The Great Depression

On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Mark Allen Jackson of Middle Tennessee State University. He's an expert on political expression in American folk music, and he's also the author of "Prophet Singer: The Voice and Vision of Woody Guthrie" (University Press of Mississippi). Dr. Jackson will be giving a talk at the Woody Guthrie Center in downtown Tulsa this coming Saturday, the 26th, beginning at 7pm. The lecture is entitled "Woody Guthrie as Political Humorist: His Influences, Expression, and Legacy," and it's free to the public.

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.

It's been observed by many that disparity between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is now approaching levels not seen since the Great Depression. But how did we get here? On this edition of ST, a we offer a chat with Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

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 edition of our show, we learn about "Mother Road," which is "an exploration of Route 66 by artist Jessica Harvey" that will be on view at the AHHA space (in the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa) through November 23rd. Harvey, who's originally from Chicago, has exhibited throughout the United States, and is currently in residence at the AHHA Creative Studios, is our guest on ST today.

The Department of Theatre here at TU will soon present one of the greatest plays of the modern American stage, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. It's the play that made Williams a household name in the mid-1940s -- a clearly autobiographical drama, set in Depression-era St. Louis, in which an aging and rather unstable Southern Belle longs for her youth and dreams of a better life for her children: the restless would-be poet, Tom, who narrates this memory play, and the shy if not reclusive Laura, Tom's elder sister.

On this edition of our show, we welcome back Catherine Whitney, the Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa, who tells us all about a small but impressive photography show currently on view at the museum. "Hard Times, Oklahoma, 1939-40: The Documentary Photography of Russell Lee" will run through October 26th. Beginning in 1936, Lee worked alongside Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and others as part of the government-sponsored Farm Security Administration, which was a New Deal program created by FDR.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Jayne Anne Phillips, the acclaimed fiction writer whose previous books include "Black Tickets," "Machine Dreams," and "Lark and Termite." In her newest book, just out in paperback, Phillips both explores and re-imagines a real crime that occurred in 1931, in a West Virginia town not far from where she herself grew up. Phillips tells us of this novel -- called "Quiet Dell" -- on today's program.

On this edition of ST, we are talking about the life and work of Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), the influential American documentary photographer and photo-journalist who's best known for her Depression-era photographs; her "Migrant Mother" is surely among the most recognized images to emerge from the 1930s. Our guest is Elizabeth Partridge, the goddaughter of Lange and an award-winning author of numerous books.