Randall Woodfin, The Blue Stain, Adam Piore, Reza Aslan

Democrats lost big in 2016. But this year, progressive candidates in the South begin to win state and local races. Birmingham, Alabama recently joined the list of Southeastern cities electing left-leaning, African-American candidates. Senator Bernie Sanders personally endorsed Birmingham’s new Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin. Woodfin beat a two-term Democratic incumbent in a runoff election last month. We talk with Woodfin about his campaign, and his plans for Birmingham.

Some 111 years ago, a brutal race riot broke out in Atlanta. A foreign observer wrote a novel about what he saw in 1906, and new translation of that work sheds light on the largely forgotten events. First published in German in 1922, “The Blue Stain,” tells the story of a German man whose trip abroad culminates in a violent version of Atlanta. Emory Professor of German Studies, Peter Hoyng joins us in studio to talk about finding and translating the novel.

Though bioengineered humans like the ones in “Blade Runner” seem like science fiction now, we’re advancing closer and closer to that reality. A new book called “Body Builders: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human,” looks at how scientists are learning to create bionic human body parts. We talk with the author, Adam Piore, ahead of an event at the Marcus Jewish Community center of Atlanta on Monday.

A new book by religious scholar Reza Aslan challenges some very old ideas about religion, and how we describe a higher power. The book is “GOD: A Human History.” It hits shelves this week, and Reza appears in Atlanta this Saturday as part of the Marcus Jewish Community Center’s Book Festival. He joins us live.