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Thursday, July 12, 2012

On today’s show: Andrew Blackwell provides a guide for tourist interested in traveling to some of the world’s most polluted places. We’ll take a look at the long and complicated relationship between Jewish Americans and alcohol during the Prohibition years. Janet Groth describes her two decades working as a receptionist at The New Yorker. Plus, on Backstory we’ll a get comprehensive history of campaign finance in the United States.

Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places

Andrew Blackwell talks about traveling to the most polluted places on Earth and considers what they mean for us. Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places is equal parts travelogue, expose, environmental memoir, and faux guidebook.

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Jews and Booze

Marni Davis examines the long and complicated relationship Jewish Americans had to alcohol during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the years of the national prohibition movement’s rise and fall. In Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition Davis shows that alcohol commerce played a crucial role in Jewish immigrant acculturation and the growth of Jewish communities in the United States.

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An Education at The New Yorker

Janet Groth describes her two decades working as the receptionist at The New Yorker. Her memoir The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker is an account of watching and registering the comings and goings, marriages and divorces, scandalous affairs, failures, triumphs, and tragedies of the magazine’s eccentric staff.

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Backstory: A History of Money in Politics

Mother Jones staff reporter Andy Kroll examines the four-decade fight over campaign fundraising and spending in American politics. His article, "Follow the Dark Money, " is in the July/August issue of Mother Jones.

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Underreported: Inside Syria

Donatella Rovera, senior adviser on crisis response for Amnesty International, spent several weeks this spring in 23 of Syria’s towns and villages. On this week’s Underreported, she describes the damage she saw as traveled around the country and the stories she heard from Syrians about the tactics of the national army as fighting continues there, 16 months after the protests first began.

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