Blue Gold: American Jeans is a feature-length documentary about how one unlikely garment ended up connecting us all. Following vintage jeans hunter Eric Schrader around the world, Blue Gold searches for the reason we all wear blue mining pants from the late 1800s.
An ambassador of Americana, Eric trades in the history, myth, and intrinsic values that have made blue jeans the most expensive and fetishized piece of vintage clothing on the planet. From fashion history and subculture aspiration to the lost tradition of American manufacturing, Blue Gold explores Americana in our globalized world, where cultural exchange and social responsibility demand greater transparency and inspire innovation.
Blue Gold: American Jeans will have its festival premiere at The Berkshire International Film Festival this weekend -- screening at 11:30am on Saturday at The Beacon in Pittsfield and again at 11:30am on Sunday at The Triplex in Great Barrington.
With insights gained from original scholarship and an unusual breadth of experience in finance and government, Bill White distils practical lessons from the nation's five previous spikes in debt. America's Fiscal Constitution is an entertaining and objective guide for people trying to make sense of the current and most dangerous debt crisis.
Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was renowned as the most beautiful woman of nineteenth-century Baltimore. Her marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, became inextricably bound to the diplomatic and political histories of the United States, France, and England.
In Wondrous Beauty, Carol Berkin tells the story of this audacious, outsized life.
Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld join us to discuss their controversial book of The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America
Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control—these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success.
Growing up in a small river town in Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her: “Indifference to history—that’s why you Americans seem so naïve and don’t really know where you’re from.”
In her new memoir, Flyover Lives, Johnson explores the Midwest and the family’s history. In digging around, she discovered letters and memoirs written by generations of stalwart pioneer ancestors.
Historian Lincoln Paine has just written a monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human.
In his book, Sea and Civilization: A Maitime History of the World, Lincoln Paine takes us back to the origins of long-distance migration by sea with our ancestors’ first forays from Africa and Eurasia to Australia and the Americas.
In 2008, Oscar-nominated film director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs) decided to take an active role in helping fix what’s wrong in American public education.
He learned that there are five keys to closing America’s achievement gap. But just as we must do several things to maintain good health— eat the right foods, exercise regularly, get a good night’s sleep—so too must we use all five keys to turn around our lowest-performing schools. These five keys are used by all the schools that are succeeding, and no schools are succeeding without them. He joins us to tell us more.
Standing on the weatherworn shores of the Alaskan coast, Pulitzer Prize winning author Philip Caputo watched Eskimo schoolchildren pledge allegiance to the same flag as the children of Cuban immigrants in Key West, six thousand miles away, and began to wonder: How does the United States, as diverse as it is large, remain united?
In 2011, in a nation mired in war abroad and rocked by the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, Caputo loaded his wife and two English setters into an Airstream camper and hit the open road in search of answers.
Captuo’s The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean follows the epic 4 month road trip that lead the couple down country roads, meeting Americans from all walks of life.
Philip Caputo is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including A Rumor of War.
Texas may well be America’s most controversial state. Evangelicals dominate the halls of power, millions of its people live in poverty, and its death row is the busiest in the country. Skeptical outsiders have found much to be offended by in the state’s politics and attitude. And yet, according to journalist (and Texan) Erica Grieder, the United States has a great deal to learn from Texas.
She joins us to speak about her new book, Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas.
Americans cherish their national myths, some of which predate the country’s founding. But the time for illusions, nostalgia, and grand ambition abroad has gone by, according to journalist Patrick Smith in his new book, Time No Longer.
He says Americans are now faced with a choice between a mythical idea of themselves, their nation, and their global “mission,” on the one hand, and on the other an idea of America that is rooted in historical consciousness.