American History

(Photo: Craig Smith / Heard Museum)

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with James Pepper Henry, director of the well-regarded Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, who's just been named at the new director of the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. Pepper Henry will begin his tenure at Gilcrease in late March. He's a member of Oklahoma's Kaw Nation, and in a statement released on Monday the 5th, he referred to his upcoming arrival at Gilcrease as "a real homecoming.... I have lots of family and friends in Oklahoma. The museum's founder, Thomas Gilcrease, and I share Muscogee Creek heritage.

Howdy, folks, and Happy New Year from StudioTulsa. We've been airing The Best of ST for 2014 on our program lately, and hopefully you've heard and enjoyed some or all of these encore presentations.

Here's a guide to what we've been listening back to over the past week; please note that each listing below has a link whereby you can access a free, on-demand "stream" of the show in question. And thanks, as ever, for listening to ST.

Our guest is Luke A. Nichter, an Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University: Central Texas, and a noted expert on the Nixon tapes. Tomorrow night, Thursday the 4th at 7pm, TU's Oklahoma Center for the Humanities and Book Smart Tulsa will co-present a free-to-the-public lecture by Professor Nichter on "The Nixon Tapes: 40 Years Later." This event will happen in Kendall Hall on the TU campus -- not in TU's Tyrrell Hall, as was originally announced.

Our guest is Betty Medsger, an author and former journalist whose latest book, "The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI," is just out in paperback. As a critic for The Wall Street Journal has noted, this is "an important work, the definitive treatment of an unprecedented and largely forgotten 'act of resistance' that revealed shocking official criminality in postwar America. One need not endorse break-ins as a form of protest to welcome this deeply researched account of the burglary at Media, Penn. Ms.

On this edition of ST, we're pleased to welcome the widely popular and bestselling nonfiction author Bill Bryson. Appreciated for his likable tone, his sly humor, his love of travel, and his gifts as both a storyteller and a history buff, Bryson is the author of "A Walk in the Woods," "Notes from a Small Island," "A Short History of Nearly Everything," "Made in America," and so forth.

On this installment of ST, an interesting chat with Laura Auricchio, a specialist in eighteenth-century French history and art who's received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and Columbia University -- and who's also Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at The New School in NYC. Auricchio speaks about her new book, "The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered," which was called "a sharp and moving biography" in a starred review in Kirkus.

(Note: This show first aired in June.) On this installment of ST, we speak with Rachel Urquhart, a writer whose work has been published in The New Yorker, Tin House, Elle, The New York Times, Vogue, and Spy, among other publications. Urquhart has recently published her first novel, "The Visionist," which is a widely acclaimed historical drama about a teenage girl who finds refuge --- or perhaps does not find refuge --- in an 1840s Shaker community.

(Note: This show originally aired in June.) Our guest on this edition of ST is Michael Blanding, an author and magazine writer who's also a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Reporting at Brandeis University.

On this presentation of ST, we welcome Karen Abbott, the bestselling author of "Sin in the Second City" and other books, whom USA Today has called a "pioneer of sizzle history." Abbott joins us by phone to talk about her newest volume, which tells the strange-but-true stories of four different women who risked everything to become spies, combatants, or informants during the Civil War. The book is "Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War," and it's just out from Harper.

On this installment of ST, we speak with the award-winning Canadian actor, playwright, and humorist Rick Miller, who will present his one-man show, "Boom," on Saturday the 20th at 7:30pm at the Tulsa PAC's Williams Theatre. As Miller tells us by phone, his 100-minute production offers a sweeping, fascinating, and maybe even educational exploration of the Baby Boomer generation -- from Che Guevara to Janis Joplin, from Buddy Holly to Nikita Khrushchev, and from Walter Cronkite to Martin Luther King, Jr.

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