American Culture

On this edition of ST, an enjoyable discussion with writer Alex Palmer, whose new book is called "The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York." This fascinating and often entertaining work of popular history describes the so-called Santa Claus Association, which thrived in New York City in the 1920s, while also depicting the origin and development of Christmas itself as the modern-day, consumer-driven juggernaut that we're all quite familiar with now.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with writer James Kaplan, whose essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and elsewhere. The first volume of Kaplan's definitive biography of Frank Sinatra, "Frank: The Voice," appeared in 2010. Now comes the second half of that life, the widely acclaimed "Sinatra: The Chairman," which the author discusses with us today. As per Publishers Weekly: "The great singer-actor contains multitudes in this vast, engrossing biography of Frank Sinatra's mature years....

On this edition of ST, we get to know Doug Levitt, an American singer-songwriter...and former London-based foreign correspondent (who once upon a time reported for, among others, ABC and NBC). About a decade ago -- or about 100,000 miles ago -- Levitt started riding Greyhound buses all across this nation in order to gather stories, songs, pictures, and memories of those who travel by bus in America.

(Note: This interview originally aired in June of this year.) On this installment of our show, a conversation with the distinguished historian and scholar, Robert Middlekauff, who is the Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley.

On this edition of ST, an interesting discussion with Matthew Gavin Frank, a Michigan-based writer and creative writing teacher whose past books include "Preparing the Ghost," "Pot Farm," "Barolo (At Table)," and "Sagittarius Agitprop." He joins us to discuss his newest book, a collection of fifty essays that, all in all, offers a full-fledged culinary tour of the United States, with a "signature dish" for each state being described in fascinating and far-reaching detail.

In 1963, the up-and-coming pop artist Andy Warhol took a road trip across America, from New York to Los Angeles.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the author and journalist John Sedgwick, whose many books range from a psychological thriller, "The Dark House," to a multi-generational family memoir, "In My Blood." He joins us to talk about his newest book, a work of popular history entitled "War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel That Stunned the Nation." Interestingly, Sedgwick has an ancestor who actually knew both Hamilton and Burr quite well, and it was his own research into the life and work of that ancestor which first led Sedgwick to think of writing this book.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a vivid and exciting new exhibition at Philbrook, "In Living Color: Andy Warhol and Contemporary Printmaking from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation," which will be on view through January 17, 2016. Mr. Schnitzer is our guest today.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about a newly opened exhibit at Gilcrease, "Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley," which will be on view through January 3rd. As is noted of this show at the Gilcrease Museum website: "More than 150 years after his Smithsonian gallery burned to the ground, John Mix Stanley is receiving a long overdue retrospective exhibition.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in May.) Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Timothy Dwyer, a writer whose work has appeared in Time, Washingtonian, and TheAtlantic.com.

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