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Author Discusses Book On President Harrison

Robert Siegel talks to Gail Collins about her new book about William Henry Harrison. Though some view William Henry Harrison as notable only for his non-achievements — his presidency was the shortest in American history, he never appointed a federal judge, his wife never even saw the White House — Collins reveals a man whose victorious election campaign rewrote the rules for candidates seeking America's highest office. Today, he is a curiosity in American history, but, as Collins shows in this entertaining and revelatory biography, he and his career are worth a closer look.
NPR

Legal Scholar: Jim Crow Still Exists In America

Michelle Alexander says that many of the gains of the civil rights movement have been undermined by the mass incarceration of blacks in the war on drugs.
NPR

Can Hip-Hop Change The Style Of Politics?

Lester Spence, associate professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University, discusses his new book titled Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics.
NPR

Post-9/11 Life As A 'Non-Enemy Combatant'

Alex Gilvarry's dark first novel occupies a wacky continuum that begins at the center of haute couture, and ends in solitary confinement. The book is From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant and it looks at one man's trip into military detention. Host Rachel Martin talks with Gilvarry about his book.
NPR

'In Our Prime'? What It Means To Be Middle-Aged

Is 60 the new 40? In her new book, Patricia Cohen (age 51!) explores the origin and evolution of middle age. "I like to say that middle age is something of a 'Never Never Land,'" she says. "Younger people never want to enter it, and older people never want to leave it once they get there."
NPR

The Inquisition: Alive And Well After 800 Years

The Inquisition was initially designed to deal with Christian heretics, but author Cullen Murphy says that "inquisitorial impulse" is still at work today. In fact, he says, it was the harbinger of the modern world.
NPR

Alan Bennett Defies Expectations With 'Smut'

The author says he knows his readers think of him as cozy and genteel. So he's decided to shake them up a bit with a new book of two short stories.
NPR

Is It Time For You To Go On An 'Information Diet'?

"If we want to make media better then we've got to start consuming better media," says open-source-Internet activist Clay Johnson. His new book, The Information Diet, makes the case for more "conscious consumption" of news and information.
WAMU 88.5

Fawaz Gerges: "Obama and The Middle East: The End of America's Moment"

Despite high hopes following the Arab Spring, the Middle East remains deeply troubled. Renowned Middle East expert Fawaz Gerges explains why he believes President Barack Obama has lost a historic opportunity to redefine America's role in the region.

WAMU 88.5

Simon Mawer: "Trapeze"

A best-selling British author describes how he blended fact and fiction in his latest novel, "Trapeze." It's the story of a young English woman who joins the Special Operations Executive in World War II and is parachuted behind enemy lines in France.

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