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Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Movies Coming Out This Season

Kenneth Lu
Creative Commons

Fist fights and guns in Congress… robber barons roaming the land… bombs exploding in the streets… a boisterous, snaggle-toothed press corps… this was how it was in America a decade into the 1900s, when close pals Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft broke up their friendship. Happens all the time, you might say, but in this case the break-up so crippled the progressive wing of the Republican Party that Democrat Woodrow Wilson was elected president, changing the course of history.

Popular, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells me how the muckraking media zeroed in on corruption high and low, causing Roosevelt to enact reforms instead of handling the rich, famous and powerful with kid gloves. These are lessons for today, she says.

And: ask the critics, the summer preview screenings were just okay; there was nothing to talk about, until… "The Theory of Everything" was shown, a biopic about the life of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking. That movie has offered critics a lot to talk about.

As NPR's Robert Krulwich wonders, how faithful will the movie be to Hawking's actual complex life? (Hawking left his first wife and married his nurse while he had ALS. The second marriage did not last.) If someone sick insists on ignoring his illness, what should those around him or her do? And if you're the one who's ill, how desperate are you to be someone who is not defined as your illness, no matter what that costs?

We talk about movies coming this fall, and explore how Connecticut is doing in attracting moviemakers to The Nutmeg State.

Join the conversation by email, on Twitter, or on Facebook.


  • Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author, most recently, of The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.
  • Arnold Gorlick owns Madison Art Cinemas in Madison, Conn.
  • George Norfleet? is director of the state of Connecticut's Office of Film, Television & Digital Media.


  • “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktail
  • “Sorry About Your Irony,” El Ten Eleven
  • “Central Nervous Piston,” El Ten Eleven
  • “My Only Swerving,” El Ten Eleven

Lori Mack and Jonathan McNicol contributed to this show.

For more than 25 years, the two-time Peabody Award-winning Faith Middleton Show has been widely recognized for fostering insightful, thought-provoking conversation. Faith Middleton offers her listeners some of the world's most fascinating people and subjects. The show has been inducted into the Connecticut Magazine Hall of Fame as "Best Local Talk Show".

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