Correction: In the original broadcast of this episode, Joe Richman in Act One incorrectly stated that Nathan Bedford Forrest was the founder of the Ku Klux Klan. The audio and transcript have been changed to reflect that Forrest was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, not the founder. We apologize for the error.
Host Alex Blumberg talks about New York City’s long-standing ban on ferrets. And how, after years of forbidding them, the city is now poised to lift the ban. You’d think ferret proponents — there are ferret proponents — would be really really happy. You’d also be wrong. (7 minutes)
Alex Blumberg takes us to an American classroom where students are reading a classic, The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter. The book is marketed as a simple homespun autobiography of a Cherokee orphan. But public radio documentarian Joe Richman explains that the book is not at all what it seems. The origins of the heartwarming tale of respect for nature and tolerance, are actually filled with hatred, racism and lies. This story was produced by Joe Richman, Sarah Kate Kramer and Samara Freemark of Radio Diaries with help from Nellie Gilles, Deborah George, and Ben Shapiro. (31 minutes) Here's the Radio Diaries podcast, where people can hear the original non-narrated version of this story. And the Radio Diaries Kickstarter campaign.
“Tennessee” by Ron Taylor
Chana Joffe-Walt tells the story of a teenager named Michael. Like a lot of teenagers Michael decides to follow his dreams — and that to follow his dreams, he’s going to need to make a total change. He does that. And then, like so many of us when we’re teenagers, Michael decides after a lot of trouble, that it was all a big mistake. He need to reverse his reversal. A double 180. That’s when things get complicated. (11 minutes)