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South African Actor Zakes Mokae Plays a "Heavy."

Actor Zakes Mokae. He now appears in the film "The Serpent and the Rainbow." He began his acting career in his native South Africa where he and playwright Athol Fugard founded the Serpent Theater. They shocked audiences by becoming the first black and white actors to appear on stage together. Mokae continues to appear in Fugard's plays, in addition to his film career.


Walter Polovchak, "The Littlest Defector."

Walter Polovchak. Polovchak was a 12-year-old Ukrainian immigrant living with his family in Chicago, when he refused to return with them to the Soviet Union. His decision provoked a storm of controversy from his family and authorities in both countries and attracted worldwide media attention. The court battles continued for five years until Polovchak reached his 18th birthday in 1985 and was sworn in as an American citizen.


Helen Suzman Shares Her Thoughts on Apartheid and South Africa Today.

Helen Suzman served as an Opposition Member of the South African Parliament from 1953 until 1989 . Suzman was a pioneering political leader in the fight against apartheid and anti-semitism. For thirteen years she was the sole representative in the Parliament to reject race discrimination. She's been twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She'll discuss post-apartheid South Africa. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane).


Peter Sichrovsky Explores the Lives of the Descendants of Nazis.

Peter Sichrovsky. His new book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Young Jews in Germany and Austria Today, is an exploration of the lives and motivations of the European Jews who either stayed or returned to to live in countries whose people brought on them the horrors of the Holocaust. In the introduction, Sichrovsky says that his central question in researching the book was, "What does it mean for a Jew to live in Germany today?" His latest book Born Guilty: Children of Nazi Families explores "the other side."


Paul Kennedy Discusses What He Call the U. S.'s "Imperial Overstretch."

Paul Kennedy, professor of history at Yale University and author of the new book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000. In it, Kennedy contends that all great powers have floundered over their inability to limit foreign commitments in the face of rising domestic obligations. The book has introduced the term "imperial overstretch" to the political vocabulary. (Interview by Faith Middleton)


Film Legend and Humanitarian Audrey Hepburn.

Actress Audrey Hepburn. She rocketed to international stardom for her Oscar-winning role in the film "Roman Holiday," co-starring Gregory Peck. Her other roles include Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady," the blind, tormented heroine of "Wait Until Dark," and opposite Cary Grant in "Charade." She recently returned from Ethiopia on behalf of UNICEF, for whom she now serves as a Special Ambassador.

Audrey Hepburn looks into the camera in a black and white portrait

The World's "Secret Armies."

Journalist James Adams, the defense correspondent for the Sunday Times of London. His new book, Secret Armies, explores the role of covert special fighting forces who combat terrorism around the world.


How China is Opening Up to the West.

Writer Orville Schell. His latest book, Discos and Democracy: China in the Throes of Reform, chronicles one year in China's rush toward Democracy, and the country's continuing love-hate relationship with the West. Schell's work appears regularly in The New Yorker.


America's Interest in Nicaragua

National security correspondent Roy Gutman takes a look at the tense relations between the United States and Nicaragua, in light of the conflict between the Contras and Sandinistas. His new book about the topic is called Banana Diplomacy.


"An Impossible Quilt of Communities"

Writer Fouad Ajami joins Fresh Air to talk about Beirut, and how it attracted Lebanese who lived in the countryside. The civil war in Lebanon, Ajami says, has led to a collapse of the country's cultural and religious pluralism, which is born out in several internecine conflicts.


Yorkam Kaniuk's "Confessions of a Good Arab"

The Israeli author's new novel is about a man descended from both a Jewish Holocaust survivor and a Palestinian aristocrat. While Kaniuk fought for the Israeli War for Independence, he also signed -- along with other Israeli and Arab intellectuals and artists -- an agreement advocating for Palestinian independence.


The Fall of a 20th Century King

Writer William Shawcross's new book profiles the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown during the Iranian revolution. Despite his despotic rule -- including the brutal deployment of the SAVAK secret police -- the Shah advanced some reforms in education and women's rights. He was an ally to the United States; who provided the Iranian state with money for weapons.


Black Reporters in South Africa's White Press

New Yorker writer William Finnegan followed back journalists in South Africa who worked for a liberal, opposition newspapers. Finnegan is white, and his presence often put the people he traveled with in danger. His book about the reporters is called Dateline Soweto.


Political Reporting in Southeast Asia

James Fenton is a poet who traveled to Southeast Asia without any clear goal in mind. He started writing first-person journalism for a number of newspapers and magazines. Fenton covered the fall of Saigon and the end of the Marcos regime in the Philippines.


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