Current Event November 5, 2013
Author Rudyard Kipling was the most popular writer of his era. He wrote novels, short stories and poems that adults and children have enjoyed for generations. Kipling lives on through his children stories like “The Jungle Book” and his most controversial poem “The White Man’s Burden." Born in India and relocated to England, Kipling experienced colonial life firsthand. Kipling’s support of colonial expansion has caused some to brand him as an imperialist. Listen to learn more about his life and hear some of his newly discovered poetry.
Current Event November 1, 2013
Winston Churchill, prime minister of Great Britain during World War II, was a master orator. His speeches were painstakingly written, meticulously planned and seamlessly delivered. Churchill was given a Nobel Prize in LIterature for his powerful speeches and his other written works. Listen to learn more about the speeches that Churchill wrote and delivered, and the effect they had on shaping World War II.
Current Event October 31, 2013
When World War I ended on November 11, 1918, the world was relieved. The death and destruction of “The Great War” was over. In modern history the First World War is often overshadowed by the Second, but its legacy of war poets cannot be overlooked. From soldiers in battle to people on the home front, poetry was used to process and communicate the realities of war and loss. Listen to learn more about these poets and hear some of their works.
Current Event May 27, 2015
During the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union were in an espionage and arms race. From spying to building weapons and planes, the military and diplomatic corps were always working. Captain Roger Moseley was part of one of the most secret programs during the period, the development of the Stealth F-117 airplane. This airplane could avoid Soviet detection, allowing the planes to spy. Moseley wasn’t an obvious choice for such an important project, but an inflammatory speech made him attractive to the U.S. government spying program.
Current Event October 30, 2013
Playwright Samuel Beckett is known for his postmodernist, absurdist and dark comedy writing. His work, including his most famous play 'Waiting for Godot,' is hard to grasp initially but reflected the post World War II era and his own worldview. Beckett had a complex life as a man and a writer. Listen to learn more about Samuel Beckett’s life and his plays.
Current Event May 17, 2015
An investigation in New York City has found that hundreds of nail salons are ignoring workers’ rights. Middle and upper class customers have come to expect cheap manicures and until now, no one has questioned how the price can be so low. In a year long investigation for the New York Times journalist Sarah Maslin Nir found widespread wage theft and indentured servitude in an industry that puts its workers' health on the line. The two part series, “Unvarnished”, has prompted action from consumers and the state government. Listen to hear more from the reporter about her investigation and the reaction to the story.
Current Event November 6, 2013
The Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Jane, were successful novelists and poets. Their childhood, relationships and imagination shaped their famous works. A tiny “magazine” created by 14-year-old Charlotte Brontë to go with their set of toy soldiers is a lens into their world of imagination and gothic extravagance. Listen to learn more about this work, just half the size of a credit card, and what it tells us about the life of these famous literary figures.
Current Event November 4, 2013
Alfred Tennyson, better known as Lord Tennyson, was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland for 42 years during the reign of Queen Victoria. His short lyrical poems appealed to the people of the 19th century, many of whom couldn’t read. One of this most famous poems “The Charge of the Light Brigade” describes a real event during the Crimean War. This charge, during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, became the most well known action of the war thanks to Tennyson’s poem, even though the poem wasn’t entirely accurate. Listen to learn more about the Crimean, War, the real charge and how Tennyson’s words brought this event to life for the British people.
Current Event October 29, 2013
Thomas Stearns Eliot OM, better known as T.S. Eliot, was one of the great modernist poets of the 20th century. His work was part of a specific moment in history and art, before and after World War I, when identity, nations and art were fractured. Imagine the modernism of Picasso and Cubism and apply the same idea to poetry. Listen to learn more about the world in which Eliot wrote and why his poem “The Waste Land” remains one of the pillars of high modernism.
Current Event December 5, 2013
Phillis Wheatley lived an extraordinary life. Born in West Africa and sold into slavery in Boston, Massachusetts, Wheatley became the first published African-American woman and poet. In addition to being a poet, Wheatley exchanged letters with religious leaders and philanthropists. Some of her letters have survived, including one in which she reflects on the American Revolution. Listen to learn about this valuable letter, which was auctioned off in 2005.
