Conversations with Allan Wolper

Sunday, 7am - 7:30am

Hosted by Allan Wolper

Audio biographies of people whose lives and ideas are on the cutting edge.

Host Allan Wolper is a “journalist’s journalist.” A superb interviewer, radio and television producer, ethics columnist, magazine and newspaper writer, he has been honored by every journalism medium. Wolper has won more than 50 awards, including television’s Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award – the Pulitzer Prize of Broadcast news. Wolper is professor emeritus of Journalism from Rutgers University.

Michele Goodwin
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Michele Bratcher Goodwin's investigative research in human trafficking, the black market for body parts, reproductive rights, the politics of organ transplants, and bioethics has won her wide acclaim. She discloses how women in Florida were forced to give birth by cesarean surgery.

Goodwin is a Chancellor's Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at the University of California, School of Law, Irvine.

Yuki Ohta: Why have a SoHo Memory Project?

Oct 16, 2015
Yuki Ohta
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Yuki Ohta created the SoHo Memory Project in New York City to educate the throngs of visitors who have turned the one time haven for mafia landlords, struggling artists and sweat shops into an international destination for fashionistas and foodies.

In this edition of Conversations with Allan Wolper, Ohta discusses the impact that the May 25, 1979 disappearance of six year old Etan Patz had on the Soho area and the country. He was declared dead in 2011.

Click above to hear the entire show with Yuki Ohta.

Frank Casey
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Frank Casey was the first investment analyst to blow the whistle on financier Bernard Madoff’s incredible Ponzi scheme that looted more than $65 billion from people around the globe. “This is a story that still has legs,” says Casey, now an analyst at Race Rock Capital in Boston.

Letitia James, New York City Public Advocate

May 6, 2015
Letitia James
Letitia James for WBGO

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James is a fierce fighter for low income tenants facing eviction from predatory landlords. James is pained by the fact 60,000 people have to sleep in homeless shelters every night. She recently started a campaign to win equal pay for women working in City Hall. She is the first woman of color to hold citywide office in New York, a former city council member,a Legal Aid Society public defender and an assistant attorney general.

Kim Ann Curtin
Kim Ann Curtin for WBGO

Kim Ann Curtin, dubbed the Wall Street Coach by New York media, wants to find the good guys working in the financial district and hope they will create an ethical movement their colleagues would follow.

“We know who the bad guys are,” Curtin says in a Conversation with Allan Wolper interview. “But we don’t who the good guys are.”

Dr. Margaret Haney
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Dr. Margaret Haney, an expert on the impact that marijuana usage has on the brain of teenagers, utilizes human volunteers to conduct her research. She is a professor of Neurobiology in Psychiatry and co-director of the Substance Abuse Research Center at The Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Haney is also concerned that the country’s intense debate on the medical benefits of marijuana.

The Legend of Princeton: Jeff Nunokawa

Oct 20, 2014
Jeff Nunokawa
Jeff Nunokawa for WBGO

Jeff Nunokawa, a professor of Victorian Literature at Princeton University, has published a volume of poetry and literary essays, culled from hundreds of pieces he wrote on his face book page. The work included literary exchanges with his students.

The new volume, called Note Book, was published by Princeton University Press.

Students have nicknamed Nunokawa's face book page, "Jeff Book." His personality and scholarship earned him the title, The Legend of Princeton, from the university's alumni association magazine.

Julio Medina: From Dealing Drugs To Saving Lives

Oct 13, 2014
Julio Medina
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Julio Medina spent 12 years in prison after he was convicted of running a major New York drug ring. But he turned his life around in the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York, one of the most violent institutions in America.

In Sing Sing, he found a way out. He earned a BA degree from the State University of Albany and a Masters of Divinity Degree from the New York Theological Seminary. And when he was finally released, Medina was ready to leave his drug dealing days behind him. Which he did, in a remarkable way.

Bruce Cutler
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Bruce Cutler made his bones as one of the most flamboyant and controversial defense attorneys in recent history. His personal and professional relationship with the late mafia boss , John Gotti, known as “Teflon Don,” made headlines and spawned controversy.  

Melba Wilson
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Melba Wilson is the Queen of Comfort Food who holds court at Melba’s restaurant in Harlem, a neighborhood eatery that often attracts celebrities, movie stars, politicians and the media.

Melba honed her culinary skills in her grandmother’s kitchen, and later in Sylvia’s, the legendary eatery of her late aunt, Sylvia Woods, internationally known as the Queen of Southern Soul Food. 

Wilson showed off her talents on the Food Network when she bested famed chef Bobby Flay in an old fashioned Throwdown.

James Braxton Peterson
James Braxton Peterson for WBGO

Dr. James Braxton Peterson, director of Africana Studies at Lehigh University and founder of Hip Hop Scholars, LLC, believes Hip Hop will lose its millennial followers if it does  not clean up its homophobic attitude.  It was a refrain uttered in 2005 by Kanye West.

But despite gay marriage and the mainline acceptance of the LGBT community, homophobia remains a constant in Hip Hop culture. 

Dr. Peterson grew up in Newark amid the murder, mugging and general mayhem that has plagued  the city for generations.

Dr. Deane Marchbein
Dr. Deane Marchbein

Dr. Deane Marchbein is the President of Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).  Marchbein talks to host Allan Wolper about the struggle her organization endures to treat the sick and injured in war ravaged areas of South Sudan, Syria Libya and other hot spots around the globe.

Gretchen Morgenson
The New York Times

Gretchen Morgenson, an assistant business and financial editor of The New York Times, doesn’t party with the people in the financial world she writes about.

Annette Gordon-Reed
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Annette Gordon-Reed is a Harvard Law and History professor who has won national acclaim for her biographies on Thomas Jefferson.

Her 2008 book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family: explores the relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings, a slave on his plantation, with whom he had seven children. Her book won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award.

Matthew Bogdanos
Manhattan District Attorney's Office

Matthew Bogdanos, an assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and a Marine Reserve Colonel, has long been angry at the looting of antiquities from museums in the Middle East by terrorists.

He points out that the money the terrorists received from selling the artifacts stolen from the National Museum of Iraq during the war there was used to purchase weapons that were used against American soldiers. “The trade in illegal antiquities funded the insurgency in Iraq,” he said in an interview seven years ago in Conversations with Allan Wolper.

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