Ken Kalfus' new novel about an astronomer obsessed with attracting the attention of Martians appears at first to be an homage to the scientific romances of H.G. Wells and the lost-world sagas of H. Rider Haggard. As the novel develops, however, its unique social commentaries emerge.
Once people figured out how to roast the seeds of the Coffea plant in the 1400s, coffee took over the world. In doing so, it fueled creativity, revolutions, new business ventures, literature, music — and slavery.
Is it naive to believe that improved Internet access can help open up truly autocratic regimes like North Korea? Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, authors of The New Digital Age, say the power of information is underrated.
A new book by Christopher Clark describes the series of events that precipitated one the most complex and catastrophic conflicts of modern times. "It seems to me that our world is getting more like 1914, not less like it," Clark says.
Shows like Good Morning America and the Today show can have a big impact on a broadcast network's image and bottom line. NPR's David Greene speaks with media reporter Brian Stelter about Top of the Morning, his new book about the high-stakes world of morning TV.
Many people thought Laura Bates was out of her mind when she offered to teach Shakespeare in the maximum security wing of an Indiana prison. But the prisoners found a deep connection with the playwright's words. Laura Bates talks about her experience in her new book Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard. She speaks with host Michel Martin.
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