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Susan Willis

Charles Ruas interviews social critic and author
Susan Willis about her latest book, Portents of the Real: A Primer for Post 9/11 America. In this work Willis analyzes events that reveal the state of mind of American culture and the changing nature of our society: She tracks the patriotic passion for the American flag right after 9/11, tracing the flag from the World Trade Center to Afghanistan and the launching of flags into outer space to consecrate them. She analyses the fascinating figure of the Washington D.C. sniper and how he is a typical product, but who has turned against his own society. Susan Willis looks at the ways to protect the government from attack by hiding it, and also looks clearly at the Abu Ghraib photos of prisoner torture and discusses how they reveal our culture and reflect the state of our present society.


Conversations with Writers


Host Charles Ruas in conversation with contemporary writers and poets, continuing a stream of intelligent discussion dating back to his legendary days at WBAI Pacifica Radio in New York in the seventies. Ruas is the author of Conversations with American Writers, a Fulbright scholar, and a distinguished French translator. His writing has frequently appeared in both ARTNews and Art in America. His other Clocktower-produced program is Historic Audio From the Archives of Charles Ruas and is one of the most brilliant and extensive collections of historic audio in our archive.