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Book cover artwork for "The Secret History of Home Economics"
W. W. Norton & Company

The term “home economics” may conjure traumatic memories of lopsided hand-sewn pillows or sunken muffins. But common conception obscures the story of the revolutionary science of better living. The field exploded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by reducing domestic work and providing jobs as professors, engineers, chemists, and businesspeople. And it has something to teach us today.

In "The Secret History of Home Economics," Danielle Dreilinger traces the field’s history from Black colleges to Eleanor Roosevelt to Okinawa, from a Betty Crocker brigade to DIY techies. These women (and they were mostly women) became chemists and marketers, studied nutrition, health, and exercise, tested parachutes, created astronaut food, and took bold steps in childhood development and education.

Danielle Dreilinger is a former New Orleans Times-Picayune education reporter and a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow. She also wrote for the Boston Globe and worked at the Boston NPR station WGBH.

Book cover for "The Girl from the Channel Islands"
Harper Collins

Inspired by true events, "The Girl from the Channel Islands" by Jenny Lecoat tells the riveting story of a young Jewish woman trapped on the occupied island of Jersey during World War II.

In June 1940, the Channel Islands are occupied by Hitler’s forces. Hedy Bercu is a young Jewish woman who fled from Vienna to escape the Anschluss. She finds herself once more trapped by the Nazis, on the tiny island of Jersey. Concealing her racial status, Hedy finds work with the German authorities as a translator and embarks on acts of resistance.

Book cover for "No Common Ground"
The University of North Carolina Press

When it comes to Confederate monuments, there is no common ground. Polarizing debates over their meaning have intensified into legislative maneuvering to preserve the statues, legal battles to remove them, and rowdy crowds taking matters into their own hands. These conflicts have raged for well over a century--but they've never been as intense as they are today.

In "No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice," Karen L. Cox depicts what these statues meant to those who erected them and how a movement arose to force a reckoning. 

Book cover for "Eternal"
G.P. Putnam's Sons

Unfolding over decades, Lisa Scottoline’s new novel "Eternal" is a saga of loyalty and loss, family and food, love and hate - all set in one of the world's most beautiful cities at its darkest moment.

Scottoline has been researching the Italian Holocaust since her undergraduate days when she took an intimate year-long seminar at the University of Pennsylvania taught by the late Philip Roth called “The Literature of the Holocaust,” studying the work of Primo Levi, among others.

Following that course, she knew that someday she’d write about these events. Her background as an Italian-American, a lawyer, and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School fueled her interest in the subject. After she conducted decades of research, including numerous trips to Italy, "Eternal" was born.

Star D'Angelo is the new executive director of the Hart Cluett Museum in Troy, NY.
Provided photo

The Hart Cluett Museum in Troy, New York has tapped an industry veteran as its new executive director. Star D’Angelo, who most recently served as director of philanthropy and strategic initiatives at the Palace Performing Arts Center in Albany, takes over for Karin Krasevac-Lenz, who retired earlier this year.

Artwork for Celtic dreams concert
albanypromusic.org

The Musicians of Ma’alwyck is partnering with Albany Pro Musica in a concert of traditional Celtic and American music this weekend. The program features choral and instrumental arrangements of beloved folk music from both sides of the Atlantic and can be seen on WMHT-TV or online.

And then online - after the concert – there will be a special discussion with local experts about the artistic and economic legacy, in the Capital Region and beyond, of immigrants from Ireland and across the British Isles. Rex Smith moderates a lively conversation with former state assembly member and Albany historian Jack McEneny, Dr. Elizabeth Stack, executive director of the Irish American Heritage Museum, and cultural and linguistic anthropologist Jennifer Crowley of the University at Albany. We welcome José Daniel Flores-Caraballo, Opalka Family Artistic Director of Albany Pro Musica; Rex Smith, APM Board Member; and Jack McEneny, Guest Panelist.

A COVID-19 vaccination site at the University at Albany
Jesse King / WAMC

It was on March 1, 2020 that New York state confirmed the first case of a novel coronavirus that would eventually change everyday life across the United States and the world. So how will history treat this COVID-19 era? Since early 2020, Madison County Historian Matt Urtz has been compiling a timeline of key events and personal stories in hopes of chipping away at that monumental task.

The new book "400 Souls" is a unique one volume community history of African Americans. The editors Ibram X. Kendi and Keyshia Blaine have assembled 90 brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five year period of that 400 year span.

The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives. Through the eyes of towering historical icons are the untold stories of ordinary people through places laws and objects.

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-- Berkshire Ollie Event Info -- 

"The King of Rock and Roll" was born 86-years ago today. Elvis Presley is one of the most revolutionary cultural icons of the 20th century, his musical legacy continues to rock the world today.

