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Books - Non-Fiction

In 1929 the Soviet dictator Stalin began the process of what was known as the collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union. There was a lot of resistance to this effort especially in the breadbasket region of the Ukraine. Stalin was determined to crush the Ukrainian nationalist movement and his agricultural policies served to do this quite effectively. As Anne Applebaum describes it in her book "Red Famine - Stalin's War with Ukraine" during the period 1931 to 1933 over five million Ukrainians starved to death.

If you ask me to name my favorite writers to interview Julie Klam would be high on the list. In her latest book Julie delves into our cultural obsession with celebrities. Have you ever wondered why some of us seem to be so fascinated by people who spend most of their time trying to impress us with their talent, their beauty, their conspicuous consumption, their wealth, or their celebrity? Julie peels back the layers of our attractions to these people to uncover the roots of our interest and she shows how this cult of celebrity has grown and mutated over the years.

Fourteen years ago Calvin Trillin came out to Yellow Springs to do a live interview with me. I had not listened to the recording we made that afternoon until just recently and had forgotten how much fun we had had that day talking about food. I have had a number of food writers on the show over the years but I cannot think of any other guest who indulges in various gustatory delights with such gusto and obvious pleasure as Trillin does.

Almost twenty years ago Leonard Shlain made his first appearance on the program. Dr. Shlain came through the area on book tour for "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image." Our conversation that afternoon clearly made an impact with listeners. To this day I still hear from people who heard the interview and were intrigued by it.

Loudon Wainwright III has spent the past half century writing and performing songs that range from whimsical to confessional to downright silly. This clever man possesses a brilliant wit. His distinctive voice continues to entertain, provoke, and amuse. Now that voice has been transferred to the pages of a candid memoir called "Liner Notes."

Iveta Jusova grew up in Czechoslovakia. She wasn't that aware of feminism until she went away to college. At the university she immersed herself in learning about it and her studies became the gateway to her future career.  In this collection of essays readers will discover that the development of feminism in a socialist society and in what is now the Czech Republic bore some significant differences from the feminist movements in countries like England and the United States.

The U.S. Postal Service has played a significant role in the history of our country. In her book "How the Post Office Created America-a History" Winifred Gallagher enumerates the many major impacts that our U.S. Mail has had upon the growth and development of our infrastructure, our industries, and our educational opportunities.

Long-time NPR commentator Frank Deford began contributing his commentaries to National Public Radio in 1980. In May of this year he turned in his last radio piece for Morning Edition. He died later that month.

Deford made a couple of appearances in the Book Nook over the years. Here's an interview Frank did with me in July, 2000. His dulcet tones will be missed.

Virginia Heffernan grew up with the Internet. She was on-line before any of us were. In this interview she explains how that happened and how her zealous participation in that strange and sometimes magical world has been a transporting endeavor.

I wanted to interview Virginia when this book first came out last year but I wasn't able to make that happen. Fortunately when books are issued again as paperbacks we obtain second chances to discover them. I persevered. Virginia agreed to an interview.

Antioch College

In 1968 an eighteen-year-old youth named Bill Newman arrived in Yellow Springs to begin his freshman year at Antioch College. Bill's first Antioch co-op education experience took place in New York City. He was supposed to return to Antioch after three months but the experience he was having in New York was so thrilling and important to him that he ended up staying away for nine months.

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