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."
Alcohol has bolstered many writing sessions throughout history — not just as a drink but as an ink. For most of the last millennia, writers, artists and kings alike relied on an ink that commonly included wine. Now some people are trying to bring this tradition back.
Korean-American rapper Dumbfoundead used to get the mic pulled out of his hands at rap battles. But the Los Angeles artist has steadily won fans and made a name for himself in the world of hip-hop. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR'S Karen Grigsby Bates about what his success says about the evolution of rap.
For years, the Doolittle Raiders have met to remember their World War II mission. They were the first to fly bombing raids over Tokyo. With few surviving members, they will meet for the last time this week.
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