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Short Videos and Interviews

Watch the December 2021 Author talk with the FDR Library and Museum about Soul of a People, the Federal Writers’ Project, and the WPA guides.

My article in Smithsonian magazine (“During World War II, the U.S. Saw Italian-Americans as a Threat to Homeland Security”) features Frank DiCara’s story of growing up in East Baltimore when Italian-Americans came under suspicion early in World War II.

Oral History and the Federal Writers’ Project: Webcast of the Library of Congress event celebrating These Are Our Lives, with author Ann Banks and Virginia Millington from StoryCorps.

Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story features more from the award-winning film and bios of the main characters.

My work is featured in this video published by the California tech company Ezvid, among a handful of writers who portray the experience and effects of war.

    • Worlds of Sound: The Ballad of Folkways introduces the Smithsonian Channel documentary about the little record label that took on the big boys.
    • Music vs. Malaria: Online feature from Johns Hopkins Public Health about the African musicians who are helping in the fight against the deadly disease.

Visit David’s channel on

Radio and Podcasts

The People’s Recorder is a new podcast about storytelling under development with Spark Media, with grants from several state humanities councils. Watch this space.


  • Listen to David’s conversation with Sheilah Kast on the WYPR program On the Record, where they talk about the Baltimore roots of the story of sabotage and intrigue in Cork Wars. The book, she says, has “all the suspense of a novel.”
  • Soul of a People was featured on NPR, including an interview with David on All Things Considered.
  • Listen to a conversation about the Great Depression and Soul of a People with Marcus Smith, host of “Constant Wonder.”
  • Listen to a conversation about Ginseng, the Divine Root with Marcus Smith, host of “Constant Wonder.”
  • Hear a conversation about Cork Wars and other incidents when Plants Go to War, with Marcus Smith, host of “Constant Wonder.”
  • Check out David’s podcast appearances on Podchaser.


Fact Sheets and Downloads

  • Perspectives on Puerto Rico: FSA photographers Jack Delano and Edwin Rosskam dodged U boats to reach Puerto Rico on the eve of World War II. The images they got show an intriguing light on Puerto Rican life in the early 1940s. This is the story of how they took those photos, and how each fell in love with the island. From Américas magazine.
  • Getting to the Root of Ginseng: A new wrinkle in ginseng culture, the Smithsonian article that led to the book, Ginseng, the Divine Root. See also the Ginseng Fact Sheet.
  • When conflict affects forests: A look at the consequences — often surprising — when armed conflict involves forests. From the international forestry journal Unasylva.
  • Beyond Purdah: A look at how women in Bangladesh pioneered improved rural health, along with women’s rights. From WorldView magazine.