Talk of the Nation from NPR

Mon-Thurs 2PM-3PM
Neal Conan

Talk of the Nation offers call-in listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academicians, and artists from around the world.

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NPR Story
2:49 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Richard Branson: Time To Rethink 'Business As Usual'

Entrepreneur Richard Branson has attempted to break several world records for sailing and ballooning.
Clare Brown

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 12:45 pm

Richard Branson has built a global business empire around the philosophy "have fun and the money will come."

As the founder of Virgin Group, he grew a mail-order record company into a major record label and a chain of record stores; he started an airline; he created a space tourism company; and he has been actively involved in humanitarian efforts.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

NPR CEO Gary Knell's First Day At Work

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 8:29 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Wanted: a high-powered executive to run a nonprofit, far-flung public radio organization. Pluses include a trusted name, award-winning news and music programs, a growing audience and a talented staff. Minuses: some funding problems, a few self-inflicted controversies, the transition to digital media and staff who all think they're smarter than you.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Award-Winner Nikky Finney On Life As A Poet

Nikky Finney's Head Off & Split tells the stories of contemporary African-American life from the Civil Rights movement to Hurricane Katrina.
David Flores

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 2:51 pm

Nikky Finney has dreamed of being a poet since she was a teenager. She published her first book in 1985, and has taught writing for years at the university level.

Now, she's reached a pinnacle of success in the literary world: Her book, Head Off & Split received the National Book Award for poetry.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

'American Pie' Doesn't Belong To Saratoga Springs

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Forty years and a few days ago, an eight-and-a-half-minute song broke on to the record charts, soon drenched the radio and claimed a permanent place in the lives of millions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMERICAN PIE")

DON MCLEAN: (Singing) I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride. Something touched me deep inside the day the music died. So bye, bye, Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Rep. Barney Frank Bids Congress Farewell

After three decades serving in Congress, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank has announced his retirement. The liberal Democrat will leave behind a legislative legacy that includes financial regulation and memorable sparring matches with both colleagues and constituents.

World
1:00 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Tension Grows Between Iran And The West

British authorities have closed their embassy in Iran's capital city, Tehran, and recalled all diplomatic staff, a day after Iranian protesters stormed the embassy. Britain also said it was requiring Iran to close its embassy in London and recall all its staff in the next 48 hours.

Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Fewer Than Half Of Americans Believe U.S. Is Best

In 2002, nearly 60% of Americans believed the U.S. was exceptional among nations. But a recent Pew Research study finds fewer than half of Americans now believe their country is superior to others. The shift has many commentators wondering what's behind a general decline in optimism among Americans.

Television
1:00 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Ali Calls 'All-American Muslim' A Welcome Relief

TLC's new reality show, All-American Muslim follows five Muslim-American families. It aims to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes about the religion. In a recent piece in The Guardian, Wajahat Ali writes that TLC's portrayal is a "welcome relief from the usual tawdry caricatures of Muslims."

Economy
1:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

What Strong Holiday Retail Means For US Economy

Black Friday sales surged to their highest level since 2007, and early results from Cyber Monday's online sales are up almost 20 percent over 2010. The U.S. economy and many consumers continue to struggle, however, and some forecasters worry that the encouraging retail boost is unsustainable.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Alan Rickman: From Severus Snape To 'Seminar'

Alan Rickman has played Professor Severus Snape throughout the Harry Potter series.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:16 pm

Actor Alan Rickman has played a loving husband, a terrorist leader, a stern professor of the dark arts and even a caterpillar; from Sense and Sensibility to Die Hard to Harry Potter, his talents have made him recognizable to several generations of moviegoers.

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