Jack Hines– “One Corner of Montana”

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Sweet Grass County: Historic Crossroad

Montana, the Big Sky state, is a place of significant historical interest in the history of North America and the United States. Sweet Grass County, located in south central Montana, is an area that since pre-historic times has been a justify of trade and historic crossroads of travel. Jack Hines worked as an artist in New York for 30 years until 1972 when he moved to Sweet Grass County, Montana. There he began the ”Historic Crossroad” painting and writing project, as a declaration of his love for his adopted home in the exquisite Yellowstone Valley of Montana. His paintings depict the life in that area beginning in the ice-age, through the times of the Indians, Lewis and Clark, the Fur trade and homesteading and listened to Jack reading from his book, “Sweet Grass County, Historic Crossroad,” in Big Timber, Montana.

Jack Hines recommends “Glow Smile, A Biography” & “What Went Wrong,” both by Bernard Louis.

Originally Broadcast: June 2, 2003

Alan Axelrod– “FDR as a Leader”

Originally Broadcast: June 3, 2003

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Nothing to Fear, Lessons in Leadership from FDR

Alan Axelrod is a writer who has studied the cultural and business dimensions of America. “Nothing to Fear, Lessons in Leadership from FDR,” by Axelrod, focuses on FDR’s unique leadership style and what an effective leader is able to do. We spoke about FDR’s leadership skills in the first part of our discussion and then addressed the leadership style and effectiveness of President George W. Bush.

Alan Axelrod recommends “The Life of PT Barnum,” by PT Barnum.

George Mann & Julius Margolin – Union Folk Songs

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Julius Margolin and George Mann, two men separated in age by almost 46 years, are what might be called traveling troubadours. They carry the message of working people in song and spirit, bringing a wealth of union history wherever they go.

George Mann recommends “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee,” by Dee Brown. Julain Margolin recommends books authored by Michael Moore.

Originally Broadcast: May 6, 2003

Randall Kennedy- “Black and White”

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“Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption,” is a book written by Randall Kennedy, a Harvard University Law School Professor. He takes an in-depth look at the issue of black and white relationships set against the ever-changing social mores and laws of this country.

Fears of interracial relationships, influenced over the centuries by racial biases and fantasies still widely linger in American Society today.

Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard University Law School is the author of “Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption,” in which he takes an in depth look at the issue of black and white relationships set against the ever-changing social mores and laws of this country. From pre-civil war to the present, this book explores the historical, sociological, legal and moral issues that continue to feed and complicate those fears.

Professor Kennedy and I visited by phone in March 2003 and began by our conversation with his description of what he calls a “pigmentocracy” in the United States.

The book Professor Randall Kennedy recommends is “The Biography of Walter White,” by Robert Jankin.

Lerner, Gerda Ph.D. — “The Foremother of Women’s History”

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The history of women has existed as long as humans have, but it was not until the last half of the 20th Century that women’s history received recognized academic attention.  Our guest, Professor Gerda Lerner was a pioneer in the movement to study and record the history of women.

Gerda Lerner led an extraordinary life from April 30, 1920 to January 2, 2013.  She was a historian, author and teacher, and ultimately a professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin.  Her academic work was characterized by the attention she drew to the differences among women in class, race and sexual orientation.

Professor Lerner and I visited by phone in October 2002, began with her description why the distinctions among women of class, race and sexual orientation are important.

Originally Broadcast: October 1, 2002.

 

Terrence Cheng – “Two Chinese Brothers”

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Sons of Heaven

In June of 1989, in Tienamin Square, in the justify of Beijing, China, one of the largest student protests ever to occur in that country took place. The “Sons of Heaven,” by Terrence Cheng, is a novel about three major players in this drama, Deng Xiao Ping, the leader of China at the time, and two brothers, one a soldier in the Red Army in Teinamin Square at the time, and the other the man who stood in front of the tanks.

Terrence Cheng recommends “Ghost Written,” by David Mitchell.

Originally Broadcast: August 1, 2002

Estelle Freedman – “The History of Feminism”

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No Turning Back—The History of Feminism and the Future of Women

The place of women in the world and in the American society has changed in many aspects in the recent past. Many people say this is due to the politics of feminism, and some inquire where it will lead.

I spoke with Professor Freedman by phone in April 2002 and asked her to talk about why feminism did not evolve as people evolved and civilization developed.

The books Professor Freedman recommends are “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood, and “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler.

Originally Broadcast: April 2, 2002

Judith Freeman – “A Deadly Trip West in 1857″

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Red Water

On September 11, 1857, a group of 120 emigrants en route to California was attacked and slaughtered by Mormon settlers and their Indian allies. Twenty years later, John D. Lee, a Mormon and a participant in the massacre, was executed by a firing squad at the same spot and thus entered history as the scapegoat for all those responsible for what came to be known as the Mountain Meadow Massacre in southern Utah. “Red Water,” by Judith Freeman, published in January 2002, is the story of the life of John D. Lee, as told by three of his nineteen wives. Judith Freeman describes early Mormon belief, the sense of persecution felt by the Mormons, and the sisterhood of his wives in marriage.

Judith Freeman recommends “Why Did I Ever,” by Mary Robinson.

Originally Broadcast: March 5, 2002

Randall Kennedy – “Can You Say This Word?”

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Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

Few words in the English language have caused so much pain, hurt and emotion as the N-word. It is arguably the most consequential social insult in American history. The long history of the pejorative use of the N-word has given it an unusual power that extends to the judicial system, literature and social settings.

Randall Kennedy, a professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, is the author of “Nigger-the Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”  His book chronicles the history of this word, in an effort to diffuse and neutralize it.

At the end of his book he writes, “There is much to be gained by allowing people all backgrounds to yank the N-word away from white supremacists to subvert its ugliest denotation, and to convert the N-work from a negative into a positive appellation.”

I spoke with Professor Randall Kennedy in the winter of 2002 while he was in California and asked him to begin our conversation by explaining this conclusion.

The book Randall Kennedy recommends in “The Negro in the American Revolution,” by Benjamin Quarles, written in 1961.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 2002

“Ed Dolnick – The Grand Canyon, 1869″

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Down the Great Unknown, John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon

John Wesley Powell, a one-armed civil war veteran and passionate geologist, is a mostly unknown early explorer of the Grand Canyon. In 1869, he led a group of nine men on a 99 day adventure over 1,000 miles and almost 500 difficult rapids to a the vast chasm of the Grand Canyon. Edward Dolnick is the author of “Down the Great Unknown, John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon.” Dolnick based his book on the journals that Powell and other members of his crew kept as they made their journey.

Ed Dolnick recommends “Endurance,” by Alfred Lansing.

Originally Broadcast: December 18, 2001