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153 Segments




Capturing the Atmosphere of the 1960s.

Writer Geoffrey O'Brien. His new book, Dream Time: Chapters from the Sixties, is an exploration of the phenomena of the 60s, from strobe lights and miniskirts to Be-Ins and Transcendental Meditation. O'Brien attempts to capture the cultural, social and political ferment of the era, as opposed to an objective, historical accounting. O'Brien is also the author of Hard Boiled America," a survey of paperback crime fiction.


The Life and Times of Today's High School Students

Fresh Air broadcasts a portion of Dmae Roberts's upcoming radio documentary, Waiting for the Great Leap Forward, produced for the Soundprint program. The feature includes interviews with teenagers about their attitudes toward school, relationships, drugs, and sex.


A Look at the "Cultural Hierarchy in America"

Historian Lawrence Levine's new book examines the split between high and low culture. He argues that one should look at cultural horizontally -- rather than vertically -- in order to see how different kinds of art and media interact with each other, and are consumed by different social groups.


A Former Radio Host Finds Personal Truths in Fiction

Garrison Keillor retired from the public radio show A Prairie Home Companion in 1987. He says he was overwhelmed by the celebrity, and wanted to focus on writing fiction. Keillor moved with his wife from his native St. Paul to New York City. His recent novel is called Leaving Home; a forthcoming collection of short stories is titled We Are Still Married.


Feminism Versus the New Traditionalism

Critic-at-large Laurie Stone says that recent advertisements, TV shows, and theater betray a cultural shift toward a new traditionalism that debases feminism and expects women to return to conventionally feminine roles.


A Celebration of "Believe-It-or-Not Literature"

Ted Schultz edited a new book called The Fringes of Reason, which compiles conflicting opinions of supernatural, New Age, and cosmological world views. Schultz is now studying entomology, which he says is related to his curiosity about what is and isn't real.


Harry Anderson Cons His Way On TV

Anderson was a street performer and con artist before he was cast in the first season of Cheers. That part eventually led to his role in the show Night Court. Anderson has a new book called Games You Can't Lose: A Guide for Suckers.


Exploring Personal Obsessions Through Radio Drama

Joe Frank produces the long-running program Work in Progress, which features improvised monologues and dramatic conversations about his fears and insecurities. Recently, Frank has been drawing inspiration from in-depth interview with his friends.


Which America Gets Through to the "East", and Which Gets Lost in Translation?

Writer Pico Iyer. His book Video Night in Kathmandu explores the subtle and often humorous Westernization of the Far East. Iyer, who reported for Time Magazine for four years, found the West's influence in mohawk haircuts in Bali, six Filipino girls doing a perfect rendition of a Madonna hit, Japan's baseball mania and a Chinese cafeteria that served dishes like "Yes, Sir, Cheese My Baby," and "Ike and Tuna Tuner." Video Night in Kathmandu has just been published in paperback. (Interview by Sedge Thomson)


Historicizing Popular Culture.

Commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews "Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture" by George Lipsitz. The book examines how our collective memory has been shaped by popular culture since World War 2.


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