. What more can you ask for?

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10:50 - Congressional Corner
11:10 - Earth Wise

Book Picks lists are here.

You may also hear Pulse of the Planet and Sound Beat on The Roundtable.

Acclaimed author and humorist Matt Geiger's debut book, "The Geiger Counter: Raised by Wolves & Other Stories" was published in 2016. It won First Prize in the Midwest Book Awards and was named as a Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the American Book Fest. He is also the winner of numerous journalism awards.

In his new collection of stories and essays, "Astonishing Tales!* (Stories & Essays) *Your Astonishment May Vary," Geiger seeks to de-familiarize us from the world, from the smallest detail to the most cosmic mythology, in order to see it all as if for the first time. Turning his philosopher’s vision to his own abundant Neanderthal DNA, parenting, competitive axe throwing, old age, and much more, he sets out in search of comic profundity.

The Berkshire International Film Festival is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the holiday favorite, “Scrooged,” with actress Karen Allen!

“Scrooged” is a darkly comedic update of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” directed by Richard Donner, starring Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a cynical television executive whose cutthroat business practices have made him rich and powerful, but left him a coldhearted and lonely cynic. Karen Allen plays his compassionate and kind-hearted girlfriend, Claire Philips.

Special guest Karen Allen will be on hand for a "behind the scenes" conversation with Berkshire writer and BIFF board member Mary Mott, and audience Q&A session.

The special event takes place on Friday, December 14 at 7PM at the Mahaiwe Theater

The week's Book Picks come from Thomas Chulak and Joanne Trapanese of The Chatham Bookstore.

"Grenade" by Alan Gratz
"Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales
"She Did It!" by Emily Arnold McCully
"Baby Feminists" by Libby Babbott-Klein
"Walking in Wonder" by John O'Donohue
"Call for Revolution" by Dalai Lama
"Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom " by Ariel Burger

File: Governor Andrew Cuomo at Norsk Titanium in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke with WAMC's Alan Chartock on The Roundtable Tuesday.

The new class is getting ready to take office. In today’s Congressional Corner, Representative-elect Antonio Delgado of New York’s 19th district wraps up his interview with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

In a series of essays entitled "Not for Nothing: Glimpses into a Jersey," author Kathy Curto recounts her Italian American girlhood on the Jersey Shore in the ‘70s & ‘80s. Some constant pivotal realities are ever-present in this coming of age memoir: the fallout from her parents’ stormy marriage, the physical and emotional residue from dirty, undervalued work and the effects of infidelity and addiction.

The daily dramas in her curious imagination, in the kitchen of their house on Regency Court and at Fred’s Texaco, the family business, guided her developing understanding of the world. This book is as much about people as it is about place, language, and chaotic family love.

Kathy Curto teaches at Montclair State University and the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. 

12/11/18 Panel

13 hours ago

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

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at RPI - Jim Hendler and Political Consultant Libby Post.

Nancy Pelosi appears to be in line to return as Speaker. In today’s Congressional Corner, Representative-elect Antonio Delgado of New York’s 19th district continues his interview with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

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 morning we focus on Joseph’s House & Shelter in Troy, NY. Kevin O’Connor is the Executive Director.

12/10/18 Panel

Dec 10, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Albany Law School Professor Sarah Rogerson who directs the Immigration Law Clinic; Political Consultant Libby Post; Dean of International Studies at Bard College and Academic Director of the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program James Ketterer; and Executive Editor of The Times-Herald Record Barry Lewis.

Apple Records former U.S. manager Ken Mansfield was the famous "man in the white coat" seen in footage of The Beatles' famous rooftop concert in 1969.

He was on the scene in the days, weeks, and months leading up to this monumental event. He shares his insights into the factors that brought them up onto that roof and why one of the greatest bands of all time left it all on that stage.

Ken Mansfield's book is "The Roof: The Beatles' Final Concert."

Ray Connolly has published a number of books, including "Being Elvis." He also directed the television documentary "James Dean: The First American Teenager" and worked with record producer Sir George Martin on the BBC television series "The Rhythm of Life." His new book is "Being John Lennon: A Restless Life."

"Being John Lennon" is not about the whitewashed Prince of Peace of Imagine legend, because that was only a small part of him. The John Lennon depicted in the book is a much more kaleidoscopic figure, sometimes almost a collision of different characters.

