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Need to Know, December 24, 2010

This week on our holiday edition of Need to Know, we feature some of our favorite interviews with artists, journalists and scholars from the past year, as well an essay from editorial cartoonist Steve Brodner.

Watch the individual segments:

Stacy Schiff

NEW: Jon Meacham talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff about her new book about the last queen of Egypt — Cleopatra.

Robert Alter

NEW: On the eve of the 400th Anniversary of the completion of the King James Bible, renowned biblical scholar Robert Alter speaks with Jon Meacham about the continued relevance of the bible.

David Grossman

Acclaimed Israeli author David Grossman talks with Alison Stewart about the effects of the Middle East conflict on the human psyche.


Somali-Canadian hip-hop artist K’Naan has taken the world by storm with his song “Wavin’ Flag.” But his journey to the global stage began in a very unlikely place — his war-torn homeland of Somalia. K’Naan spoke with Alison Stewart about escaping the country at age 14 and the powerful messages of hope that he tries to convey in his songs.

Reza Aslan

Alison Stewart talks to religious scholar Reza Aslan about his new book, which chronicles the history of the modern Middle East through literature.

Steve Brodner on the biggest stories of the year

Editorial cartoonist Steve Brodner looks back at the impact some of this year’s biggest stories have had.

Online: Jon Rafman collects accidental images from Google Street View

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.