So, on his birthday, Roselle Kline Chartock is here to tell us about her new book "The Jewish World of Elvis Presley." Despite growing up in a fundamentalist Christian family in the Deep South - an area sometimes known for its anti-Semitism - Elvis Presley nevertheless developed a deep affinity to Jews.

This book looks to answer the questions: What accounted for this deep affinity? And what was the nature of the personal relationships Elvis developed with the Jews he befriended in Memphis - including merchants and members of his inner circle, the Memphis Mafia - and those he met in the music and movie industries?

Book cover for "The Last Million"
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/ / http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/

Historian David Nasaw’s new book, "The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War," turns his attention to the gripping yet until now largely hidden story of the one million refugees left behind in Germany following the end of World War II.

Book cover for "Break it Up" by Richard Kreitner
Little Brown and Company / www.littlebrown.com

The United States has never lived up to its name—and never will. The disunionist impulse may have found its greatest expression in the Civil War, but as "Break It Up" by Richard Kreitner shows, the seduction of secession wasn’t limited to the South or the nineteenth century. It was there at our founding and has never gone away.

Kreitner is a contributing writer to The Nation. He is the author of "Booked: A Traveler’s Guide to Literary Locations Around the World."

Book cover artwork for "Cassandra Speaks"
harpercollins.com / harpercollins.com

Co-founder of the Omega Institute, Elizabeth Lesser, believes that if women’s voices had been equally heard and respected throughout history, humankind would have followed different hero myths and guiding stories—stories that value caretaking, champion compassion, and elevate communication over vengeance and violence. She joined us to talk about her new book, "Cassandra Speaks."

By the time of his assassination in 1963, John F. Kennedy stood at the helm of the greatest power the world had ever seen, a booming American nation that he had steered through some of the most perilous diplomatic standoffs of the Cold War.

Born in 1917 to a striving Irish American family that had become among Boston’s wealthiest, Kennedy knew political ambition from an early age, and his meteoric rise to become the youngest elected president cemented his status as one of the most mythologized figures in American history.

Fredrik Logevall is Laurence Belfer Professor of International Affairs and professor of history at Harvard University. He has spent much of the last decade searching for the “real” JFK. His new book is "JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956."

Last year, a best-selling author Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch wrote "The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington," a best-seller that was praised by critics, historians, and two U.S. presidents for its research and propulsive narrative.

Now Meltzer and Mensch return to uncover another fascinating episode previously lost to history in the new book, "The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President and Why it Failed." In our current climate of uncertainty and fear, the book is a reminder of the capacity for American greatness in the form of one of its most lauded and inspirational heroes, Abraham Lincoln.

The final volume of Ian Toll’s definitive history of the Pacific War, "Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945," comes on the 75th anniversary of the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay marking the formal close of World War II.

It is narrative history, full of drama and the texture of lived reality, of decisions and actions with consequences. The book encompasses all aspects of the war, bringing each into focus, arresting both the heroic and tragic, the powerful and powerless, diplomat and warrior, sailor and admiral, American and Japanese, winner and loser - one that by its conclusion had transformed the future of the 20th century and beyond.

Ian Toll’s past books include the New York Times bestseller "The Conquering Tide," "Pacific Crucible," and "Six Frigates."

According to Dissent Magazine, Joshua Bennett is “one of the most impressive voices in poetry today… quietly building a reputation as one the brightest intellectual and political thinkers of a new generation.” Bennett’s new collection, "OWED," perfectly melds his apt social and political commentary with the warmth and familiarity of the human experience.

This collection serves as an open letter to the people, places, and objects that have colored Bennett’s past and led to his present. Bennett’s primary concern is how we might mend the relationship between ourselves and the things that we have been taught to think of as insignificant.

In "OWED," Bennett speaks to the expansive range of registers within the world of black aesthetics and experience: the joy, rage, love, terror, and awe that gives a world within a world all its shape and tenor.

In his new book "Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History," Kurt Andersen asks the question: When did America give up on fairness? The bestselling author of "Fantasyland" tells the history of how America decided that big business gets whatever it wants, only the rich get richer, and nothing should ever change and charts a way back to the future.

Joe Donahue: Steve Shenkin's book "Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal- The World's Most Dangerous Weapon" was a National Book Award finalist, a Newbery Honor book and really required reading for anyone who is interested in what happened in 1945, with the dropping of the atomic bomb. 

Joe Donaue: Megha Majumdar's debut novel "A Burning" is about three characters whose lives become entwined after a terrorist attack in India. It is taut, electrifying, and dazzling. Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums determined to move up in life who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely is an irresistible outcast who has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything that she holds dear. Megha Majumdar grew up in Kolkata, India and studied social anthropology at Harvard and Johns Hopkins. She is currently an editor at Catapult. This is her first novel. 

