All Things Considered book critic Alan Cheuse has spent more than two decades reviewing other people's work. Now, he's putting himself under the critical microscope with a new novel, Song of Slaves in the Desert.
It's the story — two intertwined stories, really — of a slave-owning Jewish family in South Carolina before the Civil War and a slave girl growing up on their rice plantation.
The Pentagon released five short videos on Saturday that were recovered from the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden had been living — and was killed. NPR's Rachel Martin tells host Guy Raz that the videos and other correspondence found at the compound in Abbottabad indicate that bin Laden was still a tactical leader for al-Qaida.
The new videos from Osama bin Laden's Pakistani compound show an al-Qaida leader seriously concerned about his image. Host Guy Raz discusses those videos with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic. They also talk about whether the polling surge President Obama experienced after the killing can last through the next presidential election.
After pushing for an overhaul of Medicare, Republicans may be backing off their proposal to revamp the entitlement program. "On Thursday there seemed to be signals from some top leaders, that Republicans knew it couldn't pass," NPR's Julie Rovner tells host Guy Raz. Rovner goes on to say that "Democats are kind of enjoying watching Republicans squirm on the Medicare issue."