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Talking Books in the Texas Legislature

Talking Books in the Texas Legislature

Nov 11 2009

The recent Texas Book Festival featured, once again, authors discussing their books in the halls of the state capitol building, from literary…

“I Was Picketing with a Camera”

“I Was Picketing with a Camera”

Oct 22 2009

Documentary pioneer Leo Seltzer, whose 1930s films are featured in the film Soul of a People, is the subject of my post…

Many Voices Sounding from the 1930s

Many Voices Sounding from the 1930s

Oct 20 2009

This post honors the range of voices that emerged from the Writers’ Project. Marking crime novelist Jim Thompson’s 103rd birthday a few…

Harvey Pekar Channels Studs Terkel and Honors Oral History

Harvey Pekar Channels Studs Terkel and Honors Oral History

Oct 14 2009

“Why Studs Terkel?” asked the man on stage at the Wisconsin Book Festival Sunday. “Why Harvey Pekar?” Indeed. Paul Buhle, an oral…

An Important Piece of Our Cultural Heritage

An Important Piece of Our Cultural Heritage

Oct 04 2009

John Woods, in his review, says Soul of a People consists of “the stories and history of arguably an important piece of…

Looking at History a New Way

Looking at History a New Way

Sep 30 2009

On the National Mall last weekend, the National Book Festival brought out more than 100,000 readers and book lovers, an encouraging sight.…

1930s culture coming to a screen near you…

1930s culture coming to a screen near you…

Sep 22 2009

This Saturday the 26th I’ll be at the National Book Festival talking with historian Douglas Brinkley about the WPA writers and what…

Illinois Guide Anniversary and a Voice Against Intolerance

Illinois Guide Anniversary and a Voice Against Intolerance

Sep 16 2009

Seventy years ago today, the WPA guide to Illinois came out as controversy swirled around the Federal Writers’ Project. Texas congressman Martin…

Hearing a Culture Change in Florida

Hearing a Culture Change in Florida

Aug 18 2009

Seventy years ago this month, Zora Neale Hurston began a landmark field recording tour, traveling down through Florida’s hot coastal towns and…

Iconoclast Rode the Rails for the WPA Guides

Iconoclast Rode the Rails for the WPA Guides

Aug 07 2009

A number of hoboes made their way from freight cars to the federal payroll of the WPA Writers’ Project. The Soul of…