Residents of New York’s 19th Congressional district are about to have a new representative. In today’s Congressional Corner, Democrat Antonio Delgado speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

  When Henry Nicholls was twenty-one, he was diagnosed with narcolepsy: a medical disorder causing him to fall asleep with no warning. For the healthy but overworked majority, this might sound like an enviable condition, but for Henry, the inability to stay awake is profoundly disabling, especially as it is accompanied by mysterious collapses called cataplexy, poor night-time sleep, hallucinations and sleep paralysis.

A writer and biologist, Nicholls explores the science of disordered sleep, discovering that around half of us will experience some kind of sleep dysfunction in our lives. From a CBT course to tackle insomnia to a colony of narcoleptic Dobermans, his journey takes him through the half-lit world of sleep to genuine revelations about his own life and health.

Told with humour and intelligence, Sleepyhead uses personal reflections, interviews with those with sleep disorders and the people who study them, anecdotes from medical history and insights from art and literature to change the way we understand our sleeping hours.

12/7/18 Panel

Dec 7, 2018

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

Today's panelists: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator and guest lecturer at Bennington College Judith Enck, Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Former Times Union editor Harry Rosenfeld has a new memoir coming out entitled "Battling Editor: The Albany Years." In 1978, Harry Rosenfeld left the Washington Post, where he oversaw the paper's standard-setting coverage of Watergate, to take charge of two daily papers under co-ownership in Albany, New York: the morning Times Union and the evening Knickerbocker News.

Mystery Master Robert B. Parker's iconic and irresistible PI Sunny Randall is back in Robert B. Parker’s "Blood Feud," written by Mike Lupica. This is Lupica’s first Sunny Randall novel, and the seventh in the series.

In Lupica’s first installment in the popular series, the stakes are higher than ever as Sunny Randall races to protect her ex-husband, and his Mafia family, from the vengeful plan of a mysterious rival.

Mike Lupica is a prominent sports journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction. A longtime friend to Robert B. Parker, he was selected by the Parker estate to continue the Sunny Randall series.

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

Democrats have benefited from President Trump’s unpopularity.
In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Congressman Paul Tonko wraps up his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: "Ralph Breaks the Internet"

12/6/18 Panel

Dec 6, 2018

  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, Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld and Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at RPI - Jim Hendler.

Max von Essen in "Anastasia" on Broadway
Matthew Murphy

  Max von Essen is a charming and compelling performer - Tony nominated for his role as Henri in the Broadway adaptation of “An American in Paris.” He is currently playing Gleb in “Anastasia” through December 16 (the show will continue to enchant at the Broadhurst Theatre). We caught up with Max to discuss his experience in “Anastasia,” show-family, the kismet of his being cast in “An American in Paris,” and touring with Liza Minnelli.


Since taping this interview, it has been announced that von Essen will star in the national tour of “Falsettos.”

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

New York Congressman Paul Tonko says Nancy Pelosi should be the next House Speaker.
In today’s Congressional Corner, Tonko continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

"Once on this Island" logo and Kenita R Miller
"Once on this Island" official Instagram

  The current Broadway production of “Once on this Island” - which won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in June, is scheduled to end its run at Circle in the Square Theatre on January 6.

The Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty musical, directed by Michael Arden and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, tells the story of the orphaned Ti Moune and four competitive Gods who make a wager over her life and her love.

“Once on this Island” is a celebration tinged with sadness and emphasizes the importance of telling everyone’s stories. Kenita R. Miller plays Mama Euralie. Her previous Broadway credits include "The Color Purple" and "Xanadu."

12/5/18 Panel

Dec 5, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Berkshire Eagle Reporter Jenn Smith, former NYS Senator and SUNY New Paltz Communications Professor, Terry Gipson, and special guest Terry's wife Michelle Donner.

Like so many of us, including most of America’s workforce, and nearly two-thirds of all university students, Andrew Santella procrastinates. Concerned about his habit, but not quite ready to give it up, he set out to learn all he could about the human tendency to delay. He studied history’s greatest procrastinators to gain insights into human behavior, and also, he writes, to kill time, “research being the best way to avoid real work.” His new book is "Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me."

Andrew Santella has written for such publications as GQ, the New York Times Book Review, Slate, and the