Just nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Lisa Cohen's biography All We Know: Three Lives follows the stories of three women of the early 20th century. "I wanted to write a book that wasn't just about one great person," Cohen says, "but about a kind of collectivity."
Poetry By Heart is a new program in which students memorize two of 130 poems and recite them in a contest. Poet Jean Sprackland, who helped compile the list, says memorizing a poem makes it "something that lives with you forever."
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography, My Beloved World, debuted this week, and NPR's Nina Totenberg sat down with her to talk about her youth and schooling and career. Sotomayor discusses the role that books played in her life, from Nancy Drew to Shakespeare.
In his new book, The Double V, the author argues that to understand race in America one must understand the history of African-Americans in the military. While the turning point came between WWI and WWII, the struggle began with the American Revolution.
The Inquisition revolutionized record-keeping and surveillance techniques that are still used today, says Cullen Murphy. His book God's Jury draws parallels between some of the interrogation techniques used in previous centuries with the ones used today.
Writer Kevin Smokler spent a year rereading the books assigned in his high school English classes. Smokler, who is now nearly 40, talks with NPR's Neal Conan about what he learned after returning to the classics.
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