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NPR

Churchill Downer: The Forgotten Racial History Of Kentucky's State Song

"My Old Kentucky Home" is sung every year at the Kentucky Derby. Written in 1852 as an anti-slavery ballad, the song has a more sinister meaning upon closer examination.
NPR

Crepes For Cinco De Mayo? Chef Pati Jinich Explains Por Qué

The holiday commemorates a Mexican victory against French invaders, whose culinary imprint lingers. In her new cookbook, Jinich explores Mexico's evolving cuisine and its many immigrant influences.
NPR

Newly Released Documents Detail Traumas Of China's Cultural Revolution

Historian Frank Dikötter says newly opened archives offer fresh details about the chaos China experienced in the 1960s, when Chairman Mao urged students to take to the streets.
WAMU 88.5

Rita Dove: "Collected Poems: 1974 - 2004"

Rita Dove's poetry career has spanned more than forty years. During that time she won a Pulitzer Prize and became the first African-American poet laureate of the United States. Now she's released a new edition of collected works. Rita Dove on a life lived in verse.

NPR

Novelist Richard Russo: 'I Find Myself Now ... Having Lived The American Dream'

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author says his blue-collar grandfather would have been astonished by the life Russo leads. His new book, Everybody's Fool, is a sequel to 1993's Nobody's Fool.
NPR

'Heat & Light' Digs For The Soul Of Coal Country

Jennifer Haigh grew up in small town Pennsylvania, where jobs disappeared when coal mines closed. Her new novel explores the changes that mining — and now fracking — has brought to nearby communities.
NPR

To Play Sports Under Taliban Rule, 'Different Kind Of Daughter' Dressed As A Boy

Growing up in the tribal region of Pakistan, Maria Toorpakai pretended she was a boy in order to compete as a weightlifter. Later she became an internationally known squash player.
NPR

'Neither Snow Nor Rain' Celebrates History Of U.S. Postal Service

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with author Devin Leonard whose new book, Neither Snow Nor Rain, celebrates the history of the U.S. Postal Service.
NPR

'Missing Man' Examines Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson's Mission To Iran

Steve Inskeep talks to New York Times reporter Barry Meier about his investigation into Robert Levinson's disappearance, chronicled in his book Missing Man: The American Spy Who Vanished in Iran.
NPR

A Personal History Of L.A. Punk: 'It Was A Free-For-All For Outcasts'

John Doe, Exene Cervenka and Dave Alvin of X join Fresh Air to discuss punk's early days. "Anybody could belong to punk that wanted to be there," Cervenka says. "[It] didn't matter how old you were."

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