1:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

'The Art Of Fielding': Baseball Meets Literature

Chad Harbach's debut novel The Art of Fielding is as much about literary fiction as it is about America's national past time. The book follows the baseball team at a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin — with side trips to the big leagues of American literature.

Henry Skrimshander is that college's talented but socially awkward shortstop, destined for big-league stardom. But when a routine throw goes wrong, Henry's life falls apart as he ends up embroiled in conflicts with his teammates, his roommate and a school administrator.

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12:58pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Kim Jong Il's Legacy? 'North Korea Is Dark'

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 3:03 pm

North Korea's borders are outlined.
NASA via Afrikent

There's certainly already been a lot said about North Korea's Kim Jong Il. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has an obit and Planet Money has a recap of how North Korea's economy is fueled by drug dealing and smuggling of counterfeit goods.

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12:28pm

Mon December 19, 2011
North Korea In Transition

Key Moments In The Rule Of Kim Jong Il

Korean Central News Agency photo released on Jan. 18, 2009, showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il posing with soldiers.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Kim Jong Il succeeded his father and ruled the secretive nation for 17 years. It was a period that included repeated friction with the international community over North Korea's nuclear weapons program and a devastating famine in the late 1990s that may have been responsible for upwards of 2 million deaths.

12:25pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEOS: Christmas-Themed 'Senior Citizen Flash Mobs' Are Spreading

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:26 pm

The senior citizens flash mob in Kansas.
YouTube

12:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
Music

Jazz Pianist Gives Holiday Classics A New Swing

On his new album, Celebrating Christmas, veteran jazz pianist Marcus Roberts turns out a ragtime rendition of "Joy to the World," as well as other smooth but cheerful versions of holiday classics like "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" Host Michel Martin speaks with Roberts about his desire to get toes tapping during the holidays.

12:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

Decades Later, Did Those Scholarships Pay Off?

In 1988, a group of Maryland fifth-graders received college scholarships from two philanthropists. Now those students are in their 30s and their lives are chronicled in The Washington Post magazine. Host Michel Martin speaks with reporter Paul Schwartzman and one of those students about how the scholarship affected their lives.

12:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

A White Writer Gives Advice To A 'Poor Black Kid'

Writer Gene Marks caused a ruckus online with his recent blog post offering advice on how poor back children can succeed in life. He drew a great deal of criticism, including a sharp response from author and blogger Baratunde Thurston of The Onion. Host Michel Martin speaks with Thurston about the controversy.

12:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

What Will 'The Dear Leader's' Legacy Be?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died this past weekend. Host Michel Martin looks at the significance of Kim's death and what it means for the future of North Korea. She speaks with David Kang and Sandra Fahy of the Korean Studies Institute at USC.

11:58am

Mon December 19, 2011
Music Reviews

The Left Banke: Teenage Pioneers Of Jangle-Pop

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:24 pm

If you were a New York teenager who played an instrument and wanted to be in a band, and all of a sudden British groups were coming to town and attracting rioting mobs of teenage girls, you might feel a certain urgency to get something together. Tom Finn had already had a band, The Magic Plants, when he ran into a guy named Steve Martin-Caro, a Spanish high-school student who recently arrived in the city, as they attempted to navigate the scene outside the hotel where The Rolling Stones' members were staying in 1965. The two became friends and decided to form another band.

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11:34am

Mon December 19, 2011
Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 5:24 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum listens during a presidential debate Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
Scott Eells-Pool Getty

Born in the spring of 1958, former Sen. Rick Santorum — the son of a psychologist and a nurse — was the second of three children in a Catholic family. The Pennsylvania Republican spent most of his childhood in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

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