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Read: Radley Balko's Rise of the Warrior Cop … Sandeep Jauhar's Doctored … Haruki Murakami's Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage … James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son … Stephanie Wu's The Roommates John Schulian's Football Listen: Benjamin Booker ... Marvin Gaye ... Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited ... The Roots ... Watch: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ... Parks & Recreation: Season 6 ... Fruitvale Station ... travel and more.

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Listen to KCRW’s To the Point:
Why Does Ferguson, MO Look So Much Like Iraq?

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces
By Radley Balko

The last days of colonialism taught America’s revolutionaries that soldiers in the streets bring conflict and tyranny. As a result, our country has generally worked to keep the military out of law enforcement. But according to investigative reporter Radley Balko, over the last several decades, America’s cops have increasingly come to resemble ground troops. The consequences have been dire: the home is no longer a place of sanctuary, the Fourth Amendment has been gutted and police today have been conditioned to see the citizens they serve as another— enemy.

In Rise of the Warrior Cop, Balko shows how politicians’ ill-considered policies and relentless declarations of war against vague enemies like crime, drugs and terror have blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. His fascinating, frightening narrative shows how over a generation, a creeping battlefield mentality has isolated and alienated American police officers and put them on a collision course with the values of a free society.


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Listen to Marketplace:
"No medical student goes to become a businessperson"

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician
By Sandeep Jauhar

A timely industry exposé and memoir by the cardiologist author of Intern calls for a reestablishment of moral practices in patient care while revealing how liability and profit-driven practices in American healthcare are subjecting patients to unnecessary tests and high fees.


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Listen to All Things Considered:
Haruki Murakami Paints a Colorless Character in a Vividly Imagined World

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel
By Haruki Murakami

Thirty-six-year-old Tsukuru Tazaki meets a woman named Sara who raises questions about a painful incident from his youth in which his closest friends all cut off relations with him without explanation, and inspires him to find out why.


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Listen to All Things Considered:
Reading James Baldwin as Ferguson Seethes

Notes of a Native Son
By James Baldwin

Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, when Baldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and black thought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowly gained strength through the words of one of the most captivating essayists and foremost intellectuals of that era. Writing as an artist, activist and social critic, Baldwin probes the complex condition of being black in America. With a keen eye, he examines everything from the significance of the protest novel to the motives and circumstances of the many black expatriates of the time, from his home in “The Harlem Ghetto” to a sobering “Journey to Atlanta.”

Notes is the book that established Baldwin’s voice as a social critic, and it remains one of his most admired works. The essays collected here create a cohesive sketch of black America and reveal an intimate portrait of Baldwin’s own search for identity as an artist, as a black man and as an American.


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Listen to On Point:
The Art and Science of Living With a Stranger

The Roommates: True Tales of Friendship, Rivalry, Romance, and Disturbingly Close Quarters
By Stephanie Wu

In Stephanie Wu's The Roommates, people of all ages reveal their disastrous, hilarious and sometimes moving stories of making their best friend for life or lifelong nemesis. Learn what it’s like to share a room in places as unusual as a 30-person beach house, a billionaire’s yacht, a reality show mansion and a retirement hotel, and those as familiar as sleepaway camps, boarding schools and college dorms. Put down your roommate’s dirty dishes and passive-aggressive Post-it’s for this eye-opening glimpse into how people live together in the modern age.


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Listen to Only a Game:
Football Collects Writing From All Sides of Gridiron

Football: Great Writing About the National Sport
Edited by John Schulian

An All-Pro line-up of writers including Red Smith, Frank Deford, Jimmy Breslin, George Plimpton, Richard Price, Jeanne Marie Laskas, Charles Pierce, Michael Lewis and Roy Blount Jr. tackle our most popular pastime. Since football’s meteoric rise in the mid-twentieth century, the standout writers on the sport have gone behind and beyond the spectacle to reveal the complexity, the contradictions and the deeper humanity at the heart of the game. Now, in a landmark collection, The Library of America brings together the very best of their work: gems of deadline reportage, incisive longform profiles of football’s storied figures and autobiographical accounts by players and others close to the game. Celebrating the sport without shying away from its sometimes devastating personal and social costs, the 44 pieces gathered here testify to football’s boundless capacity to generate outsized characters and memorable tales.

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Listen to The Current:
Benjamin Booker performs in The Current studio

Benjamin Booker
By Benjamin Booker

"Things have really taken off in the last several months for this young man. He's been touring constantly and has received plenty of press; he's appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, and he just wrapped up a few opening dates on Jack White's tour. He even found time to drop by The Current studio for a session. All that, and he didn't even have an album out, until now.

Booker cites influences like The Gun Club, bluesman Blind Willie Johnson and '70s rockers T. Rex. I hear the early rock 'n' roll stylings of Chuck Berry and contemporary artists like The Strokes in his music. He's pretty well-versed for a 25 year old.

The beauty of this Benjamin Booker's music is that he didn't overthink it. The sound is raucous and immediate. This unassuming fella can write a song and he can rock with a vengeance!" — Bill DeVille, 89.3 The Current


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Listen to All Things Considered:
What's Going On: A New Generation Answers

What's Going On
By Marvin Gaye

It has been hailed as Marvin Gaye's masterpiece and soul music's finest moment. What's Going On, a song cycle focusing on the shattered American dream of the early 1970s, melded a darkly atmospheric, jazzy sound with heartfelt lyrics about the country's military plight abroad and socio‑economic problems at home, to create what many still perceive as the apex of artistic musical expression.

