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74 Segments




American Culture's Impact on Micronesia

Writer P. F. Kluge. He was a Peace Corp volunteer in Micronesia, a group of 2000 islands in the Pacific. He's written a book, "Edge of Paradise," contrasting the exotic quality of this "lost paradise" with the worst aspects of American culture that the Micronesians seem to be drawn to.


A New CD of Sousa's Patriotic Marches

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews "The Original All-American Sousa," a collection of marches by John Philip Sousa that includes both new recordings and rare clips of Sousa himself from 70 years ago.


The Soviet Union's Motives for Brokering Peace with Iraq

Fred Halliday, professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, discusses some possible motives for the Soviet Union's attempt to find an end to the Gulf War -- including how these negotiations could affect relations with the United States. He'll also give us a primer on the history of the Soviet Union's relations with Iraq.


A Potential Strategy for an Inevitable War

Defense Correspondent for The Sunday Times of London James Adams gives his scenario for a war in the Gulf. Among other points, he says the war will be brief, and that Iraqis troops will be totally unprepared for the opening air assault.


A Jingoistic Film's Curious Timing

Film critic Stephen Schiff reviews the new movie, "Not Without My Daughter." It stars Sally Field and Alfred Molina and is based on the true story of an American woman and her daughter who are trapped in Iran after the Iranian revolution. Among the movie's many problems is its demonization of Muslims -- which, in light of the Gulf crisis, couldn't have come at a worse time.


Robert Bly on the Softening of American Manhood

Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews poet Robert Bly's new book Iron John, which explores what he sees as a crisis of masculinity affecting men today. She says it's a fascinating but far from perfect counterpoint to feminist writings of the 1970s and '80s.


Public Television is on a Roll with "Nixon"

Television critic David Bianculli reviews the new three-hour profile of the rise and fall of Richard Nixon, presented on the American Experience show. The documentary comes on the heels of Ken Burns' Civil War series, and continues PBS' streak of excellent programming.


Jack Barth Goes on an "American Quest"

The humor writer's new book details his travels across America to fulfill ten personal goals, including working at the world's largest McDonalds, finding and kissing 60s actress Tina Louise, and photographing his dog in front of Babe Ruth's tomb. His previous book is called Roadside America.


Tourist Attractions and the United States.

John F. Sears, author of "Sacred Places: American Tourist Attractions in the Nineteenth Century." Sears went back to magazines, fiction and painting of the 19th century to find out when and why tourism developed in this country. He says that natural wonders like Niagara Falls and Yellowstone were a substitute for the cathedrals of Europe, and that tourism gave Americans a way to shape their national identity. (Interview by Sedge Thomson)


Costa-Gavras Plays With Uncertainty in His New Film.

Academy Award-winning film director Costa-Gavras. His films include, "Z," "State of Seige," "Missing," and "Betrayed." His new film, "The Music Box," stars Jessica Lange as an attorney who must defend her Hungarian immigrant father against accusations of committing a series of war crimes.


The Bungled Anglicism

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg examines the epitome of Americans trying to cop some highbrow British style, using the word "shall" when they mean "will."


"Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture."

Commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews The Real Thing, by Miles Orvell. Corrigan says the book is one of those works that attempts to explain just about everything in terms of one theory. Orwell's theory is that American culture has been driven by the tension between imitation and the desire for authenticity.


American Attempts at Anglicism Gone Awry

Language commentator Geoff Nunberg says that Americans who incorporate British English into their speech and writing often use words and expressions incorrectly. For instance, most people don't understand that "shall" and "will" aren't interchangeable.


T. Coraghesson Boyle Reaches Beyond His Own Experience

Book critic Maureen Corrigan is no fan of minimalist literature, which she derides for its familiar, navel-gazing themes. By contrast, she admires T. Coraghesson's expansive, political, and historical fiction. Unfortunately, his approach is better suited to the novel, rather than the short stories in his latest collection, If the River Was Whiskey.


Journalist James Fallows on American and Asian Culture

Fallows writes for the Atlantic Monthly, and reports on Asia. His new book, More Like Us, examines the cultural differences between the United States and Asian countries, and argues that America needs to embrace its unique diversity -- and work to resolve class differences -- in order to reach its full potential.


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