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Visible And Invisible: 'Servants' Looks At Life Downstairs

Author Lucy Lethbridge explores the history of British servants through their diaries, letters and memoirs. She says, "What I found particularly fascinating was how ... butlers were so butlery"; the old caricature of the clever manservant and the silly master is one "butlers have appeared to play to the hilt."
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The History Of Black Barber Shops

Modern black barber shops are civic, cultural and business institutions in many major cities. Their history, however, is complicated, shifting from places where only white men were served to the democratic social spaces of today in just over a century. We consider the political and social movements brought that change about and the role these shops play in communities now.

NPR

Gary Shteyngart's 'Little Failure' Is An Unambivalent Success

In 1979, Gary Shteyngart's family moved from Leningrad to Queens. Three decades later, he wrote a memoir about growing up in a Russian immigrant family in New York. Reviewer Meg Wolitzer says the book is full of rich, gratifying writing as well as pride, exuberance and sophisticated humor.
NPR

In Troubled Magazine World, 'La Hulotte' Is One Rare Bird

Former science teacher Pierre Deom started writing, illustrating and publishing the French nature journal to educate kids about the environment. Forty years later, the magazine is so popular it sometimes receives 1,300 letters a day.
NPR

Elizabeth Smart Shares About Her Faith And Kidnapping

Elizabeth Smart was just 14-years-old when she was kidnapped at knife point from her bedroom. She was held for nine months before finally being rescued. Host Michel Martin talks with Smart about her memoir, My Story and her Mormon faith - which made her both a target, and a survivor. This segment originally aired Oct. 11, 2013 on Tell Me More.
NPR

Nikki Giovanni Chases Beer And Family

Nikki Giovanni is one of the most celebrated living poets. She's well known for beautiful descriptions of family, friends, politics and even food. Host Michel Martin talks with Giovanni about some of the surprises in her latest collection, Chasing Utopia. This segment originally aired Oct. 29, 2013 on Tell Me More.
NPR

A Judge's Cookbook Reveals The Secrets Of Bialys And Bagels

Michael Zusman used to be a lawyer, specializing in suing financial companies. The work literally started making him sick. Then he stumbled into baking. His new cookbook promises that you can make your own pastrami, pickles and bagels better than you can buy at your local deli.
NPR

Booking A Flight For The 'Golden Age Of Hijacking'

In the 1960s, catching a flight wasn't much of a hassle. No lines, no security screenings and no need to show ID. But the ease of travel brought with it some serious consequences.
NPR

Labor Department Picks Books That Shaped American Jobs

For the Department of Labor's centennial celebration, Carl Fillichio thought outside the box and asked the public for books that influenced work in America. The usual suspects are there — Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and What Color is Your Parachute — but also some oddball choices from children's literature and poetry. Fillichio gives NPR's Jennifer Ludden highlights from the ongoing project.
NPR

'Havisham' Offers A Peek Behind That Decaying Wedding Veil

Miss Havisham is one of Charles Dickens' most enduring characters. She appears in Great Expectations as an eccentric recluse, jilted at the altar years ago, who still wears her wedding gown and presides over a rotting feast. In his new novel, Ronald Frame imagines the kind of life that would have created such a woman.

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