Manenima Hilario – Born into the Stone Age

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A generally accepted theory about human migration tells us that people crossed the landmass that once connected Siberia to Alaska. Some of those people continued walking south and many generations later settled on the western edge of the Amazon Basin in South America in what is now eastern Peru. One of those groups is called Shapibo. Manenima Hilario, who is now 26 yeas old, was born Shapibo, into his tribe which lived in the Stone Age traditional fashion. At age 11, he went to secondary school in the Hispanic Amazon jungle town of Pucallpa. Later, from Lima, Peru he found his way to Taylor, Texas, and on to Sonoma State University, in Northern CA, where he graduated in June of 1997. Since that time he was enrolled at Stanford University to work on his Ph.D.

Manenima Hilario recommends the biography of General Colin Powell.

Originally Broadcast: January 22, 1997

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Charles Reich – A Non-Marxist View of Material Capitalism

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The Greening of America & Opposing the System

The market economy often seems to have many inherent problems. Indeed, a Marxist historical view presupposes that the fundamental contradictions of capitalism will inevitably lead to socialism. Far from this extreme, Charles Reich, author of “The Greening of America” and, more recently, “Opposing the System,” believes that individuals must be nonetheless confronted with these contradictions and the human conditions created by material capitalism.

Charles Reich recommends “The Poetry of Colleridge,” by Charles R. Woodring.

Originally Broadcast: November 4, 1996

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Gary Coy – The Man Driving the Dog Team

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There is strong historical and anthropological evidence that dogs came across the Bering land bridge with people migrating from Siberia to Alaska. These dogs worked hard to maintain their keep; they weren’t pets. Instead, they chased and ran down polar bears and located seals hiding beneath the Bering ice. One of the early dog professionals in Alaska was Harry Karstens, who later became the first superintendent of Mount McKinley National Park. As a young man, he pioneered a dog sled route from Fairbanks to Valdez, and hauled mail to the Katishna mining district. Now, at Denali National Park in central Alaska, there’s a breeding and training and leadership program for these sled dogs. I spoke with Gary Coy, the director of this remarkable kennel. In his office there is a large sign quoting Harry Karstens. It says: “A man driving a dog team is the biggest dog himself.” Amid the noise and the chatter of the dog kennels in Denali Park, I asked Gary to explain what that sign means and to tell us a little about this wonderful project.

Gary Coy recommends “A Dog-Puncher on the Yukon,” by Arthur Walden.

Originally Broadcast: August 28, 1996

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Alexis de Tocqueville/Dick Johnson – A Visit With Alexis de Tocqueville

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Democracy in America

In 1831, a 25 year-old Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, trained as a lawyer, and preoccupied with democracy, came to the US to study this new political scheme. Alexis de Tocqueville and his traveling companion, Gustave de Beaumont, arrived at Newport, RI, in an America comprised, then, of 23 states and 13 million people. They stayed for nine months, and then returned to France at which time de Tocqueville began his epic poem entitled “Democracy in America.” At a time then when slavery was an economic base in the South, and abolitionism was beginning to thrive in the North, America had three frontiers: geography, industry, and democracy. In this program of Radio Curious, we’ll be talking with Alexis De Tocqueville, through the person of Chautauqua scholar, Dick Johnson.

Alexis de Tocqueville recommends “Democracy in America,” by Alexis de Tocqueville.

Originally Broadcast: July 17, 1996

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P.T. Barnum & Doug Mishler – The Something of Humbug

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PT Barnum, sometimes known as the Prince of Humbug, was born in Connecticut in 1810. In many ways, he personified the American character that Frenchman Alexis De Tocqueville described in his book, “Democracy in America.” Barnum delighted in making money and telling the truth, as he saw it. Some truths were told in the political arena, where he was twice a member of the Connecticut legislature and, in the interim, Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Some of his truths were lies when they were told to other people, like the history of some of his circus performers. Other truths were told in his newspapers. PT Barnum, ‘PT’ as he liked to be called, was best known as the creator of the ‘Best Show On Earth,’ the Barnum and Bailey Circus. I spoke with PT Barnum, personified by Doug Mishler, in the studios of Radio Curious in July of 1996 when this program was originally broadcast.

