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Spy Novelist John Le Carre

Le Carre is the pseudonym of writer David Cromwell, who used to be a spy himself. His newest novel, The Russia House, considers the glasnost reforms of the Soviet Union's Gorbachev administration. Some of Le Carre's past novels include The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Little Drummer Girl, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.


A Brief History of Harems

Turkish-born writer Alev Lytle Croutier has a new book about harems. Contrary to their popular associations with polygamy, these spaces were most commonly used to isolate women slaves and family members from the outside world. Croutier herself grew up in a harem with her mother.


Student Movements in China Push for Democracy

China expert Orville Schell says that students in that country are fighting for American-style democracy and greater freedom of expression. In light of the recent Tiananmen Square protests, Schell joins Fresh Air to discuss the history and future of anti-establishment movements.


Korean Author An Chong-hyo

An's White Badge is the first Korean novel to be published by an American house. The story is based on his experience as a soldier in the Vietnam War. An also works as a translator, and has translated several American books into Korean.


American Attempts at Anglicism Gone Awry

Language commentator Geoff Nunberg says that Americans who incorporate British English into their speech and writing often use words and expressions incorrectly. For instance, most people don't understand that "shall" and "will" aren't interchangeable.


Journalist Thomas Friedman Reports from Beirut

The New York Times correspondent's new book is called From Beirut to Jerusalem, about Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East. He joins Fresh Air to discuss how cultivating a network of contacts, coming to terms with the frequent violence he witnessed in Lebanon, and how those experience affected his reporting in Israel.


Simon Schama's Controversial but Well-Written Chronicle of the French Revolution.

Historian and writer Simon Schama. His revisionist history of the French Revolution - Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution - has been one of the most talked-about and debated volumes of history in the last several years. Critics have lauded Schama for bringing vividly to life the characters that inspired the five-year popular uprising that changed the modern political order.


The Solidarity Resistance Movement in Poland.

Journalist MICHAEL KAUFMAN. His new book, Mad Dreams, Saving Graces - Poland: A Nation in Conspiracy, charts the rise, fall and resurrection of the democratic movement in Poland. Leading this drive has been Solidarity, the shipworkers' union headed by Lech Walesa. But Kaufman also traces the hidden spiritual undercurrents in Polish history and culture and that make this quest toward self-definition considerably more complex. Kauffman served as Warsaw bureau chief for The New York Times from 1984 to 1987. He has also been bureau chief for the Times in Nairobi, New Delhi and Ottawa.


Abdullah Ibrahim Discusses Jazz and Apartheid.

South African pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim (E-bra-HEEM). His music is influenced by South African vocal and popular music, early American Jazz, church music, and American Jazz of the 1960's and 1970's which was influenced by African music. One of his songs, "Mannenberg is Where It's Happening (Capetown Fringe)," a vocal, was a hit in South Africa and became the anthem for the Soweto uprisings of 1976. Ibrahim formerly went by the name Dollar Brand, and has several albums under that name. Ibrahim lives in New York in self-imposed exile from South Africa.


Robert Jay Lifton Discusses how His 1961 Book is Still Relevant Today.

Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton. The University of North Carolina Press has just reissued Lifton's classic 1961 book, "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism." That book examined what's commonly been referred to as 'brain washing' as it was practiced in Communist China. Lifton says the book has new relevancy now in light of the rise of 'cult' religions and the recent pro-democracy movements in China and eastern Europe.


The Inside Story on Manuel Noriega.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews "The Noriega Connection." It's the next offering from public television's documentary series, "Frontline."


Rian Malan Discusses his "Traitor's Heart."

White South African writer Rian (rhymes with "neon") Malan. Malan is an Afrikaner, descendent of a family that settled in South Africa over three hundred years ago, and Malan's great-uncle was the chief architect of the Apartheid system. Malan only realized the horror of Apartheid after he became a crime reporter for a Johannesburg paper. What he learned led him to leave South Africa, and spend the next eight years in exile.


Valdimir Pozner Reacts to Being Called "Moscow's Mouthpiece."

Soviet commentator Vladimir Pozner (poez-ner, not pahs-ner). Pozner is a fixture on American talk intelligent, affable, understandable interpreter of Soviet events and policies. Pozner was born in France, grew up in Brooklyn, and moved to the Soviet Union at age 19. In his new book, "Parting With Illusions," Pozner looks back on his life, talks about the Soviet Union under leaders from Stalin to Gorbechev, and discusses the recent "ending" of the cold war. (The book's published by the Atlantic Monthly Press).


Life for Soviet Women in Glasnost.

Journalist and essayist Francine Du Plessix Gray. In her latest book, "Soviet Women: Walking the Tightrope," Gray documents the lives and attitudes of contemporary Soviet women in the era of glasnost. They talk about everything from birth control to Stalin to the constant struggle to balance the demands of work and family in their lives. ("Soviet Women" is published by Doubleday.)


The Independence of Lithuania and Romania.

Journalist Robert Cullen. He's a former Moscow correspondent for Newsweek, and he writes regularly on Eastern Europe for The Atlantic and the New Yorker. An eyewitness to the fall of the Ceaucescu regime in Romania, Cullen discusses with Terry the difficulties that country faces in setting up a democracy after so many years under a dictatorship.


How Do You Settle Accounts with Torturers?

Reporter Lawrence Weschler. Weschler is a staff writer for the "New Yorker," where he writes on human rights, political, and cultural issues. Weschler's new book, "A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers," (published by Pantheon) looks at how victims of torture in Brazil and Uruguay worked to bring their captors activities to light (portions of the book ran as a five-part series in the New Yorker). Weschler's earlier books include "The Passion of Poland," and "Shapinsky's Karma."


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