Released in May 1971, Gaye's 11th studio album cast the singer‑songwriter‑musician with the four‑octave vocal range — who had spent the past decade recording sensual R&B hits — in the role of a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran. The reason for his disillusionment? On his return, he discovers that the America whose values he's been defending is plagued by poverty, police brutality, drug abuse, abandoned children, urban decay and civil unrest. In more ways than one, What's Going On was different than anything that Gaye or Motown had previously issued, taking its inspiration from the classic track of the same name that he'd recorded in June 1970 and which, in March 1971, hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100.


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Listen to Weekend Edition:
The Man in Black Goes to the County Fair

Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited

Of all the dozens of albums released by Johnny Cash during his nearly half-century career, 1964’s Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian is among the closest to the artist's heart. A concept album focusing on the mistreatment and marginalization of the Native American people throughout the history of the United States, its eight songs spoke in frank and poetic language of the hardships and intolerance they endured.

Now, 50 years after it was recorded, a collective of top Americana artists has come together to re-imagine and update these songs that meant so much to Cash, who died in 2003. For Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited, creative leader and album producer Joe Henry (Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville) realized that the Bitter Tears album held a special place in Cash’s canon, and that in many ways the issues it raised still resonate today. This had to be apparent in the new versions he was recording for Look Again to the Wind. The album features American music giants Kris Kirstofferson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Bill Miller, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and Norman Blake (the guitarist and only surviving member from the original recording sessions) as well as up-and-comers The Milk Carton Kids and Rhiannon Giddens, interpreting the music of Bitter Tears for a new generation. As the original album was for Cash, this new collection is a labor of love with a strong sense of purpose fueling its creation.


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From The Current:
Why I love the Roots, by Midway Felix of Heiruspecs

Things Fall Apart
By The Roots

"I was introduced to the Roots shortly after their second record Do You Want More?!!!??! came out. I had just met and started working informally with the first members of my band Heiruspecs. This record sounded very different than us, but did perfectly what we wanted to do early on: be really good, and have a lot of fun.

"There are two reasons to really love the Roots. First, the music is great. Second, they hustle harder than most bands around." Read More

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From NPR:
Such a Lovely Couple, If Only the Supervillains Would Leave Them Alone

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than himself. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.


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From NPR:
Oh, Donna: On Loving One of Television's Great Women

Parks & Recreation: Season 6

Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler returns as Leslie Knope in the hilarious sixth season of Parks and Recreation. The citizens of Pawnee loathe their merger with the neighboring town of Eagleton, and blame all their troubles — both real and imagined — on Councilwoman Knope. The personal lives of those in City Hall are equally as tumultuous: Andy (Chris Pratt) must temporarily say "cheerio" to his wife, April (Aubrey Plaza), when he takes a dream job in London; Ron (Nick Offerman) adjusts to his new domestic roles; and Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) eagerly await the birth of their child … if they can survive the woes of pregnancy. From Primetime Emmy Award-winning executive producers Greg Daniels (The Office) and Michael Schur (The Office, Saturday Night Live) comes this three-disc set featuring a sensational ensemble cast and iconic guest stars such as Lucy Lawless, Henry Winkler, Heidi Klum, Kristen Bell and Sam Elliot. Take a trip to the small town with the big heart as you watch all 22 episodes back-to-back and commercial free!


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Listen to Tell Me More:
Fatal Shooting at Fruitvale Station Hits Home for Film's Stars

Fruitvale Station

Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area — and the entire nation — to its very core.

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U.S. Traveler New Yorker 4 Piece Luggage Set

Functionality and innovation come together in this versatile luggage from the U.S. Traveler New Yorker collection. Constructed of lightweight and durable tear-resistant materials, the set has multiple, high-capacity pieces that allow for maximum organization.


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Canon Powershot 12.1 MP Digital Camera

Canon's PowerShot SX130 IS 12.1 MP Compact Digital Camera is the perfect companion for all your good times. Now you can capture every detail of special moments in crisp, stunning 720p HD even while using the high-powered 12x wide-angle optical zoom. You'll record in stereo sound, then play back your videos instantly on your computer. The SX130 IS is all about creativity, with fun new scene modes like Miniature Effect for Movies, and Fisheye Effect for artistically distorted stills. While you're having fun creating, the camera's Smart Flash Exposure and advanced Smart AUTO systems are ensuring that every image is the best it can be. Add the DIGIC 4 Image Processor, 12.1 megapixels and Optical Image Stabilizer, and you've got the ideal camera for making the good times last.


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Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Best Hidden Travel Gems

The latest in the highly successful Journeys of a Lifetime series and the sequel to the original bestseller, Secret Journeys of a Lifetime, offers in-depth site descriptions; dozens of fun, themed top-ten lists; locator maps; illuminating sidebars and oversized, lavish full-color images that bring to life 500 novel destinations that have managed to fly under the radar.

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Of Interest to Public Radio Fans
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Downton Abbey Season 5

Downton Abbey Season 5 First Look

Eager to return to the dark secrets, budding romances, and dramatic turns of Downton Abbey? Get a first look at photos from Downton Abbey Season 5 in this slideshow of all-new images (no spoilers!) from the award-winning program. As you await the January 4, 2015 season premiere of Season 5 on MASTERPIECE, see new characters, fan favorites, suitors and Downton's growing fourth generation: little Sybbie and the heir himself, George!

Alongside the beloved returning cast pictured in the slideshow are Fifi Hart as Sybbie, twins Zac and Oliver Barker as George, and Richard E. Grant as Simon Bricker.

As always, sign up for our Facebook fanpage to keep up with all the news!

David Edin
dedin@mpr.org
Merchandise Manager


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