“If Lady Gaga and Dorothy Parker had a secret love chilListen to the steamy convo with Karen Abbott on her "American Rose" here: http://bit.ly/fJxx59
“If Lady Gaga and Dorothy Parker had a secret love child it would have been Gypsy Rose Lee,” says Karen Abbott, author of the new book, American Rose – A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee. “The woman knew how to make a dramatic entrance. She would arrive at opening nights at the Met wearing a full length cape made entirely of orchids.”
Gypsy Rose Lee was hitting vaudeville stages across the country when she was four years old. By fifteen, she was headlining as a burlesque performer.
Eventually, she became beloved by Eleanor Roosevelt, the New York literati and longshoremen alike. She was described, in that day, as the only woman in the world “with a public body and a private mind, both equally exciting.” The legend of her life is the stuff of Broadway show and film, in “Gypsy.”
Her patter to the audience as the clothes came off was of sociology, ballet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Puritans and Noel Coward.
But the reality of who Gypsy — born Louise Hovick — was can be as hard to get at, as tantalizing concealed, as the end of her dance, which Abbott explains in tantalizing detail in this book.
Listen to what MacArthur genius Carl Safina had to say about his "The View from Lazy Point" here: http://bit.ly/g6JhnG
When Carl Safina grabs his kayaListen to what MacArthur genius Carl Safina had to say about his "The View from Lazy Point" here: http://bit.ly/g6JhnG
When Carl Safina grabs his kayak and scuba gear and travels the world, we get more than polar bear reports and tropical fish stories. Safina is a renowned marine ecologist with a writer’s eye and a philosopher’s mind. He’s been out around the world, from his home on Lazy Point, Long Island.
What he’s seen is what remains of heart-breaking natural splendor – and of the groaning weight of one species – ours – on the world. Our dignity, he reminds us, is fully bound with nature’s.
"The View from Lazy Point" is stories of kayak, fishing pole, scuba gear, polar bears which all amounts to a new philosophy for humans in nature. ...more
Our word for okra comes from the Igbo language in NigerListen to what Jessica Harris has to say about her "High on the Hog" here: http://bit.ly/hufQdJ
Our word for okra comes from the Igbo language in Nigeria. Gumbo, the word itself, harks back to the Bantu. So does “goober,” as in peanut.
Watermelons appear in Egyptian tomb paintings, and have been grown for centuries in the Kalahari. Black-eyed peas pour out of markets from Dakar to Zanzibar – and across soul food menus and kitchen counters all over America.
African-American food and food ways have worked deep into the American palate. Culinary historian Jessica Harris from New Orleans explains the soul and the history of African-American cooking in her new book, "High on the Hog."
Everybody’s still worried about America’s economic future, and millionListen to Daniel Altman on his "Outrageous Fortunes" here: http://bit.ly/i5wIbH
Everybody’s still worried about America’s economic future, and millions of Americans are living an untenable economic life right now. Unemployed. Under-employed. Watching savings, homes, benefits, dreams all drift away.
Altman explains what’s to come for the U.S. economy and what will decide the future of our economic standing and health. He parses out the deep trends pushing the global economy now.
The great hallmark cities of the 21st century may be names you barely knoListen to Doug Saunders on his book "Arrvial City" here: http://bit.ly/guY61c
The great hallmark cities of the 21st century may be names you barely know. Not Paris, Beijing, London or New York, but Kibera, Kreuzberg, Liu Gong Li, and a lot of others you may never have heard of.
Cities where migrants come and get started, try to find their foothold in the global economy are called by Saunders, “arrival cities." They are places from big tracts of LA to the tough edge of Amsterdam. “Arrival cities,” tells the stories of the battle for a new wave of migrants to find their way.
We live in the information age and we hardly understListen to what James Gleick had to say about his book "The Information" here: http://bit.ly/fbvMZ1
We live in the information age and we hardly understand yet what that fully means. Yet we can join the crowd of humans through history.
Plato worried that the written word would produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who wrote instead of memorized. Now, vast machines and some very tiny ones record so much of our lives and thoughts that we can feel overwhelmed.
