Drawing Lines

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

We often think of America as red and blue states, but on today’s show, we’ll look at the other kinds of categories that make up the geography of America: from monied suburbs to Mormon outposts to tractor country. Art Spiegelman reflects on his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Maus, 25 years after it was first published. Jock Soto talks about his career as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. We’ll take a look at the many creative ways corporations try to get out of paying taxes. Then, the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer tells how one man is trying to reshape North Carolina politics heading into the 2012 presidential race.

Our Patchwork Nation

Journalist Dante Chinni discusses the Patchwork Nation project, using on-the-ground reporting and statistical analysis to move past red state/blue state generalizations and examine American communities in depth. Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth about the "Real" America looks at how America breaks into 12 distinct types of communities, and how they shape how Americans vote, invest, shop, and behave.

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Art Spiegelman and Hillary Chute on MetaMaus

Art Spiegelman revisits his Pulitzer prize–winning Maus, published 25 years ago. In MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus, edited and based on interviews by Hillary Chute, he probes the questions that Maus most often evokes—Why the Holocaust? Why mice? Why comics?—and gives us a new and essential work about the creative process. MetaMaus includes a DVD with audio interviews with his survivor father, historical documents, and a trove of Spiegelman’s private notebooks and sketches.

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Jock Soto on His Life in Dance

Jock Soto, former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet discusses his career and his place in ballet history. His memoir Every Step You Take weaves together the diverse strands of his life: being the child of a Puerto Rican–Navajo couple, the gay son of a fiercely macho man, a naive teenager moving to New York, and a driven artist. He shares recollections of working with dance icons and includes recipes.

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Underreported: How Corporations Are Saving Billions in Taxes

In the current economic downturn, governments around the world are looking to crack down on tax loopholes—corporations have been able to take advantage of tax breaks and loopholes that add up to billions of dollars in lost tax revenue. On today’s Underreported, ProPublica senior reporter Jeff Gerth and Megan Murphy, Investment Banking Correspondent for the Financial Times, describe how corporations are saving billions and how governments are now trying to close some of these loopholes.

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Backstory: Art Pope, 2012, and Citizens United

The landmark Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has changed the political landscape in battleground states. Jane Mayer takes a look at how Art Pope, an arch conservative billionaire, is reshaping North Carolina politics heading into the 2012 presidential race with the help of the ruling. Mayer’s article “State for Sale” appears in the October 10, 2011, issue of the New Yorker.


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