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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On today’s show: Boston Globe language columnist Ben Zimmer discusses the best—and worst—words of 2012, including “selfie,” “YOLO,” and “Romnesia.” Jon Wiener helps us understand how the Cold War is being remembered—or forgotten—across the country. Chris Ware talks about a new box set that collects a decades worth of his acclaimed Building Stories comics. And historian Richard Lingeman looks at how the late 1940s set the stage for the Korean War and the Red Scare.

The Best and Worst Words of 2012

Ben Zimmer, language columnist for the Boston Globe and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, talks about the year’s vocabulary and the best and worst words of 2012.

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Forgetting the Cold War

Historian Jon Wiener visits Cold War monuments, museums, and memorials across the United States to find out how the era is being remembered. How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across the New World is a travelogue that takes readers to sites such as the life-size recreation of Berlin's "Checkpoint Charlie" at the Reagan Library, the fallout shelter display at the Smithsonian.

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Chris Ware's Building Stories

Chris Ware talks about Building Stories, a box set of a decade’s worth of work. As seen in the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Building Stories is a set of comics that imagine the inhabitants of a three-story Chicago apartment building. Ware has been broadening the boundaries of what comics can be and what kinds of stories they can tell.

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The Noir Forties

Historian Richard Lingeman examines the years between VJ Day and the beginning of the Korean War, describing how we went from hot war to Cold War, and from there to here. The Noir Forties is a reexamination of America’s postwar period, and it traces the attitudes, sentiments, hopes and fears, prejudices, behavior, and collective dreams and nightmares of the times.

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