from Wisconsin Public Radio
Most people want to do the right think. But what if your survival depended on doing something wrong? Something deeply repellent. Something evil. And what if the police told you to? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the consequences of moral choices, from Nazi Germany to American presidential politics, and the Donner Party. Choosing good. Or choosing evil.
Charles Matthewes teaches religious studies at the University of Virginia. He tells Steve Paulson that while some acts deserve to be condemned, we should be careful not to exclude the perpetrators from the human race. Matthewes discusses the language of evil and says we should make it work for us. Also, James Houston is the author of "Snow Mountain Passage: A Novel of the Donner Party." He tells Jim Fleming about his personal connection to the infamous group, and describes the role of James Frazier Reed who was both hero and villain.
Journalist John Conroy tales three tales of torture in his book "Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People." He describes them, and tells Steve Paulson that anyone is capable of inflicting torture, especially if there's an authority figure around who tells them to. Also, Gus Russo, author of "The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America," tells Jim Fleming that organized crime has attempted to influence the presidential election on several occasions and finds it significant that Frank Sinatra acted as a gangster's daughter's prom date.
Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 02-07-21-A.
Luis Rodriguez was part of the gang-life of east L.A. After surviving prison and drug addiction, he turned his life around. Now he's a writer, poet and motivational speaker who works with young people. He talks with Steve Paulson about his work, why kids are drawn to gangs, and admits he failed his own son who's now serving a long sentence in prison for murder. Rodriguez is the author of three collections of verse, a book of stories called "The Republic of East L.A." and a memoir, "Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A."
Button and Option after Houston:Vauughn Williams
Sinfonia Antartica 3rd movement Chandos 8796
Performer: London Sym. Orch. & Chorus/Bryden Thomson
Button after Conroy: Shostakovich Prelude &
Fugue in e minor (#4 of the 24 Preludes)
Performer: Keith Jarrett
Button after Russo: Come Dance with Me from
The Capitol Years CDP 7 94318 2
Performer: Frank Sinatra
Option after Russo: Swingin the Blues from The
Best of Early Basie Decca Jazz GRD 655
Performer: Count Basie Orchestra
Button after Rodriguez and Alternative Close
Music: Chucho from Flamenco Jazz Latino
Salongo Records 2290
Performer: Mark Towns (& friends)
Page Design and Management by Jim Fleming at Wisconsin Public Radio.
© Copyright 2002 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.