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?

If you would like to be on the show email us at roundtable@wamc.org

The Roundtable is also available as a podcast.  Subscribe today!

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Send your comments or questions for The Roundtable Panel to panel@wamc.org

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.

9/18/18 Panel

Sep 18, 2018

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

Today's panelists: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, Political Consultant Libby Post, The Empire Report’s J.P. Miller and Fran Berman - the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

For years, Michelle LeClair, former President of Scientology's international humanitarian organization, tried to reconcile her sexual orientation with the anti-gay ideology of the church. Michelle finally ended her marriage, found the love of her life, a woman, and ultimately left the Church.

But the split comes at a price. Her once pristine reputation is publicly dragged through the mud, the police raid her home, her ex-husband tries to gain full custody of their children, and the multi-million dollar business she built from scratch is destroyed.

In her new memoir, "Perfectly Clear," Michelle LeClair offers an insider's perspective on Scientology's pervasive influence, secret rituals, and ruthless practices for keeping members in line.

Shakespeare & Company is currently presenting Obie Award-winning playwright Taylor Mac's dark comedy “HIR,” directed by Alice Reagan through October 7.

The play begins with Isaac, who has returned from the war in Afghanistan, only to discover a household in revolt.

The insurgent: his mom.

Liberated from an oppressive marriage with a now ailing husband, and with Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling as her ally, she’s on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. But in Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive comedy, we learn that annihilating the past doesn’t always free you from it.

Mac has said “Hir” was inspired and influenced by Sam Shephard’s “Buried Child” and by his own miserable hometown experience in Stockton, California.

We are joined by actors Elizabeth Aspenlieder, John Hadden, and Jack Doyle.

Attack ads in New York’s 19th House district have made national headlines.

In today’s Congressional Corner, David Hawkings continues his conversation 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 week we’ll learn about Colonie Senior Service Centers from Executive Director of Colonie Senior Service Centers Diane Conroy-LaCivita and Director, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Capital Region Michael Snyder.

9/17/18 Panel

Sep 17, 2018

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

Today's panelists: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Albany Law School Professor Sarah Rogerson who directs the Immigration Law Clinic, Dean of International Studies at Bard College and Academic Director of the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program James Ketterer; and Political Consultant Libby Post.

9/14/18 Panel

Sep 14, 2018

  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 and visiting professor at Bennington College Judith Enck, and Times Union Columnist Chris Churchill, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

Donna Freitas lectures at universities across the United States on her work about college students. She is the author of "Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America's College Campuses" and "The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost," and has written for publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Freitas is currently a non-resident research associate at the Center for Religion and Society at Notre Dame.

A 2015 survey of twenty-seven elite colleges found that twenty-three percent of respondents reported personal experiences of sexual misconduct on their campuses. That figure has not changed since the 1980s, when people first began collecting data on sexual violence. What has changed is the level of attention that the American public is paying to these statistics. Reports of sexual abuse repeatedly make headlines, and universities are scrambling to address the crisis.

Their current strategy, Donna Freitas argues, is wholly inadequate. She writes about it in her new book, "

Consent on Campus: A Manifesto."

Drink Beer, Think Beer

Sep 14, 2018

Right here, right now is the best time in the history of mankind to be a beer drinker. America now has more breweries than at any time since prohibition, and globally, beer culture is thriving and constantly innovating.

However, beer drinkers are also faced with uneven quality and misinformation about flavors. And the industry itself is suffering from growing pains, beset by problems such as unequal access to taps, skewed pricing, and sexism.

Drawing on history, economics, and interviews with industry insiders, John Holl provides a complete guide to beer today, allowing readers to think critically about the best beverage in the world. His new book is: "Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint."

Blue Wave or Red Wall?

In today’s Congressional Corner, David Hawkings talks about the midterms with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

SculptureNow’s 2018 outdoor exhibition of large-scale sculpture at The Mount in Lenox, MA is on view through October 31. SculptureNow offers free guided tours to the general public, students, and vision-impaired visitors and their exhibitions provide opportunities for sculptors to develop their careers.

This year SculptureNow celebrates its 20th year as a non-profit arts and education organization. There are 30 works on display in and around Edith Wharton’s historic home and gardens. There are two more artist guided tours of the exhibition before it ends at the end of October – this Sunday, September 16 and Sunday, October 14.

Ann Jon and Michael Thomas join us. Ann is the Executive Director or SculptureNow; Michael Thomas has work in the show.

Wayne Kramer's memoir
Da Capo

There have been a lot of highs and a lot of lows in Wayne Kramer’s life — and he spends time on both in his raw new autobiography: The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5 & My Life Of Impossibilities. The founder of the short-lived but influential rock group the MC5 is one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists. He has released several solo albums and worked on scores for films and TV.

Next month marks the 60th anniversary of one of Earth’s greatest contributors to technological advancement: NASA. Although NASA was initially created for competition in the Cold War, it has since provided insight into the origins of the universe, laid the foundations for inventions like modern cell phones, improved international diplomacy, delivered images that are ingrained in popular culture, and facilitated many more scientific, social, political, and technological advancements we take for granted every day.

On a summer day in New York Jonathan Santlofer discovers his wife, Joy, gasping for breath on their living room couch. After a frenzied 911 call, an ambulance race across Manhattan, and hours pacing in a hospital waiting room, a doctor finally delivers the fateful news.

Consumed by grief, Jonathan desperately tries to pursue life as he always had--writing, social engagements, and working on his art--but finds it nearly impossible to admit his deep feelings of loss to anyone, not even his to beloved daughter, Doria, or to himself.

Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, "The Death Artist," was an international bestseller, translated into seventeen languages, and is currently in development for screen adaptation. His fourth novel, "Anatomy of Fear," won the Nero Award for best novel of 2009. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. He is also the creator and editor of several anthologies including "It Occurs to Me That I Am America," a collection of original stories and art. His paintings and drawings are included in many public and private collections.

