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Wicker discusses the events at the center of his book, "A Time to Die: The Attica Prison Revolt." The discussion also covers Wicker's thoughts on his responsibility as a journalist to his fellow man. Both Wicker and Terkel read excerpts from the book. (includes excerpts from T2576, 1970 Nov. 20).
Discussing the book "Which Side Are You On?: Trying to be for Labor When it's Flat on its Back," (published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux) with the author, labor lawyer Tom Geoghegan.
Terkel Interviews Michael I Rothstein (a lawyer) and Franklin E. Zimring (a law professor) on the subject of capital punishment.
Susan Nussbaum, founder of Access Living and Michael Pachovas founder of Disabled Prisoners Program discuss the upcoming Disabled Americans Freedom Rally in the backdrop of the International Year of the Disabled Persons and President Reagan's budget cuts. Society needs to understand that expenditures are required to secure the rights of disabled people to live active, productive lives. They need to be able to get out of their apartment buildings or homes, travel on sidewalks and ride buses. That may require access ramps, working elevators, cut curbs, and hydraulic buses to lower steps.
Terkel delves into the life of Frank Norman, a London ex-con who turned his life around and became a novelist and playwright by writing on his experiences. He wrote "Bang to Rights" shortly after his prison release which brought him great fame. He followed that with "The Monkey Pulled it's Hair" that had a U.S. release under the name "Don't Darling Me Darling". Norman opened up to Terkel discussing his illegitimacy, his illiteracy till age 14, his institutionalization in an orphanage which he turned into the novel "Banana Boy".
Terkel wraps up his discussion with Frank Norman. Norman gives his opinion on present conditions in prisons and orphanages. He opens up about his relationship with his daughter and a family he has never met.
Johnson had recently released a book, "How to Talk Back to Your Television Set". Topics of conversation include the history and role of advertising in television and radio programming, and how advertising revenue influences the media. Emphasis is placed on cigarette advertising, which was particularly prevalent and controversial at the time of this interview.
Studs and investigative journalist Fred J. Cook discuss Cook's book "The Corrupted Land: The Social Morality of Modern Americans" (Macmillan, 1966). The main topics of conversation are social morality and the corruption of the American business ethic. Terkel and Cook discuss unsung heroes, television quiz scandals,
Studs Terkel discusses television and advertising with Nicholas Johnson, Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission. Johnson had recently delivered a speech in Dubuque, IA about possibilities for the future of broadcasting, and had released a book a year prior, "How to Talk Back to Your Television Set". Topics of conversation include censorship, the role of advertising and corporate sponsorship of radio and television, and the hope and promise of public television.
Studs Terkel discusses the murder of eight student nurses in 1966 at the hands of Richard Speck with the authors of "Born to Raise Hell", newsman Jack Altman and Speck's psychiatrist Dr. Marvin Ziporyn. Altman sees Speck's public and private image as being quite different. When asked to smile for the cameras Speck obeyed authority and did and was labeled in the press as a monster when in reality he blocked out the murders and was disgusted by his actions. Dr.