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A Short History of Silicon Valley

Writer Stuart Brand joins Fresh Air to talk about the technology-focused business culture that's developing in the Bay Area. He says it's turned San Francisco into a kind of global frontier town.


Paul Rudnick Goes Shopping with His Mother

Author and humorist Paul Rudnick sees shopping as a reward, a way of exploring different cultures, and an enjoyable activity in its own right. His new novel, inspired by his many shopping trips with his mother, is called I'll Take It.


The Fears of the Middle Class.

Writer and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich (air-en-RIKE). Her new book, "Fear of Falling," examines the middle class in America and the many myths associated with it. Her articles and essays appear in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Ms magazine, and Mother Jones.


A Relationship Model of Leadership.

Business executive Max DePree. DePree turned his company, a once obscure office furniture manufacturer, into the "nation's most admired corporation" (according to Fortune magazine). DePree has just published his thoughts on enlightened management in a new book called, "Leadership Is An Art." Whereas most management books these days push an Attila the Hun approach, DePree's is closer to Saint Francis of Assisi.


David Burnahm Believes the I. R. S. is "A Law Unto Itself."

Investigative reporter David Burnham. His new book, "A Law Unto Itself: Power, Politics and the IRS," takes a critical look at the Internal Revenue Service, which Burnham calls "the single most powerful instrument of social control in the United States." Burnham's previous book, "The Rise of the Computer State," is about the threat to democracy posed by the collection and storage of data by government agencies.


How the RJR Nabisco Buyout and the Fall of Drexel Burnham Lambert Are Changing the Financial Industry and Corporate Culture.

Journalist Bryan Burrough. He co-wrote "Barbarians at the Gate," which chronicles the RJR Nabisco takeover, the largest leveraged buyout in Wall Street history. The deal was financed by Drexel Burnham Lambert, which filed this week for bankruptcy. Burrough and his co-author John Helyar covered the takeover from the beginning as reporters for the Wall Street Journal.


Your Guide to Socially Responsible Businesses.

Consumer advocate Alice Tepper Marlin. Marlin's executive director of the Council on Economic Priorities and one of the authors of "Shopping For a Better World: A Quick and Easy Guide to Socially Responsible Supermarket Shopping." The guide helps consumers choose what items to buy, based on the environmental, social, and employment practices of the manufacturers. The guide rates more than 1800 supermarket items and 168 companies for factors such as environment, employee family benefits, ties to South Africa, and management opportunities for women.


The Controversy Over Pantheon Books and the Modern State of Publishing.

Recently, the Managing Director of Pantheon Books, Andre Schiffrin, was forced to resign. Four senior editors at Pantheon then resigned in protest. We'll talk to publisher Roger Straus of Farrar, Straus, Giroux, and media critic and professor Todd Gitlin about the events at Pantheon and what they say about the state of the publishing industry in America today. Gitlin is a Pantheon author who drafted a petition to protest the forced resignation of Schiffrin and the events surrounding it. We will also speak with Alberto Vitale the head of Random House (the owner of Pantheon).


A Banking Empire Traced From Its Origins to the Present.

Author Ron Chernow (CHUR-now). His new book is, "The House of Morgan: an American Banking Dynasty and The Rise of Modern Finance." Chernow examines one of the financing world's once most powerful institutions: the J.P. Morgan financing empire. And he traces the history of modern finance from the genteel, clubby world of banking to Wall Street of the 1980's when ruthlessness, and machismo became the rule.


The Rise and Fall of a Teenage "Wonder Boy."

Journalist Daniel Akst. His new book is "Wonder Boy Barry Minkow: The Kid Who Swindled Wall Street." While a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and later the Wall Street Journal, AKST showed Minkow in his true light...not a clean-cut teenage success story...but rather the mastermind of a multi-million dollar fraud operation. (published by Scribner & Sons.)

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