Jonathan will be a featured speaker at the Albany Book Festival on Saturday, September 29th @ 1-1:15. His talk is titled “How We Grieve.” And then on Sunday, September 30, Yaddo Presents Jonathan Santlofer at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs at 5 p.m.

9/13/18 Panel

Sep 13, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics, Vera Eccarius-Kelly and Joseph Bruchac - author, poet, novelist, storyteller and scholar of Native American culture.

With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court has never before been more central in American life. It is the nine justices who too often now decide the controversial issues of our time—from abortion and same-sex marriage, to gun control, campaign finance and voting rights.

The Court is so crucial that many voters in 2016 made their choice based on whom they thought their presidential candidate would name to the Court. Donald Trump picked Neil Gorsuch—the key decision of his new administration. The next justice—replacing Anthony Kennedy—will be even more important, holding the swing vote over so much social policy. Is that really how democracy is supposed to work?

David A. Kaplan is the former legal affairs of Newsweek, where he covered the Court for a decade. His other books include "The Silicon Boys," "The Accidental President," and "Mine’s Bigger." A graduate of Cornell and the New York University School of Law, he teaches courses in journalism and ethics at NYU.

His new book is "The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution."

According to our next guest, something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Professors say they are walking on eggshells, eliminating controversial material from syllabi.

Students, once the staunchest defenders of free speech, now see words and ideas as sources of danger. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising—on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen?

First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff looks at this cultural shift to explain the background behind the crisis in academia, and to offer lucid and reasonable solutions. The new book is "The Coddling Of The American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation For Failure."

Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of "Havana," "Cod," "Salt," "Paper," "The Basque History of the World," "1968," and "The Big Oyster," among other titles. He has received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Bon Appetit's Food Writer of the Year Award, the James Beard Award, and the Glenfiddich Award.

Profoundly intertwined with human civilization, milk has a compelling and a surprisingly global story to tell, and historian Mark Kurlansky is the perfect person to tell it. Tracing the liquid's diverse history from antiquity to the present, he details its curious and crucial role in cultural evolution, religion, nutrition, politics, and economics.

Kurlansky will be part of the Food Panel discussion at the Albany Book Festival at the University at Albany on September 29th from 11 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center Ballroom.  

 Jaimie Birge
Facebook: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts has been named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the Nation’s Top Ten Public Liberal Arts Colleges for 2019.

As their fall semester gets underway we are joined by MCLA President Dr. James F. Birge to talk about MCLA’s Division of Graduate and Continuing Education relocating to Pittsfield; the addition of Men’s Lacrosse; a number of exciting programs, lectures, and events; DownStreet Art, and more.

9/12/18 Panel

Sep 12, 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, Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Fran Berman, SUNY New Paltz Communications Professor and former NYS Senator Terry Gipson.

For over ten thousand years, much of humankind has lived inside walls behind walls behind still more walls. Walls have protected us and divided us, but have they also affected the way we think, work, and create?

David Frye’s new book, Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick is a narrative of invasions, empires, kings, and khans - presenting a new theory: walls haven't just influenced the course of history; they have profoundly shaped the human psyche.

David Frye currently teaches ancient and medieval history at Eastern Connecticut State University. 

Listener Essay - Exquisitely Sane

Sep 11, 2018

Julia Indichova is the founder of FertileHeartedHuman.og and the author of "Inconceivable" and  "The Fertile Female." "One-Heart Revolution: The Perils of Positive Thinking" is due in the Fall of 2018.

Exquisitely Sane

I never saw my mother cry. She kept a safe distance from the incoming tide of sorrow, which, left unchecked, might have washed away her two new children, her husband, her brand new second life.

She never mentioned the day the order came for every person of Jewish descent to report to the two brick factories at the edge of her town. In her stories her son was alive, taking a daily pre-dinner walk through the neighborhood, playing a game of multiplying the numbers in the small square plaques next to each entryway.

For my mother grieving was not an option. And after all these years of attempting to understand the forces that have shaped my life, part of me still doubts the legitimacy of my own claim to grief.

This week's Book Picks come from Phil Lewis of The Bennington Bookshop.

“The Overstory” by Richard Powers
“The Only Story” by Julian Barnes
“There There” by Tommy Orange
“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng
“Us Against You” by Frederik Bachman

Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney's office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America's foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Her new sleuth, Devlin Quick, takes inspiration from Nancy Drew. The first Devlin Quick Mystery is out now, it's entitled Into the Lion's Den. In the novel, someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence.

Linda Fairstein will be at The Albany Book Festival at UAlbany on September 29. At noon, she will be part of a Middle Readers Mystery Panel in the Campus Center Studio West and an Adult Mystery Panel from 1:30 – 2:30 in the Campus Center Ballroom. 

MASS MoCA will present the 8th Annual FreshGrass Festival this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept 14-16.

FreshGrass is a wonderland of traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, tucked into the 19th-century factory turned 21st-century museum that is MASS MoCA. An opportunity for enthusiasts to both appreciate and participate, FreshGrass is family-friendly and brimming with the brightest talent.

This year’s festival features Flogging Molly, Trampled by Turtles, Indigo Girls, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Yonder Mountain String Band, Bela Fleck, Rhiannon Giddens, and many more artists – along with awards, workshops, tributes, FreshScores, and more!

Sue Killam and Jodi Joseph joins us to tell us more. Sue is the Managing Director for the Performing Arts and Film at MASS MoCA and Jodi is the museum's Director of Communications.

9/11/18 Panel

Sep 11, 2018

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, The Empire Report’s J.P. Miller, and communications consultant Joe Bonilla.

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