Remembering former publisher of The Washington Post, Katherine Graham and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead on this edition of Fresh Air. Graham died on July 17, at the age of 84. Graham's father owned The Washington Post in 1933 and later her husband, Phil Graham, took over. Following her husband's suicide in 1963, Graham became publisher, knowing little about the managerial or journalistic aspects of the job. But, learning while she worked, she transformed the paper into one of the country's most respected newspapers. The paper broke the Watergate scandal and published the Pentagon Papers against a federal judge's ruling. Graham also became chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Media company. She wrote about her childhood and experiences as publisher in her Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography Personal History. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new anthology Woody Herman - Blowin' Up a Storm: The Columbia Years 1945-47. (Original Broadcast Date: February 17, 1997) 1. Language: English. Narrator: Terry Gross. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/rt/whyy/010718/rt_whyy_010718_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In the late 1930s, the Federal Writers' Project set out to create a first-person portrait of America by sending young writers around the country to interview people from diverse ethnic groups, occupations, and backgrounds. When the Writers Project closed its doors, some 10,000 of these oral histories were left gathering dust in a remote storeroom at the Library of Congress. In First Person America, Ann Banks has collected dozens of these oral histories, including a North Carolina patent-medicine pitchman, a retired Oregon prospector, a Bahamian midwife from Florida, a Key West smuggler, a Pullman Porter, and Chicago jazz musicians. There are men and women who remember meeting Billy the Kid, survived the Chicago Fire, and fled the Czar to America. They hawked lucky charms and patent medicine. They knew Bix Beiderbecke personally and tried to copy his style in Chicago jazz clubs. They peddled cake flavoring, auctioned tobacco, and fished and smuggled rum, and sometimes aliens, from Cuba to Key West. They worked in coal and granite and cotton and iron. The women quilted and pressed laundry and took in boarders and delivered babies. And when their men ran out on them they swallowed their pride and threw rent parties. Lloyd Green, a Pullman Porter in Harlem, lamented his move north to the big city, telling Federal Writer Ralph Ellison, "I'm in New York, but New York ain't in me." First Person America is narrated by Tony Kahn, a public radio veteran writer, host, and producer. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tony Kahn. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/042456/bk_acx0_042456_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Brilliantly wrought, incisive, and stirring, The Heirs tells the story of an upper-crust Manhattan family coming undone after the death of their patriarch. Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him. In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure. Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together - Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm - and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty - a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor's sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all. A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out of Edith Wharton for the 21st century. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Kimberly Farr. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/005128/bk_rand_005128_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Last year the artist Richard Prince was sued by Patrick Cariou, a photographer, for copyright infringement. Prince had used dozens of Cariou’s pictures — arty portraits of Rastafarians in Jamaica — in his paintings. This practice of appropriation, incorporating other people's work into new artworks, is well established in the art world, and Prince has based a successful career on it. But a federal judge ruled for Cariou last year, and if Prince loses his appeal, a swath of contemporary art making will become illegal. Then, Last month, we announced our Significant Object story contest. We picked out three objects from a thrift store — a doll ($5), a thermos with the Marlboro logo ($5), and a wooden trinket ($1). We want you to perform creative alchemy, turning the junk into treasure by giving it a backstory. It can be in the form of a short story, poem, encyclopedia article, comic, essay. After that, over the last decade, Kerry Washington has become well-known for terrific performances in movies like The Last King of Scotland and Ray. She’s now the star of her own new network series, which even today is a rare feat for an African-American actress. Following that, New Orleans may be the birthplace of jazz, but for the last couple of decades its most influential music has been the city's Dirty South rap scene. The woozy celebration of ghetto life that Lil' Wayne calls "gangsta gumbo" blurs the line between reflecting violence and glamorizing it. No small thing in a city with a murder rate ten times the national average. Then, over a couple of decades, Isabel Toledo quietly became one of the most sought-after fashion designers in the business. But in 2009, she experienced overnight global exposure. At the inauguration that January, amid a sea of dark suits, First Lady Michelle Obama stood out in a chic chartreuse lace dress and matching overcoat designed by Toledo.And finally, Sergio Munoz was only seven years old 1. Language: English. Narrator: Kurt Andersen. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/rt/stud/120407/rt_stud_120407_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
'In The Return of Jazz, Andrew Wright Hurley has admirably demonstrated Berendt's influence upon the emerging jazz scene of the early Federal Republic. Hurley shows how Cold War politics and rejection of the National Socialist past heightened Berendt's sense of mission. For Berendt, jazz was more than an avocation; it was a program for social and cultural reform. It is to Hurley's credit that he raises so many important issues surrounding jazz's development in the second half of the twentieth century.' - H-German 'This is a benchmark study, in showing why a subject that has been overlooked in jazz historiography should not have been. Its importance lies not just in recognising the importance of a major mediator and 'enabler' of postwar jazz; it also models the late twentieth century shift of the jazz centre of gravity away from the US and towards international fusions. In its balancing of cultural theory with the most painstaking empirical research this is, quite simply, essential reading not just in jazz scholarship, but in the larger field of cultural history and its methodologies.' - Bruce Johnson Cultural History, University of Turku Jazz has had a peculiar and fascinating history in Germany. The influential but controversial German writer, broadcaster, and record producer, Joachim-Ernst Berendt (1922-2000), author of the world's best-selling jazz book, labored to legitimize jazz in West Germany after its ideological renunciation during the Nazi era. German musicians began, in a highly productive way, to question their all-too-eager adoption of American culture and how they sought to make valid artistic statements reflecting their identity as Europeans. This book explores the significance of some of Berendt's most important writings and record productions. Particular attention is given to the 'Jazz Meets the World' encounters that he engineered with musicians from Japan, Tunisia, Brazil, Indonesia, and India. This proto-'world music' demonstrates how some West Germans went about creating a post-nationalist identity after the Third Reich. Berendt's powerful role as the West German 'Jazz Pope' is explored, as is the groundswell of criticism directed at him in the wake of 1968.
In an African city in secession land tourists of all languages and nationalities. They have only one desire: to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealth of the country. They work during the day in mining concession and, as soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only night-club of the city, the den of all the outlaws. Lucien, a professional writer, fleeing the exactions and the censorship, finds refuge in the city thanks to Requiem, a friend. Requiem lives mainly on theft and on swindle while Lucien only thinks of writing and living honestly. Around them gravitate gangsters and young girls, retired or runaway men, profit-seeking tourists and federal agents of a non-existent State. Tram 83 plunges the reader into the atmosphere of a gold rush as cynical as, it is comic and colourfully exotic. It's an observation of human relationships in a world that has become a global village, an African-rhapsody novel hammered by rhythms of jazz
Nightclub City Politics and Amusement in Manhattan Burton W. Peretti 'Nightclub City tells the behind-the-scenes story of Manhattan's glamorous nightlife at its peak. Packed with colorful characters, terrific original research, and an unusually accessible writing style, Nightclub City is a gritty social history of America's most glitzy fantasies.'--Debby Applegate, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher 'Meticulously researched. . . . Peretti builds on previous studies of urban nightlife and entertainment, and his contribution is to look at institutions of commercial night life not from the perspective of consumers but from that of the reformer or official trying to tax, control, prohibit, or criminalize the purveyors of pleasure.'--Journal of American History 'Peretti convincingly argues that nightclubs, at the peak of their popularity, played a small but highly significant role in redefining the relationship between America's government and its citizenry. . . . He skillfully wields illustrative quotes, cogent analysis, and an impressive body of archival evidence.'--Journal of Urban History In the Roaring Twenties, New York City nightclubs and speakeasies became hot spots where traditions were flouted and modernity was forged. With powerful patrons in Tammany Hall and a growing customer base, nightclubs flourished in spite of the efforts of civic-minded reformers and federal Prohibition enforcement. This encounter between clubs and government-generated scandals, reform crusades, and regulations helped to redefine the image and reality of urban life in the United States. Ultimately, it took the Great Depression to cool Manhattan's Jazz Age nightclubs, forcing them to adapt and relocate, but not before they left their mark on the future of American leisure. Nightclub City explores the cultural significance of New York City's nightlife between the wars, from Texas Guinan's notorious 300 Club to Billy Rose's nostalgic Diamond Horseshoe. Whether in Harlem, Midtown, or Greenwich Village, raucous nightclub activity tested early twentieth-century social boundaries. Anglo-Saxon novelty seekers, Eastern European impresarios, and African American performers crossed ethnic lines while provocative comediennes and scantily clad chorus dancers challenged and reshaped notions of femininity. These havens of liberated sexuality, as well as prostitution and illicit liquor consumption, allowed their denizens to explore their fantasies and fears of change. The reactions of cultural critics, federal investigators, and reformers such as Fiorello La Guardia exemplify the tension between leisure and order. Peretti's research delves into the symbiotic relationships among urban politicians, social reformers, and the business of vice. Illustrated with archival photographs of the clubs and the characters who frequented them, Nightclub City is a dark and dazzling study of New York's bygone nightlife. Burton W. Peretti is Professor of History at Western Connecticut State University and the author of Jazz in American Culture. 2007 304 pages 6 x 9 14 illus. ISBN 978-0-8122-3997-3 Cloth $55.00s £36.00 ISBN 978-0-8122-2157-2 Paper $24.95s £16.50 ISBN 978-0-8122-0336-3 Ebook $24.95s £16.50 World Rights American History Short copy: This dark and dazzling history of New York City nightclub life in the 1920s and '30s explores the complex relationships among urban politicians, social reformers, and the business of v