P.T. Barnum recommends “My Toils and Struggles,” the autobiography of PT Barnum. Doug Mishler recommends “The Culture of Complaint,” by Robert Hughes.

Originally Broadcast: July 24, 1996

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Niilo Koponen, Ph.D. – North To Alaska

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People who crave space, freedom, adventure, and opportunities have long been attracted to Alaska. In June of 1996 I spoke with Niilo Kopanan, the son of Finnish immigrants who grew up in New York City and moved to a mountain ridge near Fairbanks, Alaska in 1952. At that time, land there was still open for homesteading. He located his 160 acres and filed a homestead on the ridge where he still lives. After several years there, in the mid 1950s, he returned to the lower 48 states to earn a Ph.D. Yet the magnet of Alaska pulled him back where he became a university professor and a member of the Alaska legislature, and he’s been there ever since.

Niilo Koponen, Ph.D. recommends “The life story of Elizabeth Morgan” by Ernest Morgan. 12

Originally Broadcast: June 18, 1996

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Jefferson, Thomas & Jenkinson, Clay – The Author of the Declaration of Independence

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Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America, stands as one of the lead political theorists of American history.  His ward republican theory required an agrarian population, a government originating in the individual household, and a consistently questioning and rebellious public. My guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Mr. Jefferson, personified by Clay Jenkinson.We discussed what has gone wrong in the US since Mr. Jefferson was President and addressed some of his concepts of what are necessary for a democracy.

The book Thomas Jefferson recommends is “The History of the Peloponnesian War,” by Thuclydides.

The book C. Jenkinson recommends is “In the Absence of the Sacred,” by Jerry Mander.

Originally Broadcast: May 21, 1994

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Andrew Weiss – Ellis Island: Who Arrived There, Why and What Was it Like

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Between 1892 and 1956 about 12 million people immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island, in the harbor of New York City. Who were these immigrants? Where did they come from? What was the experience of getting to Ellis Island and what happened to them once they arrived? In this archive edition of Radio Curious, we visited with Andrew Weiss, who I met in 1992 when he was a tour guide at Ellis Island, working for the City of New York. I spoke with Andrew Weiss in November of 1992, when he was a doctoral candidate at Columbia University and a teacher at Barnard College in New York City. I asked him to begin by telling us about the history of Ellis Island.

Originally Broadcast: November 23, 1992

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Maria Stewart – Sandra Kamusukiri – A Visit With a Free Black Woman – Boston 1840

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Maria W. Stewart, as characterized by professor and scholar Sandra Kamusakiri, was a free black woman who lived in Boston, MA, from the 1820s to the early 1840s. She was the first American born woman to lecture in public on political themes and likely the first African-American to speak out in defense of women’s rights. A forerunner to Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, she was intensely religious and regarded as outspoken and controversial during her time. For more than a century, Maria W. Stewart’s life contributions remained obscured, illustrating the double pressures of racism and sexism on the lives African-American women. I met with Mariah W. Stewart in the person of Professor Sandra Kamusukiri during the 1996 Democracy in America Chautauqua, held in Ukiah, California.

Maria Stewart recommends “The Fair Sketches of Women,” by John Adams and “The Bible.”

Originally Broadcast: November 27, 1996

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Gilbert, Ronnie, as “Mother Jones” – ‘The Most Dangerous Woman in America’

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Mary Harris Jones, Mother Jones, was born in 1830. She lived a quiet, non-public life until she was approximately 47 years old and then, for almost the next fifty years, she was a fiery union organizer, strike leader, and fighter for safe and humane working conditions, the eight hour day, and child labor laws. Around the turn of the century, she was called the most dangerous woman in America. Her legacy has lived on in the form of a magazine that bears the name, Mother Jones; and in the form of a one-woman play about her life, produced, acted and written by singer and songwriter Ronnie Gilbert.

Mother Jones recommends any books by Leo Tolstoy. Ronnie Gilbert recommends “Hawaii,” by James Mechiner.

Originally Broadcast: March 12, 1997

 

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