In 1839, Great Britain and Russia were playing the world map like a chessboard — and for no reason other than geography, Afghanistan got caught in the middle. In Return of a King, historian William Dalrymple tells the story of Britain's calamitous invasion.
Many Muslim people were hoping the Boston bombers didn't share their religion. However, the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is indeed Muslim, according to family members. Host Michel Martin speaks to Muslims from different ethnic backgrounds about the conversations they're having at dinner tables and in their neighborhoods.
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.
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.
The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing were ethnically Chechen. The central Asian region of Chechnya has a troubled history. It has also seen some of that region's most notorious terrorist incidents in recent memory. Host Michel Martin learns more from Alexey Malashenko of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
When the only known poem Winston Churchill wrote as an adult went up for auction in London recently, it was expected to fetch a pretty penny. But the poem failed to fetch a buyer, and now its fate is unknown. New Yorker Poetry Editor Paul Muldoon takes a critical look at "Our Modern Watchwords."
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