Brumberg, Joan Jacobs: An Intimate History of American Girls Part 2

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The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls

Advertising has had a major effect on how we view our bodies and on our individual self-image. The history of how this advertising has come to affect American girls as they pass through menarche and adolescence is presented in a book called “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls.” This book describes the historical roots of acute societal and psychological pressures that girls feel today. It shows how the female adolescent experience has changed since 1895. The author, Joan Jacobs Brumberg, is a Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Cornell University in New York. In this two-part program, I spoke Professor Brumberg in October of 1997 and asked her what drew her to write “The Body Project.”

Joan Jacobs Brumberg recommends “Learning to Bow,” by Bruce Feiler & “The Grass Link,” by May Vinchi.

Originally Broadcast: October 14, 1997 & October 21, 1997

Brumberg, Joan Jacobs: An Intimate History of American Girls

Click here to begin listening

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls

Advertising has had a major effect on how we view our bodies and on our individual self-image. The history of how this advertising has come to affect American girls as they pass through menarche and adolescence is presented in a book called “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls.” This book describes the historical roots of acute societal and psychological pressures that girls feel today. It shows how the female adolescent experience has changed since 1895. The author, Joan Jacobs Brumberg, is a Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Cornell University in New York. In this two-part program, I spoke Professor Brumberg in October of 1997 and asked her what drew her to write “The Body Project.”

Joan Jacobs Brumberg recommends “Learning to Bow,” by Bruce Feiler & “The Grass Link,” by May Vinchi.

Originally Broadcast: October 14, 1997 & October 21, 1997

Boyd, Blanche: Self-Styled Outlaw Lesbians

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Terminal Velocity

The concept of memoir versus fiction leads many authors to transform their personal experiences and life to fiction. Blanche Boyd is a native of South Carolina and a Professor of Literature at Connecticut College. She is also the author of the book entitled, “Terminal Velocity.” This is a book about a group of self-styled lesbian outlaws in the 1970s. We discussed the relationship of memoir and fiction, and how it applies to her work.

Blanche Boyd recommends “Cathedral” & “To the Waterfall,” both by Raymond Carver.

Originally Broadcast: August 19, 1997

Dooling, Richard: Is it Safe to Say … ?

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Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech and Sexual Harassment

Certain words, said at the wrong time or place, may get a person into a heap of trouble. The laws surrounding freedom of speech do not permit us, for example, to shout out “fire” in a theater or advocate the immediate and violent overthrow of the government. There are also limits on the time and place where a person can use swear words or language with sexual innuendos or suggestions. Richard Dooling, an attorney and writer living in Nebraska, joined us in June of 1997 to talk about his book, entitled, “Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech and Sexual Harassment.”

Richard Dooling recommends “Emotional Brain,” by Joseph La Due.

Originally Broadcast: June 4, 1997

Garment,Leonard: Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…

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Some people’s memories of President Richard Nixon are negative due to his role in escalating the Vietnam War, the student demonstrations at Kent State University, and Nixon’s ultimate downfall in Watergate. But who was the man? And how could another individual get close to him? “Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…,” is a story written by a complex person very close to Richard Nixon. Attorney Leonard Garment was born to immigrant Jewish parents in New York in 1924. Playing music, especially saxophone jazz, he grew up in Brooklyn. As a good student and, with what he describes, “an ambition to run things,” Garment finished law school in his early twenties and began working for a major Wall Street law firm. Even though at times he characterized himself as a liberal Democrat, Garment became a close friend and law partner with Richard Nixon and later became the attorney for, and the counsel to, President Richard Nixon, during the time Nixon was embroiled in the throws of Watergate. This interview was originally broadcast in May of 1997.

Leonard Garment recommends “American Pastoral,” by Philip Roth.

Originally Broadcast: May 16, 1997

Spears, Scott: An Experiment in Successful Community Mediation

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Stockton, CA, has been called the most diverse community in the world. Fourteen distinct and primary languages are spoken in the Stockton area elementary schools. This enormous cultural diversity has, in the past, resulted in automatic rifle fire at a Stockton elementary school. Scott Spears, a young man who grew up in Ukiah, currently works at the Stockton mediation justify as a trainer and program developer in the schools and as a mediator in the Stockton community.

Originally Broadcast: April 16, 1997

Ellsberg, Daniel: The Pentagon Papers

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Few moments in American history have held the tension of the early 1970s. The nation was fundamentally divided between the jaded counter-culture and Nixon’s ‘silent majority,’ a rupture particularly connected to the still-escalating Vietnam War. The release to the public of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 focused national attention on US foreign policy and on our right as individual citizens to freedom of the press.

Daniel Ellsberg recommends “Our War,” by David Harris.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 1997

Greeley, Horace & Fenimore, David: Go West, Young Man, Go West!

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Newspapers were the primary means of mass communication in 19th Century America. They not only told the news, but they pervaded social and political ideas of the times. Horace Greeley was one of the most colorful and outspoken newspapermen of his day. “Read and judge yourself,” was a slogan of his, almost as well known in his lifetime as his slogan, “Go west, young man, go west,” is known now. I spoke with Horace Greeley through the personage of Chautauqua scholar David Fenimore during the 1996 Democracy in America Chautauqua series that visited Ukiah, CA.

Horace Greeley recommends “Democracy in America,” by Alexis de Tocqueville. David Fenimore recommends “Breaking News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy,” by James Fallows & “Who Will Tell the People?” by William Greider.

Originally Broadcast: February 26, 1997

Doug Mishler as P.T. Barnum: 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

Harr, Jonathan: Toxic Water, A Book

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A Civil Action

Woburn, MA, is a small, blue-collar community just north and west of Boston. In the 1970s, some children in Woburn, MA, became sick and died from childhood leukemia. Some adults in that town developed rare forms of cancer. All of these people live very close to each other. Their illnesses were traced to two contaminated water wells that provided the water to their homes for drinking and bathing. As a result, one of the most complicated personal injury lawsuits was tried in the US Federal District Court in Boston. In this program of Radio Curious, I spoke with author Jonathan Harr, who wrote “A Civil Action,” the horrendous story of the people who became sick and the subsequent trial.

Jonathan Harr recommends any books by Charles Dickens.

Originally Broadcast: November 22, 1995