“Wilkerson, Isabel — America’s Great Migration: 1915-1970 Part One”

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In the years between 1915 and 1970 almost six million black American citizens from the south migrated to northern and western cities seeking freedom and a better life. Our guest is Pulitzer Prize winner, Isabel Wilkerson author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.” Her book tells the untold experiences of the African-Americans who fled the south over three generations.

Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,000 people for her book. She is the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and is a recipient of the George Polk Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Her parents were part of the great migration, journeying from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington D.C.

In the first of two interviews recorded from Isabel Wilkerson’s home near Atlanta, Georgia, on September 28, 2012, she begins with a description of the “biggest untold story of the 20th century.”

The book Isabel Wilkerson recommends is “The Ark of Justice,” by Kevin Boyle.

“Patrick McGrath – Moving to America in 1774″

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Imagine leaving home and traveling by yourself to a new land where you don’t know the customs or the politics, on a trip that will take weeks to complete in what would now be considered a very small ship, on turbulent waters. Imagine making this voyage, never to return to your homeland, when you are 15 years old, and pregnant. Soon after you arrive a war begins that changes the face of the country and set a new type of government in motion. Imagine researching this story and then writing it. That is the work of Patrick McGrath, the author of “Martha Peake,” a book about a plucky young woman who came to American in 1774. I spoke with Patrick McGrath by phone in 2001 to talk about “Martha Peake,” how he researched and prepared to write it, and what British students are taught about the American Revolution.

Patrick McGrath recommends “The First American,” by H.W. Brown.

Originally Broadcast: January 16, 2001

“Wavy Gravy – You’ve Got to be Kidding …”

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Radio Curious is a program of interviews with those we wonder about. I’ve often wondered about Woodstock of 1969. I’ve often wondered how it got going and what its ramifications were. Why does the recollection make some people puke? So, I thought I’d ask Wavy Gravy, a man with insight on the subject far beyond most other people. We discussed Woodstock and other stories in July of 2000.

The books Wavy Gravy recommends are “The Laughing Sutra,” by Mark Salzman, and “Angelas Ashes, A Memoir” by Frank McCourt.

Originally Broadcast: July 25, 2000

Dr. Ken Alibek – “Soviet Germ Warfare Part 1″

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Bio-Hazard: The Chilling Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World — Told From Inside by the Man Who Ran it

Biological warfare is the use of weapons that cause death by disease. The largest and most sophisticated biological weapons program in the world, which cultivated and stockpiled anthrax virus, brucellosis, the plague and genetically altered strains of small pox, employed more than 6000 people at over 100 facilities in the former Soviet Union. For 15 years, ending in 1992, Dr. Ken Alibek, a doctor of medicine and a Ph.D. in microbiology, was the scientific leader of Bio-Preparat, the civilian branch of that secret biological weapons program, masquerading as a pharmaceutical company. In 1992, Dr. Alibek defected to the United States. Several years later, he wrote “Bio-Hazard,” a book detailing the development of biological weapons, the horrors of his former life and why he chose to defect. This is a two-part program with Dr. Ken Alibek, recorded in 1999.

Dr. Ken Alibek recommends “Prevent,” by Richard Preston & “Vector,” by Robin Cook.

Originally Broadcast: May 11, 1999

Nichols, Clarina: The Revolutionary Heart and Life of Clarina Nichols

 

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Revolutionary Heart, The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights

The life of Clarina Nichols and her work in the early women’s rights movement of the United States has been greatly overlooked. As one of the country’s first female newspaper editors and stump speakers, Clarina Nichols spoke out for temperance, abolition and women’s rights at a time when doing so could get a woman killed. Unlike other activists, she personally experienced some of the cruelest sufferings that a married woman of her day could know. In her pursuit for justice she traveled westward facing all of the challenges of being a single mother and a women’s rights activist of her day with good humor and resourcefulness. Clarina Nichols is portrayed by Diane Eickhoff in this Chautauquan style interview.  We began when I asked Clarina about her childhood.

Clarina Nichols recommends “The Sexes Throughout Nature (Pioneers of the woman’s movement),” by Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell.

