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The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: An Interview with Dawn Raffel

About a year ago, I posted a review here in the Margins about a fabulous book: The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies. (I was not the only person who loved it. NPR named it one of 2018’s Great Reads and it made the New York…

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The Lady Who Invented Monopoly

Recently a long-time blog reader, named Jack French, reached out to me with a story for a blog post:  “Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie Phillips, the real inventor of Monopoly, not Charles Darrow, the guy history incorrectly credits as inventing this game”.  As anyone who has read more than a few posts here on the Margins can…

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Before Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll…

In Meredith Wilson’s 1957 hit musical The Music Man, con man Professor Harold Hill sings out about “ragtime, shameless music” as one of the pending disasters that threaten Riverside if the parents of the town don’t get their collective act together. It’s intended to be funny. In 1957, parents were facing new musical threats that…

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