Hear journalist Fred Kaplan, actor Bryan Cranston, and classical-music critic Lloyd Schwartz on this edition of Fresh Air. Fred Kaplan is the "war stories" columnist for Slate, where he covers military issues. In his new book, he looks at the loss of prestige and power of the U.S. abroad and what went wrong and why. It is entitled Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power.
For seven years, Bryan Cranston played the beleaguered father in the Fox TV show Malcolm in the Middle. He's now starring in the AMC show Breaking Bad, about a chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer who begins producing crystal meth to provide for his family after he's gone. Cranston has appeared on many television shows, and he had a recurring role as dentist Tim Whatley on Seinfeld. He has also been in the films Saving Private Ryan, Little Miss Sunshine, and That Thing You Do.
And Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new DVD collection of director Ernst Lubitsch's early, almost forgotten films. They are operettas, and include the films One Hour With You, Monte Carlo, The Smiling Lieutenant, and The Merry Widow. [Broadcast Date: February 6, 2008]
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