Two Way Street

GPB Statewide and GPB Atlanta Thursday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.

Two Way Street is an exciting new approach to exploring the issues, people and events that make Georgia a vibrant place to live, work and play. While most news broadcasts provide useful summaries of the day’s news, Two Way Street's mission is to give listeners a more complete perspective on the major issues facing the state, and to seek out engaging stories about the talents and achievements of the remarkable people who give our state its unique personality.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library / UGA Libraries

Our first guest on this edition of “Two Way Street” is Jim Wagner. He’s just stepped down as president of Emory University, retiring after 13 years in that position. During his tenure at Emory, Wagner presided over a dramatic expansion of the school’s work in scientific research and public health, recruited prestigious world figures like Salman Rushdie and the Dalai Lama to join the Emory faculty and oversaw the largest increase in fundraising in the school’s history.

kennyleon.com

For Georgians who love theater, watching the career arc of Kenny Leon has been thrilling. He’s now a Tony Award-winning director with numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions to his credit.

During my tenure as editor in chief of Chicagoland Monthly, a regional magazine I ran in the late 1970s, we decided to do a cover story on how the Arab oil embargo was affecting the daily lives of people in metropolitan Chicago. Of all the covers we created for the magazine, I’m proudest of the one that hangs in my office at GPB. There’s Uncle Sam, dying for gasoline and committing suicide by self-immolation.

On this week’s show we tell the fascinating story of how bluegrass music – born in the hills and hollers of the North Georgia mountains and Tennessee, and in rural communities in South Carolina and West Virginia more than 200 years ago – has crossed the Pacific Ocean and been enthusiastically embraced by a large fan base in Japan. Our guest is Denis Gainty, an associate professor of history at Georgia State University. He’s now researching and writing a book about Japanese bluegrass.

BreeAnne Clowdus

Musical theater geeks, here’s your heads-up:

On this edition of “Two Way Street,” we’re showcasing one of the seminal Broadway musicals – Stephen Sondheim’s “Company.” The show debuted in April of 1970, and has been revived countless times on Broadway, in London, in Australia and by regional theaters ever since. Now Atlanta’s Actor’s Express Theater is mounting a new production of the show.

PublicAffairs/Knopf

This week we feature conversations with two authors whose books are on a new list of “10 Books Every Georgian Should Read.” The list is compiled annually by the Georgia Center for the Book, a Decatur-based organization affiliated with the Library of Congress.

chistopherdickey.com/Deckle Edge

This week we revisit my conversation with journalist Christopher Dickey, author of “Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South.”

Bronwen Dickey has become one of the more controversial authors of the moment thanks to her book “Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon.” In it, she argues that research shows that as a breed pit bulls are no more dangerous or vicious than any other dog.

Stacey Bode

We have an eclectic mix on this edition of "Two Way Street." Because it’s summertime (and the livin’ is easy), it seemed like a good time to start the show with something light and fun; and so, we do.

Sid Mashburn On Men's Fashion And Southern Style

Jun 25, 2016
Jenny Ament / GPB

Just the other weekend, my family was out to dinner celebrating Father’s Day. While typically my family’s gatherings are a time to catch up on everyone’s lives, this dinner conversation was different as it was surprisingly centered around men’s clothing.

Tim Hetherington

Our guest on this edition of ”Two Way Street” is New York Times best-selling author Sebastian Junger. Junger wrote the international blockbuster “The Perfect Storm,” the harrowing true tale of the doomed efforts of a boat of commercial fisherman struggling to survive a raging North Atlantic storm. Later, the book became a hit movie starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg.

Romanov Collection, General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library / Yale University

Back in the days when local TV stations ran old movies late at night, I watched for the first time “Rasputin and the Empress,” the 1932 picture that was a showcase for the acting talents of the remarkable Barrymore family. It was based on the true story of the hypnotic hold the mystic Grigory Rasputin had on Czar Nicholas and Czarina Alexandra in the years leading up to the Russian Revolution.

Linda Chen / GPB

As a teenager growing up in the Midwest, I watched the Southern civil rights movement unfold from a distance. I was in high school in a suburb just outside of Chicago when the Selma to Montgomery march took place and a college student when Dr. King was murdered. Like many Americans, I grew to have enormous admiration for the men and women who were courageously confronting racism and bigotry through non-violence.

Stuart Isett / Fortune

On this Memorial Day weekend, as millions of people look forward to summer vacations at the ocean, it seemed like just the right time to revisit one of our favorite “Two Way Street” conversations – our talk with the heroic ocean swimmer Diana Nyad.

Workman Publishing

If I could say only one thing about my conversation with author Lee Smith for this edition of “Two Way Street” it would be this:

Listen to her voice.

