The Bronx is calling

July 6th, 2014
55555_1.jpgWhether you grew up in a big city or a small town, if you moved away and then went back to visit, years later, everything had probably changed.  

It probably triggered a kind of nostalgia that both made everything old new again, and at the same time reminded us that often the best way to go home again, is really in our imagination.

For Avery Corman, returning to the Bronx was not just an exercise in nostalgia, it was also a look at how the world and all of us have changed over the past half century. Corman details he experiences in My Old Neighborhood Remembered: A Memoir

My conversation with Avery Corman: 

The tangled roots of American independence

July 4th, 2014
uc006330.jpgHistory is a funny thing.  Time goes by, books are written  and we think we know all there is to know about a particular time and place.  Yet the complexity we sometimes feel about ourselves and about modern life, is no less true for history.

The true interpretation of motives and events we thought we knew, is always evolving and surprising us.  This it is certainly true with with respect to our own American revolution.  

As we try to understand other revolutions and the yearning for independence in other parts of the world, perhaps we can better understand, when we see more clearly, our own history.

Thomas P. Slaughter has done this for the American Revolution in Independence: The Tangled Roots of the American Revolution

My conversation with Thomas P Slaughter:

Why we love our Vodka

July 2nd, 2014
vodka.jpgWe eat candy bars, because it’s a tastier sugar delivery system than just eating sugar granules.  Some smoke cigarettes, because it was once seen as a status form of nicotine delivery.  Chewing tobacco just didn’t have same kind of image.

In many respects, we drink vodka for the same reason. It’s a colorless, odorless, and some argue tasteless alcohol delivery system. Think of it as the alcohol equivalent of soy.  It takes on the flavor of what’s added to it.

Given this, why is it so popular and so lucrative? Why has it become America’s spirit.
Journalist Victorino Matus looks deep into the bottle to try and find out how Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America.

My conversation with Victorino Matus