Booknotes+

Booknotes+

Booknotes is back with more compelling interviews in a new podcast, Booknotes+. Taking the concept from Brian Lamb's long running Booknotes TV program, the podcast offers listeners more books and authors. Booknotes+ features a mix of new interviews with authors and historians, along with some old favorites from the archives. The platform may be different, but the goal is the same – give listeners the opportunity to learn something new.

Episodes

August 9, 2022 73 min

In the history of Pulitzer Prizes and the Oscars, very few winners have turned down these awards. One of those who did was a famous Armenian-American, a writer from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. His name was William Saroyan. He turned down the Pulitzer for the drama called "The Time of Your Life" in 1940. Saroyan said he was opposed in principle to awards in the arts and was quoted as saying "such arts awards vitiate and emb...

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In the heart of Washington, DC, is a unique place for kids. It's called the Little Blue House. For 31 years, it's been the first love of its director, a man named Carl Foster. On the website of the Little Blue House, it says that there is a single core mission: "to foster the development of vulnerable and at-risk children and youth in the District in a safe, stable, and healthy environment." Carl Foster, a Vietnam W...

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"Americans react to homeless with a mix of anger, compassion, perplexity, and frustration. Little progress ever seems to be made." Those are the thoughts of Stephen Eide, from his book "Homelessness in America." Mr. Eide is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute with a PhD in political philosophy from Boston College. He focuses a good deal of the 151-page book on the housing issue. In Chapter 11 he suggests: ...

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New York Times reporter David Gelles claims in his latest book that legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch is the root of all that's wrong with capitalism today. The title of his book is "The Man Who Broke Capitalism: How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America – And How to Undo His Legacy." Mr. Gelles says while Welch made G.E. the most valuable company on Earth, his strategies ulti...

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Lance Morrow is an author, writer, and essayist. He joined Time magazine in 1965. During his time there, Morrow covered the Detroit riots, the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration, and the Watergate scandal. In 1976 he became a regular writer of essays for Time magazine and wrote more "Man of the Year" cover articles than any other reporter. From 1996 to 2006, he was a professor at Boston University. His several books incl...

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According to Beverley Driver Eddy, little has been written about Camp Ritchie, Maryland. Dickinson College retired professor Eddy says in her book "Ritchie Boy Secrets" that on June 19, 1942, the U.S. Army opened a secret military intelligence training center. Over the next four years, it produced some 20,000 graduates, intelligence and language specialists, for service in World War Two. Some of the famous names of men who ...

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At least 6 U.S. Presidents recorded conversations while in office. Hear those conversations on this C-SPAN podcast. Season 2 focuses on President Richard Nixon's secretly-recorded private telephone conversations. Through eight episodes, hear Richard Nixon talk with key aides about Watergate strategy, potential Supreme Court Nominees, and hear his reaction to the leaked publication of the Pentagon Papers. 

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Historian Thomas Kidd, a professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in St. Louis, opens his newest book, "Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh," this way: "This is a biography of a brilliant but troubled person. Thomas Jefferson would seem to need no introduction, yet among the Founding Fathers he is the greatest enigma – and the greatest source of controversy." Professor Kidd also writes that...

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Elizabethtown College professor David S. Brown is the author of a new book on former president Andrew Jackson. Professor Brown writes that Jackson was the first president to be born in a log cabin, to live beyond the Appalachians, and to rule, so he swore, in the name of the people. The title of the book is "The First Populist: The Defiant Life of Andrew Jackson." He was president for two terms, eight years, from 1829-1837....

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Booknotes the television program started in April of 1989. Our third guest was journalist Bruce Oudes. His book was titled "From: The President-Richard Nixon's Secret Files." Because the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in is on June 17th, Booknotes+ is revisiting Mr. Oudes' book, which contains over 600 pages of previously unreleased memoranda from Richard Nixon and aides during the six years of his pres...

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Any follower of C-SPAN knows the name Harold Holzer, a lifelong aficionado and chronicler of Abraham Lincoln. He has either written or edited fifty-four books on America's 16th president. President Lincoln has been Mr. Holzer's avocation over these many years while he maintained full-time work and responsibilities for twenty-three of those years as senior vice president for public affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art i...

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Not a day goes by that Russia is not in the news, especially since the February 24th invasion of Ukraine. In the history of Russia, one of the most familiar figures, especially in the world of writing and writers, is Leo Tolstoy. He's best known for two novels, "War & Peace" (1869) and "Anna Karenina" (1878). He lived for 82 years, had 13 children, was married for 48 years, and left his wife just before he d...

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Professor Olivier Zunz has been a professor of history at the University of Virginia since 1979. He was born and raised in France and received his Ph.D. from Pantheon Sorbonne University in Paris in 1977. Alexis de Tocqueville (TOKE-vihl) was also a Frenchman. At 25, Tocqueville traveled throughout the United States for nine months and recorded his experiences in the well-known 1835 book "Democracy in America." Professor Zu...

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May 17, 2022 81 min

Joe Madison has hosted a radio talk show for over 40 years. He's known to his audience as the "Black Eagle" and can be heard daily on SiriusXM radio. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Mr. Madison started his professional life as an activist. One of his first jobs was working for the NAACP as political director under the leadership of Ben Hooks. Joe Madison angered both his a...

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Megan McArdle has been a columnist for the Washington Post since 2018. She has described herself as a right-leaning libertarian. At the same time, she says she's actually a social liberal. Megan McArdle graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English literature in 1994 and worked for several start-ups before getting an MBA from the University of Chicago. She started her professional writing career as a bl...

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The book is called "Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War." The author is Deborah Cohen, a professor at Northwestern University. Prof. Cohen primarily focuses on four American journalists who traveled the world in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s: H.R. Knickerbocker, Vincent "Jimmy" Sheean, Dorothy Thompson, and John Gunther. These reporters landed exclusive interviews with Hitler, Mussoli...

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For the past twenty years, Dr. Thomas Fisher has worked in the emergency department at the University of Chicago Medical Center, serving the same South Side community in which he was raised. During the past two years of COVID-19, he decided to write about his experience in a large urban hospital emergency room. He says that at the end of a shift he was haunted by the confusion in the eyes of his patients. He asks a couple of questi...

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In Jeffrey Frank's recent book titled "The Trials of Harry S. Truman," he reports that at his low point in his time as president, Truman's popularity rating was at 16 percent. However, seventy years later, according to the latest C-SPAN survey, he was ranked sixth most effective of 44 U.S. presidents. Jeffrey Frank, whose career includes professional years at the Washington Post and the New Yorker magazine, has writ...

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The book is titled "The Lords of Easy Money: How the Federal Reserve Broke the American Economy." The author is Christopher Leonard, the current director of the Watchdog Writers Group at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. On the dust jacket of the book it says: "If you ask most people what forces led to today's income inequality and financial crashes, no one would say the Federal Reserve." Christop...

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Emma Camp is a 22-year-old senior at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, home of Thomas Jefferson. She calls herself a liberal and has written opinion pieces for the school newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. Back in October of 2020, Ms. Camp had some strong things to say about the First Amendment. She wrote that: "The first amendment does not exist to protect reasonable opinions — it exists to protect the unreasonable, t...

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