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July 27, 2007

Man vs. History

Stories about people taking history into their own hands. We hear from two men in two different wars. One is trying to make a difference in the current war in Iraq. The other is with the CIA at the very end of the Cold War.
Dal LaMagna, aka Tweezerman (left), with Mohammed Al-Dynee. They're at Dal's bungalow on Long Island, New York.

Prologue

Dal LaMagna, millionaire and creator of the Tweezerman tweezer, prepares to go to Iraq on a diplomatic mission he invented for himself—despite concern (and mocking) from his own sister. (2 minutes)

Man Of Lamagna

Dal LaMagna made a fortune selling high-quality grooming products. And after retiring, he wanted to do some good in the world. His plan: Curb the violence in Iraq. He thought he could get the Sunni resistance to sit down with Coalition forces to negotiate a cease-fire. So he hooked up with a member of the Iraqi parliament named Mohammed Al-Dynee and headed to Baghdad and Amman, where, remarkably, doors opened to him.

This American Life gave Dal an audio recorder to carry into his meetings, and he recorded 25 hours of his remarkable journey through the Middle East as a would-be citizen-diplomat. Producer Sarah Koenig sifted through the 25 hours, talked to Dal about what happened, and put together this story. (22 minutes)

Dal also ran for President.

Song:

“Overture from <i>The Man of La Mancha</i>” by Original Broadway Cast Recording (1965)