4.14.14: The Age Of Radiance, The Girls Of Atomic City, Russian National Fitness & Poetry Out Loud

Apr 14, 2014

Credit amazon.com, girlsofatomiccity.com, hisotry.ucsd.edu & poetryoutloud.org

Happy Monday, everyone! Halfway through April and the nice weather is finally here. There's a little bit of every subject on today's Word of Mouth. We start with science, move to a look into women's history, and even have lesson in physical fitness before concluding with poetry. Put on your headphones and listen today's show, then join the discussion on our Facebook page!

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments

Age of Radiance

  • At the beginning of the atomic age, Albert Einstein and Marie Curie became heroes to millions around the world. Their discoveries heralded a new era of possibility for humankind. Instead, writes Craig Nelson, that sweet hope has been battered by a history of thermonuclear-winter terrors and run-amok power plants. Nelson narrates that sweeping arc in vivid detail in The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramataic Fall of the Atomic Era.

The Girls of Atomic City

  • The story of the development and deployment of the atomic bomb is generally told as a narrative driven by powerful men like Oppenheimer, Truman, and Stimson, operating at the highest levels of government. What few people know is how many women played a crucial role – albeit unknowingly – in one of the most significant turning points in history. Denise Kiernan interviewed several women who worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – a secret, government-built town created as part of the Manhattan Project. Their stories, combined with detailed reporting, come together in her new book called The Girls of Atomic City

Russian National Fitness

  • Last month, Putin signed an executive order to revive the Stalin-era fitness program called ‘ready for labor and defense’. Since details of what the fitness program would look like have been hard to come by… there are rumors action star Steven Seagal is somehow involved. We decided to take a look at what Russia’s fitness program looked like in the 1930’s. Our guest is Robert Edelman, he’s a professor of Russian history and the history of sport at the University of California, San Diego.

Poetry Out Loud

  • One of the great joys for me as host of Word of Mouth is getting out of the studio to moderate and emcee community events. One of my absolute favorites is the annual Poetry Out Loud state finals in Concord, where high school students from around the state bring their favorite poems to life in front of a live audience. Because April is National Poetry Month, we decided to bring a taste of the event directly to you.  We invited some of the participants into the studio to recite poems.
  • For more on the talent from Poetry Out Loud, click here