On August 31, 1886 a powerful earthquake devastated Charleston, South Carolina leaving most of the city in ruins and most pf the residents living on the streets. Tonight’s guests, writer SUSAN MILLAR WILLIAMS and writer/editor STEPHEN G. HOFFIUS have written a compelling history of this natural disaster that links the story to issues of race, class, urban development and even labor. This is a fascinating and complex and important chapter in the history of America that almost no one knows about. Join us tonight as Williams and Hoffius discuss their book UPHEAVAL IN CHARLESTON: EARTHQUAKE AND MURDER ON THE EVE OF JIM CROW.
GORDON B. LANKTON is Chairman of the Board, Nypro Inc. An engineering graduate of Cornell University, in 2007 he founded the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, with the largest collection of Russian icons publicly displayed outside of Russia. Back in 1956, fresh out of the Army and stationed in Germany, he decided to take a motorcycle trip like no other: from Germany to Southeast Asia. He had never ridden a motorcycle before. The trip would take him through Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Burma, Vietnam and that is just for starters. As you can imagine, the road conditions varied tremendously from just passable to extremely poor, with stretches snow, ice and even sand covered. Along the way, he spent time talking with people along the way, learning about all the cultures encountered at a time when most Americans were totally ignorant of that part of the globe. It was an epic journey that changed him forever. His memoir of that amazing trip is titled A LONG WAY HOME: A MOTORCYCLE JOURNEY.
If you want to write that next great American novel, STANLEY FISH has a useful and counter intuitive recommendation for you. Don’t begin with the big idea, the grand conception. Instead begin with the sentence. Learn to love well written sentences. Stanley Fish is the Davidson-Kahn University Professor and a professor of law at Florida International University. His new book: HOW TO WRITE A SENTENCE AND HOW TO READ ONE is both about the craft and the pleasure of writing what John Dunne called “a little world made cunningly”. Tune in tonight and hear Professor describe what a sentence really is, how to perfect the art of writing better sentences, and the deep pleasure of reading great first sentences of a novel.
Ever since people have been writing about birds, poets, playwrights and natural historians have been trying to translate the songs and calls of birds into the English language. Sometimes if has been as simple as a zeet or as complex as the mnemonic a little bit of bread and no cheese. Tonight on Inquiry we talk with poet, writer and artist JOHN BEVIS about his wild new compendium AAAAW TO ZZZZZD: THE WORDS OF BIRDS. John also talks about whether bird song can be considered music and the invention of bird whistles, bird imitators and bird organs. If you have ever wondered about where the word tweet came from, tune in!
As we approach the holidays our attention turns to getting together with friends and relatives. Much of the holiday season is spent enjoying great food and wine. This week Al is joined by Pat Stotesbery, proprietor of Ladera winery in Napa California. Pat shares some simple ideas for getting the most out of your food and wine match-ups. He'll even offer advice as to purchasing wine for gift giving. Airs Sunday evening, November 21, at 10:30 PM.
For most of his checkered career, J. Edgar Hoover considered women gangsters a special thorn in the side of the F.B.I. and set out to reconstruct the way the public viewed the likes of Bonnie Parker, Kathryn Kelly (wife of “Machine Gun Kelly”) and especially Ma Barker. These celebrity outlaw women were the subject of a number of films and endless media coverage. To counter all this attention, Hoover often created numerous fictions about their habits and lives to emphasize the deviant aspects of these women and make them monsters in the public’s eyes. But who really were these “girls behind the men behind the guns”? Tune in tonight when we talk with MARY ELIZABETH STRUNK, writer, teacher and Associate of Five Colleges Incorporated about her revealing history: WANTED WOMEN: AN AMERICAN OBSESSION IN THE REIGN OF J. EDGAR HOOVER.
This week, Steve talks with Tim McGourthy and Joel Fontaine of the City of Worcester. They'll be discussing growing and expanding Worcester’s tax base in healthy, sustainable ways. Airs Sunday, November 7th at 10 pm!
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