Originally Broadcast: January 13, 2007

Frost, Mike: You Can’t Hide Part Two

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Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments

The fact that governments spy on each other is no secret. The fact that they also collect data about lives of millions of innocent citizens worldwide may be unknown to many people. Mike Frost, the author of “Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments,” worked as a spy for over 30 years. Mike traveled worldwide, setting up devices to intercept what were thought to be secret international communications. Mike Frost has since retired as a spy and has many thoughts and considerations about his former job. Our discussion led to a two-part program, originally broadcast in April of 1999.

Mike Frost recommends the movie, October Sky.

Originally Broadcast: April 6, 1999 & April 13, 1999

Frost, Mike: You Can’t Hide Part One

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Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments

The fact that governments spy on each other is no secret. The fact that they also collect data about lives of millions of innocent citizens worldwide may be unknown to many people. Mike Frost, the author of “Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments,” worked as a spy for over 30 years. Mike traveled worldwide, setting up devices to intercept what were thought to be secret international communications. Mike Frost has since retired as a spy and has many thoughts and considerations about his former job. Our discussion led to a two-part program, originally broadcast in April of 1999.

Mike Frost recommends the movie, October Sky.

Originally Broadcast: April 6, 1999 & April 13, 1999

Wagner, Sally Roesch: Suffragist, Matilda Gage, Almost Jailed for Voting

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This program is about Matilda Joslyn Gage, who lived from 1826 to 1892 and was a vibrant and leading figure in the suffragist movement of that century.

Matilda Joslyn Gage, an outspoken leader for women’s rights, and an advocate to abolish slavery and religious bigotry, became historically invisible in pursuit of her liberty to think and speak as she thought proper. She was threatened with jail for voting in New York in 1871, and later was inducted into the Iroquois nation after publicly declaring Christian theology to be a primary source of the oppression of women.

Historian and chautauqua scholar Sally Roesch Wagner, who portrays Matilda Joslyn Gage, brought Gage into the limelight by creating the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, based in Fayetteville, New York. The Gage Foundation is dedicated to educating current and future generations about Gage’s work and the power of her work to drive contemporary social change.

I met with Sally Roesch Wagner in the studios of Radio Curious in December 1996. Our conversation began when I welcomed Matilda Joslyn Gage to Radio Curious.

The book Matilda Joslyn Gage recommends is “The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy,” by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

The book Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner recommends is “Women, Church and State,” by Matilda Joslyn Gage.

This program was recorded in December 1996.

Shirley, Dame & Magruder, Kate: Women and the Gold Rush Part Two

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When word that California had gold in its creeks and streams reached the United States of America in 1848, fortune seekers from all over the world soon began to arrive in California by boat, covered wagon, and on foot. Some people made their fortunes by selling provisions or services and very few actually found enough gold to take home. Louise Smith Clapp of Amherst, Massachusetts, using the name of Dame Shirley, wrote detailed and vivid descriptions of the life and ways of the gold seekers and of mid 19th century California. In this two-part program, we will talk to Dame Shirley in the person of Kate Magruder, a Chautauqua performer and participant with the California Council for the Humanities Sesquicentennial Project, Rediscovering California at 150. 1

Dame Shirley recommends The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Kate Magruder recommends “Days of Gold,” by Malcolm Rhorbough & “The Shirley Letters,” by Dame Shirley.

Originally Broadcast: March 16, 1999 & March 23, 1999

Shirley, Dame & Magruder, Kate: Women and the Gold Rush

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When word that California had gold in its creeks and streams reached the United States of America in 1848, fortune seekers from all over the world soon began to arrive in California by boat, covered wagon, and on foot. Some people made their fortunes by selling provisions or services and very few actually found enough gold to take home. Louise Smith Clapp of Amherst, Massachusetts, using the name of Dame Shirley, wrote detailed and vivid descriptions of the life and ways of the gold seekers and of mid 19th century California. In this two-part program, we will talk to Dame Shirley in the person of Kate Magruder, a Chautauqua performer and participant with the California Council for the Humanities Sesquicentennial Project, Rediscovering California at 150. 1

Dame Shirley recommends The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Kate Magruder recommends “Days of Gold,” by Malcolm Rhorbough & “The Shirley Letters,” by Dame Shirley.

Originally Broadcast: March 16, 1999 & March 23, 1999