Arts & Culture

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue July 30, 2013

The Drug Trade Destroys A Generation — Quietly — In 'Falling'

AFP/Getty Images

If I tell you that Juan Gabriel Vasquez's exquisite novel The Sound of Things Falling is about the drug trade in Colombia, a few stock images might arise in your mind: an addict overdosing in a dirty apartment, say, or a dealer ordering the killing of some troublesome peon, or the drugs themselves bubbling in a volumetric flask. Here in America, shows like Breaking Bad and The Wire have taught us how to think about the drug trade, how to imagine it.

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Movie Interviews
2:51 am
Tue July 30, 2013

'Smash & Grab': How Pink Panthers Stole Millions In Jewels

Havana Marking's documentary Smash and Grab depicts members of the Pink Panthers, an international ring of jewel thieves.
Goldcrest Films

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 11:21 am

In this age of cyber-crime and online espionage, here's a good old-fashioned story about cops and robbers: Smash & Grab, a new documentary film opening in New York on Wednesday, details the exploits of the "Pink Panthers" — a group of international jewel thieves that, for the past decade, has targeted high-end jewelry shops across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

According to the international police agency, Interpol, the Pink Panthers have stolen nearly a half a billion dollars worth of jewels over roughly 500 robberies.

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Code Switch
4:49 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

In Nation's First Black Public High School, A Blueprint For Reform

Dunbar High School has a notable list of graduates, including the first black presidential Cabinet member, the first black general in the Army and several of the lawyers who argued the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Courtesy of Chicago Review Press

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:26 pm

The nation's first black public high school, Paul Laurence Dunbar High, opened its doors in Washington, D.C., in 1870. But more than 140 years later, Dunbar — like many urban schools — has fallen on hard times. The crumbling, brutalist-style building is often described as a prison, and graduation rates hover around 60 percent.

But it wasn't always that way. Once upon a time, the yearbook read like a Who's Who of black America.

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New In Paperback
2:32 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

July 29-Aug. 4: Neil Young, Susan Sontag And Alice Munro

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Television
1:28 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

John Gallagher Jr. On 'Newsroom' Dialogue And Staging Green Day

In Season 2 of The Newsroom, Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.) goes on the 2012 campaign trail.
Melissa Moseley HBO

In HBO's The Newsroom, John Gallagher Jr. plays Jim Harper, the senior producer of the nightly cable news program anchored by Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). The show's second season, which began in July, takes place in 2012 during the presidential primaries. Ever since the start of the series, Gallagher's character has been in a will-they-or-won't-they relationship with one of the young producers of the news show.

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