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Washington DC: The Other History
Mark Twain, Henry Adams, Zora Neale Hurston, Walt Whitman, Ambrose Bierce, Sinclair Lewis, Langston Hughes... Sounds like a literary dream team if ever there was one. What they all have in common is that they lived and worked in Washington DC.
LISTEN: LBJ Faces the Loss of Martin Luther King
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the loss of Martin Luther King, the Presidential Recordings site will be open to the public though April 10. Links to some of the most relevant recordings.
New Orleans: Not Like Other Cities
In the newly published SAH/BUS City Guide, Buildings of New Orleans, Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas offer countless possibilities, from a quiet stroll through the Vieux Carré to an afternoon’s drive upriver.
The Secret Star
Although so many central themes in the American saga converge in Richard Potter's life, there has never been a biography of this elusive man. John Hodgson has finally presented his life in a biography, Richard Potter: America's First Black Celebrity, which Kirkus Reviews calls a "definitive life history that gives voice to a pioneering and little-known entertainment legacy." Following is an interview with Hodgson on the fascinating story he has uncovered.
LISTEN: North Korean Crisis, 1968
US-North Korean relations have usually been, if not warm, then at least not threatening. But the US has in fact experienced dangerous episodes with North Korea before, one of which—the “Pueblo incident”—took place exactly fifty years ago. On January 23, 1968, North Korea seized the USS Pueblo and its crew of 82. The Presidential Recordings web site, published by our Rotunda electronic imprint in collaboration with the Miller Center, allows users to listen in on the Oval Office as the early stages of this incident played out.
The Law of Equality
In We Face the Dawn: Oliver Hill, Spottswood Robinson, and the Legal Team that Dismantled Jim Crow, veteran journalist Margaret Edds tells the story of the NAACP attorneys who laid the groundwork for the pivotal Brown vs. Board of Education, and who eventually found themselves in the Supreme Court arguing for equality. We interviewed Edds about her work on this heroic, and hugely productive, legal team.
The Most Famous Man You Have Never Heard Of
Bruce Berkowitz's Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World is the first biography of a remarkable person. The Wall Street Journal calls the book "a work of ingenious detection and reconstruction." Referring to Playfair's ability to be in all places at all times, the WSJ review continues, "Mr. Berkowitz compares Playfair to Forrest Gump, but this frenetic optimist, both crafty and unlucky, who although constantly ambushed and battered by events, irrepressibly sprang back from his bad breaks, is more likely a cartoon character. He was the Wile E. Coyote of his age."
A Time Like No Other
Crucible: The President's First Year is the result of an ambitious project by the Miller Center of Public Affairs to examine the first years of past presidents to draw practical lessons from which future administrations might learn. Trump's First Year, which will be published simultaneously with Crucible to mark the first anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, is the only book of its kind—a thorough, concise, and nonpartisan examination of Trump's first year in office.
The Age of the Suck-Up
Without a doubt, the ascent of Trump brings with it a whole new era of bowing and scraping. But this calculated insincerity has always been a part of our society, as Mark and Deborah Parker make abundantly clear in their new book, Sucking Up: A Brief Consideration of Sycophancy.