Beth Bailey, “America’s Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force” (Harvard UP, 2009)
The United States Army is a product of our society and its values (for better and for worse), but it also makes claims to shape our society – and of course to defend it. What is the relationship between military service and citizenship? How do we as Americans balance the... Read More
James Fleming, “Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control” (Columbia UP, 2010)
In the summer of 2008 the Chinese were worried about rain. They were set to host the Summer Olympics that year, and they wanted clear skies. Surely clear skies, they must have thought, would show the world that China had arrived. So they outfitted a small army (50,000 men) with... Read More
Nick Reding, “Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town” (Bloomsbury, 2009)
In 1980 I left Kansas to go to college in Iowa. A lot of things caught my attention about Iowa, for example, that the people really are very nice. I also noticed that there were a lot of drugs. One of them was “crystal methamphetamine,” or “crystal meth” for short.... Read More
Colin Gordon, “Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008)
This week we have Professor Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa on the show talking about his new book Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). Professor Gordon is the author of two previous monographs, Dead on Arrival: The Politics... Read More
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