Popular Culture

(Please note: This interview first aired earlier this year.) Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a key player in the electrical revolution that transformed life itself at the dawn of the twentieth century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and significantly contributed to the development of radio and TV. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was also one of America's first celebrity scientists --- yet he's not nearly as famous as Edison today. Why? Our guest is W.

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the writer Kate Christensen, whose six novels include "The Great Man," which won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award. Her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Elle, and elsewhere --- and her popular blog can be accessed here. Her latest book is "Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites," an acclaimed memoir, which she discusses with us on today's ST.

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Dr. Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian Institution's Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, who oversees most of the organization's various museums as well as many of its educational programs. An anthropologist and cultural historian by training, and a former Fulbright fellow with a doctorate from the University of Chicago, Dr.

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the celebrated American author, Philip Caputo, who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist in Chicago before going on to write several notable works of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, including 1977's "A Rumor of War," one of the most highly praised and widely read volumes ever published on the Vietnam War.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Machele Miller Dill and Michael Wright, two University of Tulsa faculty members who are currently co-directing the TU Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre's presentation of "Beehive." (Dill is also doing the choreography for this production.) Created in the 1980s by the late Larry Gallagher, this show is a music revue --- rather than a "jukebox musical" --- that moves through the sea-change of a decade that was the Sixties by focusing chronologically on the work of popular "girl groups" like The Chiffons, The Shirelles, and The Supremes as well as o

On our show today, we speak by phone with David Skinner, an editor and writer whose work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, The New Atlantis, Slate, The Washington Times, and other publications. He's also the editor of Humanities magazine, which is published by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he joins us to discuss his book, "The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published," which is just now out in paperback.

(Note: This show originally aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, we speak with the celebrated young writer Nathaniel Rich (born 1980), whose essays and short stories have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and elsewhere, and whose latest novel is called "Odds Against Tomorrow." Set in a New York City of the very near future, this novel tells the story of one Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician who works for a financial consulting firm called FutureWorld.

On this installment of ST, we present an interesting discussion with Paul Bogard, who teaches creative nonfiction in the Writing Program at James Madison University. Bogard has a new book out that's getting glowing reviews from near and far. It's called "The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light" --- and The Boston Globe says it's "a lyrical, far-reaching book.

Today on ST, we speak with Daniel Riedemann, a contractor based in Lawrence, Kansas, who owns and operates the firm known as 19th Century Restorations. This is a company that's restored the childhood homes of Johnny Carson, Nina Simone, and others. About a year ago, Riedemann initiated the non-profit Woody Guthrie Family Home Reconstruction Project, which is raising funds in order to re-build the home of Woodrow Wilson Guthrie in Okemah, Oklahoma --- using, for the most part, the original materials.

The brilliant Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), the great American critic, fiction writer, poet, and satirist --- that famously witty (and frequently scathing) author whose many memorable assertions include "I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true" and "if all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised" --- is now back in business. That is, she's cracking wise all over again, in a manner of speaking, in a new book.

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