influence | WAMC

influence

David Rohde, two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, is an executive editor of The New Yorker website and a former Reuters, New York Times, and Christian Science Monitor reporter.

Three-quarters of Americans believe that a group of unelected government and military officials secretly manipulate or direct national policy in the United States. President Trump blames the "deep state" for his impeachment. But what is the American "deep state" and does it really exist?

Megan Angelo’s new novel, “Followers,” is an electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the stunning moment that changes the world as we know it forever

In the novel, Orla Cadden is a budding novelist stuck in a dead-end job, writing clickbait about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Then Orla meets Floss, a striving, wannabe A-lister, who comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they dream about. So, what if Orla and Floss’s methods are a little shady and sometimes people get hurt? Their legions of followers can’t be wrong.

Megan Angelo’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour and Elle, among other publications. "Followers" is her debut novel.

The view from The Bell Tower at Olana - glasses less peaked windows in the foreground and a view of the Hudson River Valley below - a green landscape and an overcast sky
Sarah LaDuke

In Frederic Church’s Ombra: Architecture in Conversation with Nature” is a new exhibition on view at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, New York. Hudson River School painter Frederic Church worked with Central Park architect Calvert Vaux to create Olana’s main house. Their design incorporated vast Hudson Valley views. A key space in Olana’s main house design is the “Ombra”, an outdoor room which is a transition zone between the central Court Hall and the surrounding landscape. In the new exhibition, several architects have paired with visual artists and other designers to develop their concepts and treatments regarding the indoor-outdoor spaces at Olana.

The exhibition is guest-curated by Barry Bergdoll, the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University and a curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Featured speakers from our visit to Olana, in addition to Barry Bergdoll: Senior Vice President and Landscape Curator at The Olana Partnership, Mark Prezorski; Jennifer Sage, one of the architects who created work for “In Frederic Church’s Ombra: Architecture in Conversation with Nature,” Sage and Coombe Architects is located in New York City and led by Jennifer Sage and Peter Coombe; and Stan Allen, an architect working in the Hudson River Valley and George Dutton ’27 Professor of Architecture at Princeton University.

“In Frederic Church’s Ombra: Architecture in Conversation with Nature” is on view through November 3, 2019.

For years, Michelle LeClair, former President of Scientology's international humanitarian organization, tried to reconcile her sexual orientation with the anti-gay ideology of the church. Michelle finally ended her marriage, found the love of her life, a woman, and ultimately left the Church.

But the split comes at a price. Her once pristine reputation is publicly dragged through the mud, the police raid her home, her ex-husband tries to gain full custody of their children, and the multi-million dollar business she built from scratch is destroyed.

In her new memoir, "Perfectly Clear," Michelle LeClair offers an insider's perspective on Scientology's pervasive influence, secret rituals, and ruthless practices for keeping members in line.

Niall Ferguson is one of the world's most renowned historians. He is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. His many awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).

In his new book, "The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook," Ferguson points out that though the 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks, networks have always been with us.

Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. 

The production of culture was once the domain of artists, but beginning in the early 1900s, the emerging fields of public relations, advertising and marketing transformed the way the powerful communicate with the rest of us. A century later, the tools are more sophisticated than ever, the onslaught more relentless. 

In Culture as Weapon, acclaimed curator and critic Nato Thompson reveals how institutions use art and culture to ensure profits and constrain dissent--and shows us that there are alternatives.

Throughout its history America has been torn in two by debates over ideals and beliefs. In The Book That Changed America​, Randall Fuller takes us back to one of those turning points, in 1860, with the story of the influence of Charles Darwin’s just-published On the Origin of Species on five American intellectuals, including Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, the child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, and the abolitionist Franklin Sanborn.  

Each of these figures seized on the book’s assertion of a common ancestry for all creatures as a powerful argument against slavery, one that helped provide scientific credibility to the cause of abolition.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers. This week’s composer is Ludwig van Beethoven.

  In his new book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, Jonah Berger explores the subtle, secret influences that affect the decisions we make—from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat.

Without our realizing it, other people’s behavior has a huge influence on everything we do at every moment of our lives, from the mundane to the momentous occasion. Even strangers have a startling impact on our judgments and decisions: our attitudes toward a welfare policy shift if we’re told it is supported by Democrats versus Republicans (even though the policy is the same in both cases).

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Defiant and emotional, Connecticut House Speaker Christopher Donovan denies that he did anything wrong as federal investigators look into his congressional campaign's finances.

Donovan held a sidewalk news conference Sunday evening outside his campaign office in Meriden.

Federal prosecutors had announced Thursday that Donovan's campaign finance manager had been arrested for allegedly conspiring with others to hide the source of $20,000 in campaign contributions.