Talk of the Nation

Mon. - Thurs. from 11am to 1pm (not including Science Friday)
Hosted by: Neal Conan

Talk of the Nation® links the headlines with what's on people's minds, providing a springboard for listeners and experts to exchange ideas and pose critical questions about major events in the news and the world around them. Each day, Talk of the Nation combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

Monday through Thursday, host Neal Conan invites callers to discuss areas of topical interest, including politics and public service, education, religion, music, and healthcare. Talk of the Nation goes behind the headlines with decision-makers, authors, thinkers, artists, and listeners around the world, who become part of the conversation by calling 1-800-989-TALK.

Talk of the Nation won the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Award in 1994-95 for "The Changing of the Guard: The Republican Revolution," as well as the 1993-94 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for part of NPR's coverage of the South African elections. The program also won the 1993 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award.

Below, you will find articles, transcripts, and clips of many of the stories heard on Talk of the Nation.

Visit Talk of the Nation on NPR.org

Composer ID: 
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Books
11:06 am
Wed March 28, 2012

'Hitler': The Lasting Effect Of An Infamous Figure

A.N. Wilson's book Hitler encapsulates the German dictator's life in just 190 pages.
Basic Books

In the new biography Hitler, A.N. Wilson describes the Nazi dictator as the "Demon King of history" — who instigated the Holocaust and forced the world into a second world war — but also as an ordinary, even boring man.

"We like to distance ourselves from anything to do with him because he was an essentially evil character," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "But actually, many of the ideas that he had and expressed were very ordinary ideas, and they were ideas that more or less everybody had at that time."

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Politics
10:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

When Is It Time To End A Political Run?

Though he insists he's not suspending his run, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich announced he's cutting his staff and shifting his campaign strategy. NPR's Ken Rudin and veteran campaign manager Chip Saltsman discuss the decisions candidates face when a win seems unlikely.

Around the Nation
10:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Pilots And The Cockpit: What We Don't Understand

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 11:27 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A scary incident, yesterday, on JetBlue Flight 191 when passengers saw a disturbed pilot locked out of the cockpit shouting about a bomb onboard and forcibly restrained by aircrew and passengers.

(SOUNDBITE OF NBC NEWS BROADCAST)

CLAYTON OSBOURNE: I'm so distraught. We've got Israel. We've got Iraq. We've got Israel. We've got Iraq. We're going to get doomed.

DAVID GONZALEZ: He kept pointing at me and said, you know, you need to pray. As soon as he pointed at me, I grabbed his arm, and I put him in a choke hold.

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Business
10:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Employment Background Checks: How Far Is Too Far?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For years, employers have used credit checks and criminal histories to vet potential hires. With the growth of social media, hiring managers now turn to websites like Facebook, and some employers go so far as to ask applicants to turn over their passwords.

Facebook warns against this procedure. Two United States senators asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether these employers are violating federal law.

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From Our Listeners
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Letters: Mental Health And The Military, 'The Talk'

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week, after a member of the U.S. military was accused of slaughtering civilians in Afghanistan, we talked about how the military assesses mental fitness. Eman(ph) wrote from Sunnyvale, California to say the entire discussion left him uneasy. I feel very uncomfortable with the shooter-as-victim narrative that seems to be running through the U.S. media's coverage of the Robert Bales case, he wrote.

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin's Death Sparks Difficult Conversations

The death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, has sparked nationwide demonstrations and school walkouts. It has also prompted new conversations about race in America.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

The Health Law's Individual Mandate Has Day In Court

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: We will continue argument this morning in Case 11398, the Department of Health and Human Services vs. Florida. General Verrilli...

DONALD VERRILLI: Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the court, the Affordable Care Act addresses a fundamental and enduring problem in our health care system and our economy.

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Season Ends For Legendary Coach Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt, head coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2011. As her 38th season concludes, Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins talks about suspicions that Summit won't return next year.

Author Interviews
10:57 am
Mon March 26, 2012

A Doctor's Quest To Offer 'Best Care' At End Of Life

Dr. Ira Byock is the director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Mark Washburn Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 12:02 pm

Many people hope to die peacefully at home surrounded by their loved ones, but unfortunately it usually doesn't turn out that way. Thirty percent of Americans die in nursing homes, more than half die in hospitals and nearly half of those people spend their last days in intensive care units.

In his book The Best Care Possible, Dr. Ira Byock argues that the way most Americans die is a national disgrace — an ethical, moral and economic crisis that will get a great deal worse as the baby boomers age.

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National Security
10:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Defining Nuclear Security To Address Modern Threats

Speaking in South Korea, President Barack Obama said that the U.S. can further reduce its nuclear arsenal, while maintaining its security. Some insist that a credible nuclear deterrent requires a sizeable stockpile of weapons.

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