PLEDGE NOW
The 'Elephant Whisperer' Of World War II

With Guest Host John Harwood.

We’ll travel to the jungles of Burma for the remarkable true story of Billy Williams—aka “the elephant whisperer”—and his World War II  heroism.

Lt. Col. James Howard Williams, aka "Elephant Bill," is the hero of Vicki Constantine Croke's new book, "Elephant Company." (Courtesy Random House)

Lt. Col. James Howard Williams, aka “Elephant Bill,” is the hero of Vicki Constantine Croke’s new book, “Elephant Company.” (Courtesy Random House)

Anyone with a pet understands the special relationship between people and animals. But the story of Elephant Bill is on another level – the tale of British soldier Billy Williams, who used his intimate connection to the largest animals on earth to help the Allies defeat the Japanese in World War II. Vicki Croke, a present-day journalist whose beat is animals, has told it in her new book “Elephant Company.” Are there 21st century lessons for us? Can we even be sure that elephants can survive the relentless assault of poachers? This hour On Point: how the elephant whisperer did it.

– John Harwood

Guests

Vicki Constantine Croke, author of “Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of An Unlikely Hero And The Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives In World War II.” Animals and wildlife reporter for WBUR Boston’s “The Wild Life” blog. (@VickiCroke)

Paula Kahumbu, CEO of the conservation group, WildlifeDirect. Writes the Africa Wild column in The Guardian. (@paulakahumbu)

From The Reading List

Boston Globe: ‘Elephant Company’ by Vicki Croke — “Blending biography, history, and wildlife biology, Croke builds her story around Williams’s exotic adventures. As the book opens, Williams, an English World War I veteran, is just arriving in Burma in the 1920s to work in the Bombay Burmah Trading Corp.’s teak-harvesting operations.”

New York Times: Unlikely Warriors — “Croke is a natural storyteller, and she deftly evokes Williams’s tale. He was a man with a capacity for forgiveness so remarkable it verged on being a flaw, a man who was constantly re-evaluating his reactions to situations and people and, when push came to shove, remained true to his values.”

The Guardian: Kenya’s First Lady takes the helm in the war on poachers – “I wonder how British people would feel if King Mswati III of Swaziland ran a campaign to mobilize Africans to end the British badger cull. The people of Africa have to be inspired to lead on African issues.”

Read An Excerpt Of “Elephant Company” By Vicki Constantine Croke

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 31, 2015
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, second from left, appears before Judge Megan Shanahan at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Cincinnati. Tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter. (AP)

A new police murder charge and a black man dead in Ohio. Iran Deal heat and Huckabee. Malaysia Air. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 31, 2015
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegally hunting a lion appeared in court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP)

Canned lion hunts and the fate of big game in Africa, after the outrage over Cecil.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 31, 2015
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegally hunting a lion appeared in court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP)

Canned lion hunts and the fate of big game in Africa, after the outrage over Cecil.

 
Jul 31, 2015
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, second from left, appears before Judge Megan Shanahan at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Cincinnati. Tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter. (AP)

A new police murder charge and a black man dead in Ohio. Iran Deal heat and Huckabee. Malaysia Air. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 31, 2015
Friday, Jul 31, 2015

A regular reminder that RTs are not endorsements, links have specific authorship and patience is a virtue.

More »
1 Comment
 
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment