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Arlie Hochschild on "The Second Shift"

The feminist scholar looks at how women in dual-career partnerships are often responsible for most of the unpaid domestic work. Hochschild joins Fresh Air to discuss why men don't share this labor equally with their partners, and the toll this inequity takes on working women.


Mary Kay Blakely Shares What It's Like to Be in a Coma.

Writer Mary Kay Blakely. In 1984, shortly after a divorce, a recent diagnosis of diabetes, the suicide of a brother and a series of missed deadlines in her job as a journalist, Blakely collapsed into a coma. The coma lasted nine days, and when Blakely awoke, she saw the coma as a signal that the crush of commitments and societal pressures had overwhelmed her body, that "the life she planned no longer fit the woman she had become." Blakely writes about her journey back from her coma and her decision to redirect her life in her book Wake Me When It's Over.


Michael M. Baden Discusses the Insights to be Gleaned from Autopsies.

Medical examiner Michael M. Baden. In his new book, Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner, Baden, the former chief medical examiner for New York City, reviews the record of famous autopsies of the last 30 years as evidence of a pattern of bungled investigations of unnatural deaths. Baden, who has been a medical examiner for 30 years, views his profession as a historian or anthropologist who revisits ruined or questionable autopsies in the hopes of correcting history. Baden is now director of the forensic sciences unit for the New York State Police.


The War on Cholesterol: Perspectives from Both Sides.

Reporter Thomas J. Moore. In his new book, Heart Failure, Moore argues that one of America's biggest health concerns - trying to reduce cholesterol - is a waste of time. Moore re-examines health studies and concludes that diet and exercise do relatively little to lower cholesterol, and almost nothing to increase lifespan. Moore also examines the little reported dangers of heart surgery and other coronary procedures. Part of Moore's book appears in the September issue of The Atlantic Monthly under the title "The Cholesterol Myth." Terry also talks with Dr. W.


Li-Young Lee Discusses His Childhood and Poetry.

Poet Li-Young Lee. He was born into a family of political refugees from China. They traveled throughout Asia for years to escape persecution. In the mid-60's his family moved to Pennsylvania. Lee's poems reflect his struggle with his Chinese heritage - a heritage to which he is bound but in which he never lived. His poems also reflect Lee's attempt to come to terms with the powerful and mythic figure of his father, who was alternately imprisoned and revered for his beliefs.


Exploring New York's Club Scene in Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Gossip columnist-turned novelist Michael Musto. Musto writes a column for The Village Voice (called La Dolce Musto) that follows New York City's avant-garde social scene. Musto's columns usually ignore the comings and goings of the Donald Trumps in favor of highlighting some about-to-be-discovered artist or performer. In 1986, Musto wrote Downtown, a guide book to the Manhattan party scene. His new book, Manhattan On The Rocks, is a novel about the party scene and the most sought after gossip columnist in New York.


Nancy Reagan Writes Her Memoirs.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan. When the Reagans entered the White House, Nancy was a relatively anonymous first lady, best known for her strident "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign. But toward the end of President Reagan's second term, it became more apparent that Nancy Reagan's role in running the government was much larger than imagined, and it turns out many of her and her husband's decisions were influenced by a California astrologer. Nancy Reagan has a new memoir, called "My Turn."


Debunking Mozart Myths.

Musicologist H.C. Robbins Landon. His new book, "Mozart: The Golden Years," traces the most troubling and creative period of the composers life, the years 1781-91. During this period, Mozart completed three controversial operas, married and wooed his wife Constanze Weber, became entangled in financial difficulties, and lived through the death of his father. In this book, the second of two volumes on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Landon, further explores the link between Mozart's "manic depressive disorder" and his creativity.


Tristan Jones On Adventuring After the Loss of His Leg.

Adventurer and author Tristan Jones. Tristan Jones is almost certainly the most intrepid sailor alive. At last count he's journeyed more than 450-thousand miles in small boats. That includes 20 crossings of the Atlantic, and 3 and a half circumnavigations. Many of those miles were racked up during the course of exceedingly dangerous, some would say foolhardy, adventures. Jones tried to sail as close as possible to the North Pole, and as a result spent a year frozen in the Arctic ice pack.


Ken Kesey Discusses His Life and Career.

Writer Ken Kesey. Kesey was a leading figure of the 60's counterculture. As the leader of the Merry Pranksters, Kesey did as much as anyone to popularize the use of LSD and other hallucinogens. Kesey also wrote two of the most popular books of the era, "Sometimes a Great Notion" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." In 1986, Kesey wrote "Demon Box," a look back at his life since the 60s. Kesey has a new book, called "Caverns." It's a novel he co-wrote with the 13 members of his University of Oregon fiction class.


The Ethics and Economics of Medicine.

Author Daniel Callahan. He is an expert on medical ethics whose latest book is "What Kind of Life: The Limits of Medical Progress." The book questions the assumption that everyone should receive the most life sustaining medical care available. According to Callahan, we need to change our thinking about health and illness and focus on the quality of life rather than the extension of life. (Interview by Sedge Thomson)


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