Monday, March 15: Robert Baer
Robert Baer officially becomes a “friend of the show” with his second appearance. Baer’s first appearance was back in 2006. He recently released the book, The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower, about Iran’s unnoticed successes against the United States. Robert was formerly a CIA field officer assigned in the Middle East, and is now Time.com’s Intelligence columnist. Baer attended Culver Military Academy in Indiana, and graduated from Georgetown. Later, he entered the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and became a case officer. For the CIA, Robert was assigned to places such as New Delhi, Lebanon, Tajikistan, and Morocco. In 1997, he left the CIA and received the agency’s Career Intellligence Medal, and in 1998, he released the book, See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism, about his experiences. Now, Baer advocates the need for the CIA to increase Human Intelligence through the recruitment of agents and works on analyses of the Middle East based on his great background. In addition to his work for Time.com, Robert also contributes to Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
Fract: A change of plans? Born in Colorado, Baer originally wanted to become a professional skier.
Tuesday, March 16: Rebecca Skloot
Rebecca Skloot is the author of the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which was released in February of this year. Henrietta Lacks, known as “HeLa,” provided the first tissue that showed that human cells could survive in a lab. The tissue was then used for various breakthroughs in science, including the cure for polio. Skloot is a freelance science writer, contributing to The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, and New York magazine. Previously on the Board of Directors for the National Books Critics Circle, and also a member of the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh, Rebecca now teaches Creative Non-ficiton in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the University of Memphis, where she resides. Ms. Skloot also contributes to the blog, Culture Dish and the magazine Popular Science. She worked as a correspondent for NPR’s RadioLab and Nova Science Now on PBS. Her freelance work has led her to write articles on everything from goldfish surgery to the dog-eat-dog world of Manhattan.
Fract: Eclectic payment – Rebecca paid for all her degrees by working in emergency rooms, neurology labs, veterinary morgues and martini bars.
Wednesday, March 17: Neil Irvin Painter
Nell Irvin Painter is the author of the new book, The History of White People. She is a Professor Emerita of American History at Princeton University. Born in Texas, Painter went on to study at the University of Bordeaux in France and the University of Ghana before receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master’s from UCLA, and another Master’s as well as her Ph.D. from Harvard. Painter was previously the president of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association too. She has written a handful of books and has appeared on television for interviews, such as a three-hour In Depth program for C-SPAN Book TV. Nell has continued her education too – she is currently studying for her Master’s in Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Fract: Stephen Colbert Day in Canada? Well, Ms. Painter also has a day named after her, but in Boston. Nell Irvin Painter Day was celebrated on October 4, 2007 in honor of her work.
Thursday, March 18: Mary Matalin
Mary Matalin is a political consultant married to another political consultant, James Carville. The only problem? Mary is Republican and James is a Democrat. The two co-wrote the book, All’s Fair: Love, War and Running for President, about their relationship and campaign life. Matalin attended Western Illinois University, and then went on to receive her Juris Doctor from Hofstra University. Previously, Mary worked as an assistant to George W. Bush and a counsler for Dick Cheney, as well as serving as Chief of Staff to the Republican National Convention chairman, Lee Atwater, during his tenure. She has worked as a host of Crossfire and had her own radio talk show, The Mary Matalin Show in the 90’s. She worked on the presidential campaign for Fred Thompson, and was the treasurer of the re-election committee for the Virginian senator, George Allen. Carville and Matalin have two daughters together, and they reside in New Orleans.
Fract: Early signs of success? Mary was voted Homecoming Queen in her junior year of high school.
Enjoy this week’s shows!