Joe Donahue: Welcome to The Book Show, a celebration of reading and writers. I'm Joe Donohue. In Sue Monk Kidd's, new novel, "The Book of Longing", she imagines a young woman named Ana, who becomes the wife of Jesus. The novel explores many of the signature themes in Kidd's fiction: feminism, the search for self, the quest for one's voice and purpose, and the power of female community. In particular, this novel explores the longings and virtuosities in women, as well as their silencing and marginalization within Western religion. The story evokes a seminal question: how would the world be different if Jesus had had a wife? Sue Monk Kidd's debut, "The Secret Life of Bees" spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, it has sold more than 6 million copies. Her other novels include "The Mermaid Chair" and "The Invention of Wings". Again, the latest is "The Book of Longings". 

Schenectady County Historical Society

The COVID-19 outbreak has already proven to be a significant event in world history. And now one local organization wants to collect and preserve the stories of ordinary people living through it. 

The Hart Cluett Museum’s ‘The Way We Work(ed)’ exhibit, will open to the public tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.The exhibit was organized by The Hart Cluett Museum in collaboration with the Smithsonian as part of a pilot project to develop a unique humanities-based exhibition about local work history. The museum is one of just 10 museums in the United States chosen through a competitive selection process.

The exhibit is divided into four sections: “Where We Work,” “How We Work,” “Who Works?” and “Why We Work.” An advisory panel consisting of more than two dozen area professionals from widely different facets of the region’s workplaces was assembled to provide a contemporary perspective on the ever-changing nature of work. The panel included experts from backgrounds in technology, construction, agriculture, education and workforce development, among others.

Stacy Pomeroy Draper, the Curator of the Hart Cluett Museum joins us this morning.

Erik Larson is known for expertly transporting readers to past worlds; even stories we think we know come to life in a different way in his hands.

His latest, “The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz,” takes us into the heart of war-torn England for the period of May 10, 1940, through May 10, 1941, which was Winston Churchill’s first year as prime minister.

From the dinosaurs and the glaciers to the first native peoples and the first European settlers, from Dutch and English Colonial rule to the American Revolution, from the slave society to the Civil War, from the robber barons and bootleggers to the war heroes and the happy rise of craft beer pubs, the Hudson Valley has a deep history.

“The Hudson Valley: The First 250 Million Years” chronicles the Valley’s rich and fascinating history and charms. Often funny, sometimes personal, always entertaining, this collection of essays offers a unique look at the Hudson Valley’s most important and interesting people, places, and events.

Mary Jo McConahay is an award-winning reporter who covered the wars in Central America and economics in the Middle East. She has traveled in seventy countries and has been fascinated by the history of World War II since childhood, when she listened to the stories of her father, a veteran U.S. Navy officer.

In her new book, "The Tango War" she fills an important gap in WWII history.

Beginning in the thirties, both sides were well aware of the need to control not just the hearts and minds but also the resources of Latin America. The fight was often dirty: residents were captured to exchange for U.S. prisoners of war and rival spy networks shadowed each other across the continent. At all times it was a Tango War, in which each side closely shadowed the other’s steps.

Ruta Sepetys is an internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a "crossover" novelist, as her books are read by both teens and adults worldwide.

In her latest work, "The Fountains of Silence," Sepetys shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in a novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.

New York Times columnist Gail Collins has written a new book on a subject that is timelier than ever: women and aging in America. Author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers “When Everything Changed” and “America’s Women,” Collins was the first woman to serve as the editorial page editor on the New York Times.

Her new book is “No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History.”

Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education in Cambridge, New York is in the midst of The Susan B. Anthony Project - a yearlong community and artistic collaboration to create a new play with music about Susan B. Anthony, Mary Hubbard and their time together at Hubbard Hall.

Hubbard Hall’s also has a new partnership with The Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn and the participating residency artists will present showcases of their works-in-progress over the next few weeks.

David Snider is the Executive & Artistic Director of Hubbard Hall.

Alice Hoffman’s latest book is a bittersweet parable about the costs of survival and the behaviors that define humanity. “The World That We Knew” is set in Berlin in 1941. It follows the lives of three women who become intertwined in order to survive the dangers of the Nazi regime.

This is an Off The Shelf edition of The Book Show, recorded in Saratoga Springs in an event presented by Northshire Bookstore.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents "What The Jews Believe" at The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts through October 20. The play is presented in association with The American National Theatre

Dave and his family still live in the old home built by his father in rural Central Texas, and they are still the only Jewish family in town. His son Nathan feels isolated attempting to understand the family’s beliefs, while his wife Rachel faces an even greater crisis of faith. Meanwhile, Dave struggles to maintain a sense of normalcy for his searching family.

Written and directed by Mark Harelik, "What the Jews Believe" is a poignant story about the loss of faith and the journey to find it.

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