The shutdown of the U.S. government has sparked lots of finger-pointing and name-calling in Congress. But A.J. Jacobs, editor at large at Esquire Magazine, tells host Scott Simon that this is hardly the nastiest dispute in the history of our democracy.
Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez's life has been marked by arrests, no-holds-barred Chicago-style political fighting, and even the occasional Molotov cocktail thrown through his window. He speaks with host Michel Martin about his life and new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.
Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis have written a portrait of the city that saw John F. Kennedy's death firsthand. In those years, they say, Dallas was a roiling stew of superpatriotism and Communist paranoia — and, above all, distrust of the president.
Sapelo Island, off the coast of Georgia, has been home to generations of African-Americans since their ancestors were freed from slavery. Now, they might be losing their homes as growing property values send tax bills through the roof. Host Michel Martin speaks with Sapelo Island resident Cornelia Walker Bailey about the situation.
Native American tribes often rely on their relationship with federal agencies to keep themselves afloat. Host Michel Martin speaks with Tara Gatewood, host of the public radio show Native America Today, about how the government shutdown affects Native Americans. NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax also joins the conversation.
For more than half a century, Americans have used "the boondocks" or "the boonies" to refer to a place in the middle of nowhere. But few people know that the phrase is a relic of American military occupation in the Philippines that was brought into the mainstream by a fatal training accident.
As the federal government shutdown continues, national parks across the country remain closed to visitors. That includes the famous Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania. But this year is the 150th anniversary of the battle that many historians consider the turning point of the Civil War. And Gettysburg is fighting to keep some of the crowds coming, even without federal funds.
French philosopher Denis Diderot was the driving force behind one of the first compendiums of human knowledge, but his contributions have been largely lost to history. Now, the anniversary of his birth has prompted calls to reinter his remains in Paris' Pantheon, alongside the likes of Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
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