A Year with the NY Jets; Soprano Martina Serafin; Russia in America; Child Labor in Tobacco Fields

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Nicholas Dawidoff describes spending a year with the New York Jets. Soprano Martina Serafin on playing the role of the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier” at the Metropolitan Opera. We’ll take a look at Russia’s furthest outposts in the early 19th century, which were in California and Hawaii. Plus, details about the surprising instances of child labor in tobacco fields here in America.

A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football

Nicholas Dawidoff talks about spending a year with the New York Jets—from early-morning quarterback meetings to late-night conversations. In Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football he describes the Combine, the draft, the practices, and the strategy meetings. He profiles the Jets' polarizing head coach, Rex Ryan, the general manager, the coaches, players like the cornerback Darrelle Revis, quarterback Mark Sanchez, and the safeties, linebackers, cornerbacks, and enthusiastic rookies who play the game.

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Soprano Martina Serafin

Viennese soprano Martina Serafin discusses playing the leading role of the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s opera, “Der Rosenkavalier,” playing at the Metropolitan Opera. This season’s performances mark the 100th anniversary of the opera’s US premiere. The Marschallin is often described as opera’s first “cougar”—a married older woman whose complicated relationship with her teenage male lover, Octavian, forms the plot of the opera. This is her first time singing the role in New York or at the Met.

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Nikolai Rezanov's Dream of a Russian America

The Russian Empire once extended deep into America: in 1818 Russia’s furthest outposts were in California and Hawaii. The dreamer behind this great Imperial vision was Nikolai Rezanov – diplomat, adventurer, courtier, millionaire and gambler. In Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America, Owen Matthews gives an account of Rezanov’s quest to plant Russian colonies from Siberia to California led him to San Francisco.

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Child Labor in Tobacco Fields

A 2001 study found that one in four tobacco workers suffers from acute nicotine poisoning, or “green tobacco sickness.” Gabriel Thompson looks at this illness and at why children are allowed to work in tobacco fields in this country—these hazards have led countries like Russia and Kazakhstan to ban anyone under 18 from harvesting tobacco, but no such prohibition exists here. Thompson’s article, reported in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, “Leaves of Poison: Why Are Children Working in Tobacco Fields?” is in the December 2 issue of The Nation. He’ll be joined by Mariya Strauss, who has done extensive reporting on child labor laws in this country.

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Tributes: Chico Hamilton

Chico Hamilton was a triple threat – a drummer, bandleader, and composer, whose smooth, understated style led to California’s cool jazz sound. He was a charter member of Gerry Mulligan’s quartet before founding his own quintet.  And he wrote the music for Roman Polanski’s 1965 film, Repulsion. He died at the age of 92. You can still hear his interview with Leonard Lopate in August of 2007 below.


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