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Dialogue

Dialogue

Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference - 2010

Ishmael Beah, Former Child Soldier

Former child soldier Ishmael Beah talks about his book, A Long Way Gone.

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The account of one East Dutch Indies family's survival during World War II and the Indonesian Revolution is the subject of this edition of Dialogue.

Joan Cartan-Hansen interviews sisters Ilse Evelijn Veere Smit and Edith Evelijn Veere, who survived the two atrocities, as well as author Dorothy Read, who helps Ilse tell her family's story in the new book End the Silence.

The sisters lived through the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942 and the revolution in the war's aftermath and talk about their lives during those turbulent times.

After the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942, 9-year-old Ilse, her mother and siblings were sent to a concentration camp. Tortured by her captors, Ilse survived the war only to see her family become targets of Indonesian revolutionaries determined to wipe out Dutch colonialists. How Ilse survived a war and a revolution became a family secret, not to be discussed until now as Read documents the story in their book.

The story told in End the Silence is a little known yet relevant piece of World War II, an addition to the tragic sagas of Europe's concentration camps and the interment of Japanese Americans in the U.S. It is a piece of history that belongs to a world audience, as it exposes the iniquity and indignities suffered by people interned in the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia.

Related Links:
Dorothy Read's website
The Dutch East Indies Heritage Project
Ports of the World: Indonesia
The Defining Years of the Dutch East Indies, 1942-1949 (Jan A. Krancher)
The Indo Project

Pico Iyer, Travel Writer

Travel writer Pico Iyer talks about his travels and offers tips for viewers.

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with author and world traveler Pico Iyer, whose books and essays about the far corners of the world explore not only the dynamics of those cultures, but also examine travel itself and its effect on an "outsider."

Iyer's many books include: Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, Falling off the Map and The Global Soul.

His most recent book, The Open Road, is about the life and philosophy of the Dalai Lama, who was a friend of Iyer's father.

Franklin and Iyer talk about why he enjoys journeying so much, what tips he has for others who want to travel, and why he's concerned that so few Americans have passports.

They also discuss the politics of Tibet, and what Iyer learned about the personality of the Dalai Lama in the years of researching his book on him.

A former reporter for Time magazine, Iyer also writes many articles for periodicals and newspapers, including The New York Times and the New York Review of Books.

Franklin spoke with Iyer at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Online Commentaries (New York Times)
Pico Iyer (Random House Author Spotlight)

Strobe Talbott, Former Diplomat

An interview with former diplomat Strobe Talbott at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference.

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with Strobe Talbott, a former journalist and diplomat who is currently the president of the Brookings Institution.

Talbott, who wrote for Time magazine for more than 20 years, has also penned a dozen books. His latest work focuses on what he sees as the greatest crisis the world has faced: climate change. The book, Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming, suggests political and societal solutions for reversing climate change.

Franklin and Talbott talk about his passion for the subject of global warming, and whether the issue is still on the political radar for both politicians and the public.

The two also discuss his views on global governance, about which he writes in The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation. Talbott also sits on North American Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission. The two discuss fears that some Americans have of "One World government."

Talbott, who was Deputy Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, specialized in working with the new independent states of the Soviet Union. He talks with Franklin about the recent scandal in which Russian spies were found to have been living in the United States for many years.

The two also discuss Brookings Mountain West, an offshoot of the Brookings Institution in Las Vegas, which examines public policy issues pertaining to the Intermountain West.

Franklin spoke with Talbott at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Brookings Mountain West
Fast Forward (Book site)

David Kennedy, Historian

Pulitzer Prize winner David Kennedy compares today's recession with the Great Depression.

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with historian David Kennedy about Depression-era policies and whether they have parallels to today's financial crisis.

Kennedy, professor emeritus at Stanford University, is known for integrating both economic and cultural analyses in his works about particular historical eras, as he did in Freedom from Fear, a book about the Great Depression in the United States. That book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000.

Kennedy is also the author of several other books, including Over Here: The First World War and American Society, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1981.

He and Franklin discuss the differences between the financial crises in the Great Depression and today, as well as current issues that concern him, including the growing gap he sees between civilian and military society. Kennedy also talks about the priorities for the Bill Lane Center for the American West, of which he is a co-director.

Franklin spoke with Kennedy at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Bill Lane Center for the American West
Freedom from Fear (The 2000 Pulitzer Prize Winners: History)