Judy Blume has been channeling the anxieties, dreams and secret thoughts of young readers for more than four decades. With her honest treatment of topics from bullying to puberty, she has won legions of fans around the world. But she's also drawn the ire of critics, who want her frank books banned.
School libraries around the country have banned many of Blume's books over the years, including Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Then Again, Maybe I Won't and Blubber, making Blume a champion for supporters of intellectual freedom for young people.
And now, The Opinion Page. Today, Egyptians began the long process of electing a new parliament. Millions turned out to vote in the first meaningful election in that country's history. There are close to 50 political parties competing, among them several Islamist parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which many regard as the best organized and likely to emerge as one of the big winners. Some regard Islamism as incompatible with democracy.
This week, John Hinckley Jr. faces a hearing to determine whether or not he can be released from a mental health facility to care for his ailing mother. The case raises questions about the role of the insanity defense and what happens to the criminally insane after they leave the courtroom.
Daniel Zwerdling is a correspondent in NPR's Investigations Unit.
The acclaimed, eccentric, and very polarizing British film director Ken Russell has died, after a series of strokes at the age of 84.
The director of Tommy, Women In Love and Altered States, Russell was known for a florid style and fascination with sadomasochism that earned him condemnations and a cult following. His adaptations of classic literature and over-the-top biopics ranged from perverse to merely provocative — and an indelible nickname: "Kinky Ken Russell."
The U.S. military has spent more than $42 million to test every service member's brain to find out who suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But an investigation by NPR and ProPublica has found that military leaders are refusing to carry out the testing program as Congress ordered. Partly as a result, the program that was supposed to fix things has hardly helped any of the troops.
Gabriel Kahane seems to enjoy blurring the lines between indie rock and indie classical. He arrived at the NPR Music offices with a string quartet and an electric guitarist in tow, and though they hadn't played together for long, you'd never know it.
Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 1:39 pm
It's funny how the birthplace of one little bean can stir up a world of passions. But when it's the soybean, maybe it's not such a shocker.
Soy plays an outsized role in human history, serving as the primary source of protein in Asia for millennia. That can slip by people in the United States, where — until very recently — the super-nutritious bean was relegated to animal feed.
At point today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 2.9 percent to 11,554. The rally comes after news that European leaders had made progress on a solution to the sovereign debt crisis and record sales this past Friday.
It also comes after a 4.8 percent downturn last week, the worst Thanksgiving week since the markets started observing the holiday in 1942.