Society And Culture
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Lynn Povich talks about working at Newsweek in the 1960s, and discovering that women researchers sometimes became reporters, rarely writers, and never editors. She was a ringleader of the 46 Newsweek women who charged the magazine with discrimination in hiring and promotion in 1970. It was the first female class action lawsuit—and the first by women journalists. In The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace, she tells the story of this turning point through the lives of several participants.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Aaron Bobrow-Strain, author of White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf and professor of politics at Whitman College, explains the colorful history of white bread and tells us what makes it so soft, so white, and have such a long shelf life. He’ll also discuss how the kind of bread you eat has defined social status for centuries.
Friday, August 31, 2012
From April 14 to May 21, 1927—the world held its breath while 14 aviators took to the air to capture a $25,000 prize offered to the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean without stopping. Joe Jackson discusses this race. In Atlantic Fever he writes about the lives of the big-name competitors—the polar explorer Richard Byrd, the French war hero René Fonck, the millionaire Charles Levine, and the race’s eventual winner, Charles Lindbergh—and those who have been forgotten.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Jonathan Kozol discusses the inequalities inflicted upon poor children. Kozol has persistently crossed the lines of class and race, first as a teacher, then as an author of books about the children he has called “the outcasts of our nation’s ingenuity.” His new book, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-five Years Among the Poorest Children in America, is about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, young men and women who have come of age in one of the most destitute communities of the United States.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Josh Garrett-Davis talks about growing up in South Dakota and why the Great Plains might seem empty but are actually a rich and complex place. His book Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains covers the destruction and resurgence of the American bison; his great-great-grandparents’ lives as Nebraska homesteaders; Native American "Ghost Dancers," political allegory in The Wizard of Oz; and attempts to "rewild" the Plains.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Craig Brown gives an account of a daisy chain of 101 fascinating true encounters, including Martha Graham meeting Madonna, Igor Stravinsky meeting Walt Disney, Marilyn Monroe meeting Nikita Khrushchev, President Richard Nixon meeting Elvis Presley, Cecil Beaton meeting Mick Jagger, and Groucho Marx meeting T. S. Eliot. Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 remarkable Meetings shows how the celebrated and gifted got along famously or disastrously or indifferently with one another.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Andrew Delbanco, Director of American Studies at Columbia University, explains why he worries that the traditional four-year college experience—a time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values—is in danger of becoming a thing of the past. In his book College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be, he offers a defense of such an education, and argues that making it available to as many young people as possible remains central to America's democratic promise.
Share your thoughts: Did you find college worthwhile? Do you think the standard four-year college education should change?
Monday, August 13, 2012
Sandor Katz explains fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics. His comprehensive book The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World is guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation and explains the processes behind fermentation, parameters for safety, and techniques for effective preservation.
Monday, August 06, 2012
James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, offers advice on how to address some of the pitfalls of kids’ use of media and technology: relationship issues, attention/addiction problems, and the lack of privacy. His book Talking Back to Facebook is a guide to raising kids in the digital age that gives parents essential tools to help filter content and make good judgments.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and a senior editor at the Atlantic, is the author of The Rise of the Creative Class, 10th Anniversary Edition. As his book celebrates its tenth anniversary, Florida discusses how things have changed.
Monday, July 09, 2012
Cultural historian and biographer Anthony Heilbut looks at some of our American icons and iconic institutions, high, low, and exalted. The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Aretha Franklin, the Rise of the Soap Opera, Children of the Gospel Church, and Other Meditations is an exploration of art and obsession and the figures who transformed the American cultural landscape.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
James Kunen chronicles his adventures on the road to finding meaning in work and life. His memoir Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, Finding a Life is the story of a 1960s radical turned corporate PR man who finds himself, along with his fellow baby boomers, in a place he calls “too young to retire and too old to hire.”
Monday, July 02, 2012
Stephen Fry tells about arriving at Cambridge University as a convicted fraudster and thief, an addict, liar, fantasist, and failed suicide, convinced he would be sent away. Instead, he befriended bright young things like Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie, and emerged as one of the most promising comic talents in the world. The Fry Chronicles is his story of his journey to stardom.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Carlin Romano, Critic-at-Large of The Chronicle of Higher Education and professor of philosophy and humanities, explores America’s philosophical culture. In America the Philosophical, he writes of the men and women whose ideas have helped shape American life over the previous few centuries, from well-known historical figures like William James and Ralph Waldo Emerson to modern cultural critics Kenneth Burke and Edward Said to thinkers such as Cornel West and Susan Sontag.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Frank Partnoy explains how delaying our reactions to everyday choices—large and small—can improve the quality of our lives. In Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, he finds that effective decision-making runs counter to our fast-paced world and argues that we benefit from slowing down our responses decisions.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Paul Ingrassia tells the story America’s vehicular history—from the assembly lines of Henry Ford to the open roads of Route 66, from the lore of Jack Kerouac to the sex appeal of the Hot Rod. In Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars, Ingrassia explores how cars have both propelled and reflected the American experience.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Photographer Mary Ellen Mark and her husband, the filmmaker Martin Bell, talk about traveling across the United States to document teenagers going to the prom. For the book Prom, Mark used a Polaroid 20x24 Land camera to produce photographs. Bell produced and directed a film, also titled Prom, which features interviews with the students about their lives, dreams, and hopes for the future. A DVD of the film is packaged with the book.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Rodney King talks about what happened the night of March 3, 1991, when he was beaten and tasered by L.A. police officers—an incident caught on videotape, sparking national outrage. When the four police officers were acquitted 13 months later, riots broke out in Los Angeles. In The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption, King writes about his struggle with alcohol addiction and coming to terms with the incident that made him a household name and caused him emotional and physical damage. He’s joined by his fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, who was one of the jurors from his civil trial against the city of Los Angeles.
Thursday, April 19, 2012