Several years ago, I reported on an excellent book  about how pianist Van Cliburn’s victory at Russia’s first Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 helped change the course of the Cold War. It was a revelation, but I didn’t realize that the culture battles of the Cold War were only one example of the role that…

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I almost decided not to do a podcast looking at 1919, even though it has been on my editorial calendar* since roughly this time last year. My friend Elizabeth Lunday is doing an amazing job looking at 1919 in detail and from many different directions on her podcast The Year That Was.  It is living…

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As those of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram know, one of the delights of my week in the summer is my Thursday morning trip to the farmers’ market. I chat with the vendors about the plums or the tomatoes or the asparagus, I load up on veggies for the coming week,…

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