An Evening With Andrew Young

May 18, 2016

Join us this Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. Civil rights icon Andrew Young will sit down with host Bill Nigut for an intimate conversation about Young's life and work for a live taping of "Two Way Street." 

Afropunk

Some artists live in a city, others are of the city.

Phillip Depoy and Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, our two guests on this edition of "Two Way Street," are in the latter category. Yes, they both make their homes in Atlanta – Watkins in the Old Fourth Ward, Depoy in Decatur – but Atlanta and Georgia also are deeply influential in the art they produce.

faithsalie.com

Make no mistake: Faith Salie’s book, “Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much,” is a thoughtful account of the price Salie paid for her obsessive need to win applause and approbation. She examines her thirst for approval unflinchingly. In doing so, she gives us, the readers, the opportunity to examine the lengths we may go to win approval.

But here’s the thing: the book is also very funny; and so, when she came to the studio to record our show, I thought: don’t fight it – just allow the show to be funny.

Public Domain / White House Photo Office

It was more than 48 years ago, but I remember vividly the night of March 31, 1968, when Lyndon Johnson surprised the world by announcing he would not run for a second full term as president. The stunning news came at the end of a speech from the Oval Office in which Johnson announced he was halting the bombing raids over North Vietnam – and it took my breath away. My anti-war friends and I had been demonstrating against the Vietnam War and against LBJ for many months (“Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today!”).

Please join us Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Carter Presidential Library & Museum Theater. I'll be sitting down with research scholar Meg Jacobs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. We'll discuss her compelling new book, "Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s."

Joan Marcus / Hamilton Broadway

After opening his first Broadway show “In the Heights” to great acclaim, composer, lyricist and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda took a vacation to Mexico. At the airport, he picked up a book to read while he was gone. It wasn’t exactly a beach read. Miranda bought Ron Chernow’s 800-page biography of Alexander Hamilton; and as he read it, it occurred to him that Hamilton’s life would make a great musical. 

Task Force for Global Health

I think that global public health workers are some of the most inspiring and dedicated professionals I’ve ever encountered. That’s probably why I’ve invited a number of them to sit down over the past couple of years for interviews for “Two Way Street.”

Brady-Handy Photograph Collection / Library of Congress

If you go to Amazon and search for books about Abraham Lincoln, you’ll get 101 pages of results; and that’s only the books that the online retailer has in its own inventory. There are no doubt hundreds of books that are out there that Amazon doesn’t stock for one reason or another. Lincoln is certainly one of the most written about figures in world history, and some of us just can’t get enough of reading about him. It doesn’t matter that a new biography may cover much of the same ground that the last six I’ve read do. Lincoln’s story is continually inspiring, and I find that at whatever age I read a new Lincoln biography, I come away with lessons that speak to me about who I am at that particular time in my life.

Please join us this Tuesday, April 12 at the Carter Presidential Library & Museum Theater. I'll be sitting down with prize-winning historian Randall B. Woods to discuss “Prisoners of Hope,” the first comprehensive history of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, exploring both the breathtaking possibilities of visionary politics, as well as its limits.

Diwang Valdez

Not long ago, “Two Way Street” producer Jenny Ament told me she thought we ought to do an interview with Dr. Dax. Dax, for all of you out there who are as clueless as I was, is one of the best-known Atlanta graffiti writers to make a splash on the national scene.

Andrew Thomas Lee

As business manager and shellfish director of Kimball House, Bryan Rackley's mornings often begin with him opening multiple boxes of oysters. Some come via freight shipping, some via couriers. They're packed in ice or surrounded by special gel coolants. The mussels come from places like Skunk Island, Washington and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Offerings from Virginia, California, and South Carolina are often in the mix as well.

Brownell / AP Photo

Before we invited Broadway singer and actress Terry Burrell to be a guest on Two Way Street, I knew very little about the great star Ethel Waters. But I did a lot of research about her to prepare for my conversation with Terry, who wrote and is starring in a one-woman show about Ethel Waters at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre.

Paul Morigi / Invision for United Nations Foundation/AP Images

We’ve heard a lot about the Evangelical vote during this presidential primary season. And when it’s referred to, it almost always means white, conservative Christians. But Evangelicals weren’t always defined that way. In fact, during the 1976 presidential race, it was progressive Evangelicals who helped elect Jimmy Carter to the White House.

Kevork Djansezian / AP Photo

I’ve never tried playing the game of imagining the guests I’d most like to invite to a dinner party at my house. But I do know that one of the seats would be saved for Cokie Roberts. I’ve interviewed her a number of times over the years, and in each case she displays great skills as a completely engaging conversationalist. She’s warm and funny, always enthusiastic about the topic at hand, and oh so smart. Cokie always makes me feel that she’s glad I asked each question I’ve thrown her way, and I’m sure she does the same for the others who talk to her, too.

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