90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
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
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

 
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
1 Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment