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No Sugar Plums Here: The Dark, Romantic Roots Of 'The Nutcracker'

Few people today remember E.T.A. Hoffmann, but most everyone is familiar with his most famous creation: The Nutcracker. NPR's Robert Siegel traces the history of everyone's favorite Christmas ballet all the way back to its much darker original version.
NPR

Descendants Of Slaves, Slave Traders Come Together

Sharon Morgan is a black descendant of American slaves. Thomas Norman DeWolf is a white descendant of a famous slave-trading family. The two travelled together for three years to track the roots of racism. They talk with guest host Celeste Headlee about their journey, chronicled in the book, Gather at the Table.
NPR

Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar In 2012

It's been a great year for high-profile comics creators, producing landmark works destined for many "Best Comics of 2012" lists. But what about the lesser-known artists and their work? Glen Weldon points to outstanding works that haven't gotten the attention they deserve.
NPR

Beyond 'Downton': BBC Shows You May Have Missed

Believe it or not, Downton Abbey is not the only quality show that the BBC has sent stateside in the past few years. Elizabeth Blair explores BBC imports — and an original from its American counterpart — that conjure up the same nostalgia and drama.
NPR

Fact Checking 'Hitchcock': The Man, The Movie And The Myth

Patrick McGilligan, author of Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light, evaluates the accuracy of the new Hitchcock biopic starring Anthony Hopkins. McGilligan says much of the film is a "creative and clever fiction" — but that's because "people would rather believe the legend" of the man.
NPR

Christmas A Busy Season For Tamale-Makers

Tamales are a holiday tradition for many Latinos. Some families will make their own. But others turn to tamaleros, tamale-makers who can churn out hundreds of tamales a week that taste even better than homemade.
NPR

'Mad Science' Looks At Groundbreaking Inventors

You may not know that the traffic signal, the firehouse pole, and instant coffee were all invented by people of color. The stories behind those inventions and many more are included in the new book, Mad Science. Editor Randy Alfred speaks with guest host Celeste Headlee.
NPR

Father Leo On How To 'Spice Up' Your Married Life

The hustle of the holidays can put a strain on married couples struggling to find some time together. Father Leo Patalinghug says that cooking together in the kitchen goes a long way toward strengthening a marriage. He speaks with guest host Celeste Headlee about his cookbook, Spicing Up Married Life.
NPR

Recipe Rebellion: A Year Of Contrarian Cookbooks

The rebels, rule breakers and renegades who rule this year's Top 10 list aren't looking for a Ph.D. in Traditional Cooking. They're pleasure seekers whose books are filled with quirky facts, gorgeous pictures and ingredients deployed in unexpected places.

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