Current Event December 3, 2013
Benjamin Franklin was one of America’s most influential founding fathers, but he was much more than that. An author, printer, politician, scientist and diplomat Franklin lived a surprising and fascinating life. Listen to learn more about the path of this great statesman from a printer apprenticeship in Philadelphia to an influential scientist and diplomat in Paris.
Current Event December 2, 2013
Herman Melville’s classic American novel “Moby-Dick” tells the story of whaling captain Ahab’s quest to kill the white whale Moby-Dick. This somewhat simplistic plot retelling misses the thematic and historic undertones of this massive novel. The novel was a critical and commercial failure when it was released in 1851 but experienced a resurgence after World War I. Listen to learn more about the writing of “Moby-Dick” and how Melville was influenced by the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shakespeare as well as the tensions of pre-Civil War America.
Current Event May 8, 2015
How realistic is the “American Dream”? Is upward mobility a reality for everyone today? Are people still better off than their parents? These are the questions driving a study of economic mobility by economists at Harvard and UC Berkeley, as well as the radio reporter in this story. With a focus on Dayton, Ohio, its past and present, this story analyzes the modern factors that stunt economic mobility in West Dayton and other neighborhoods like it. It looks at whether the “American Dream” is truly attainable for everyone.
Current Event November 29, 2014
When Jack Kerouac’s novel 'On the Road' was published in 1957 it shocked a generation of readers. The novel followed Kerouac’s travels and counterculture lifestyle. But it was the stream of consciousness style that set the literary world on its head and made it the anchor text for the Beat Generation. Kerouac didn’t always write this way; in fact his first novel didn’t have any spontaneous prose. What inspired Kerouac’s dramatic departure to stream of consciousness? Listen to learn more about his inspiration and the “holy grail of the Beat Generation.”
Current Event November 28, 2013
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the youngest man elected to the presidency and the first and only Roman Catholic to serve as president. His election represented a departure from the status quo. The message Kennedy delivered in his inauguration speech on January 20, 1961 served as inspiration for a generation. Listen to hear excerpts of his speech and learn how it inspired four young people to action.
Current Event November 22, 2013
St. Cuthbert, an Anglo-Saxon monk, hermit and saint, was known for his ability to heal and revered in Medieval England. During his lifetime he recorded the St. John’s gospel in Latin. This book went with him to the grave and was rediscovered when his body was moved to a new shrine in 1104. The British Library purchased the book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel, for $14 million. Listen to learn more about the fascinating history of this medieval book.
Current Event November 20, 2013
Davy Crockett lives in the American imagination as a legendary frontiersman and defender of the Alamo. Crockett lived an extraordinary life in the 1830s, but became even more famous in the 1950s when Walt Disney chose Davy Crockett as a character for his new theme park, Disneyland. From the coonskin cap to his death at the Alamo, this story analyzes the reality behind the myth of Davy Crockett’s life.
Current Event November 12, 2013
Author Jane Austen is well known for her novels that reflect on romance and the familial and cultural standards of late 18th century England. Some paint Austen as a drab spinster, but a new biography by Paula Byrne explores the real Austen through objects that were important to her in her life and literature. This portrait of an opinionated, fun loving Austen will help you understand her life, family and themes she revisits in her works.
Current Event November 11, 2013
William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” is a tragedy that wrestles with issues of power, ambition and madness. From witches and ghosts to murder, this classic tale has been staged for decades. A new rendition is set in a psychiatric institution and is played almost entirely by one actor, Alan Cumming. Listen to learn more about the original story and this unique adaptation.
Current Event February 1, 2013
American poet Robert Frost wrote about rural life in New England. His colloquial language and focus on nature struck a chord with everyday people and critics. He won four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry during his lifetime, and his legacy has lived on through his writing and his friends. Listen to learn more about Frost’s life, work and religion through his friend, Jonathan Reichert.