Science chronicler James Gleick says fear not. He explains in his new book that we can be emboldened by the information flood that now frames our world. ...more
Listen to what Jane Eyre, the movie's director Cary Fukunaga has to say about "Jane Eyre" here: http://bit.ly/fGfg76
Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” waListen to what Jane Eyre, the movie's director Cary Fukunaga has to say about "Jane Eyre" here: http://bit.ly/fGfg76
Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” was a hit in 1847, and it’s never lost its pull. The story and love story of the poor, obscure, plain young woman, Jane, who refused to live without soul and heart and dignity in a time when all three were so vulnerable, especially for a woman.
Hollywood loves this story, and its setting on the windswept moors. It’s been put on film 18 times in a hundred years.
Now, the hot young indie director Cary Fukunaga takes his turn. And it’s terrific.
When Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, heListen to James Miller on our show talking about "Examined Lives": http://bit.ly/e6y9n0
When Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, he laid out the fundamental philosopher’s view. When he calmly accepted a death sentence in a cup of hemlock, he left a story of philosophy in action that’s been repeated and celebrated for eons.
For long, great ages, people looked to philosophers to ask how to live and what our priorities should be. And they looked not just to what philosophers said or wrote, but to how they lived and even died.
James Miller has gathered the teachings and life stories of a dozen philosopher greats- from the ancients to Kant, Emerson to Nietzsche, his book helps us look at what they taught, how they lived.
Back in the 1950s, broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow invited Americans to share what they really believed in short essays for radio – and many did. LiBack in the 1950s, broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow invited Americans to share what they really believed in short essays for radio – and many did. Listeners heard “This I Believe” from Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, Harry Truman and many ordinary Americans.
In the last decade, “This I Believe” came back to the airwaves. And many Americans wanted to share what they believed about love. Their collection of essays on love cuts through the commercialism and takes a candid look at what love really is. What it means. What it teaches us. How it inspires. Romantic love and more.
Joyce Carol Oates married Ray Smith when she was 22 yeaListen to what Joyce Carol Oates had to say about her "A Widow's Story" : http://bit.ly/g54Shs
Joyce Carol Oates married Ray Smith when she was 22 years old. They had 47 years together, while she wrote fifty novels, countless essays and stories. Then, three years ago this month, Ray went into the hospital for pneumonia and days later was dead.
Joyce Carol Oates was, she now writes, a widow. In a new memoir, she describes tumbling into that experience. She details the unreality, the guilt, her dead husband’s clothes in the closet and the struggle to hang on to herself. Her journals filled with her anguish — and became her first memoir.
Listen to what Arnold Weinstein had to say about his "Morning, Noon and Night" here: http://bit.ly/hWgJQC
We can go through life with such a terrible pListen to what Arnold Weinstein had to say about his "Morning, Noon and Night" here: http://bit.ly/hWgJQC
We can go through life with such a terrible poverty of self-awareness. A poverty so deep we do not possess our own lives. Youth is a blur. Middle age can be a grind and old age, a brutal humbling. But turn to literature – great literature – and awareness is there, Weinstein tells us.
In "Morning, Noon and Night" Weinstein explains what Twain, Woolf, Roth, Morrison and more tell us about growing up and growing old. From Huck Finn on the river to King Lear at his end. Toni Morrison’s Sula and Virgina Woolf’s day-dreaming mother. Literature can get at the heart of what we’re doing and the experience we share can be illuminated and it does in this book.
Diana Bishop is a witch from a long line of witches. She knows it, but cares more about the natural world –and living a life of rational scholarship.Diana Bishop is a witch from a long line of witches. She knows it, but cares more about the natural world –and living a life of rational scholarship. But when she touches an ancient manuscript, all hell breaks loose. Vampires, demons, love and death. So begins a best-selling new novel by real-world historian Deborah Harkness.
Deborah Harkness has thought a lot about the science and the supernatural. Now, she’s written her first novel, a fantasy about modern-day scholarly witches & research scientist vampires fighting great battles in our midst. And it has become a runaway best-seller.
We interviewed James Carroll, who years ago, as a young CHear what James Carroll had to say about his "Jerusalem, Jerusalem": http://bitly.com/ff5gOH
We interviewed James Carroll, who years ago, as a young Catholic priest, spent an important season in Jerusalem. After touring its holy sites and seeing its relics, Carroll left the priesthood. But he could never shake Jerusalem - its power for peace and war, the sublime and the bloody, over thousands of years. It has the power to pull us back and to push us forward. In this book he’s tracing how a place became so invested and so potent. Carroll writes the history of the original city on the hill, which was the spark point for modernity, and a portal to antiquity.