Our next guest’s background is so fascinating – it is hard to know where to begin. Prize-winning novelist, playwright, theater director and actor Carey Harrison was born in London in February 1944, during the World War Two 'Blitz' that rained down bombs on the city. His parents, stage and screen actors Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer, brought him to Los Angeles when he was a year old, and then to New York when he was 5.

  Historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told that slavery and its expansion were central to the evolution and modernization of our nation in the 18th and 19th centuries, catapulting the US into a modern, industrial and capitalist economy. 

      Simon Winchester, The New York Times bestselling author of Atlanticand The Professor and the Madman delivers his first book about America.

The Men Who United the States is a fascinating history that illuminates the men who toiled to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of The United States of America.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

One of four remaining copies of the original Magna Carta is on display at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, surrounded by influential documents in American history.

  Renewed and vigorous debate over the death penalty has erupted as DNA testing has proven that many on death row are in fact innocent. In this debate, however, the guilty have been forgotten. In his new book, Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty, legal scholar Austin Sarat describes just how unquiet death by execution can be. If we assume a death row prisoner is guilty, how can we be sure that we are fulfilling the Supreme Court's mandate to ensure that his execution is "the mere extinguishment of life" and not a cruel and unusual punishment?

    Among the immortals—Leonardo, Rembrandt, Picasso—Michelangelo stands alone as a master of painting, sculpture, and architecture.

He was not only one of the greatest artists in an age of giants, but a man who reinvented the practice of art itself. Throughout his long career he clashed with patrons by insisting that he had no master but his own demanding muse and promoting the novel idea that it was the artist, rather than the lord who paid for it, who was creative force behind the work.

  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on the RT, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter. This morning we welcome the folks from NY Humanities to discuss the importance of remembering World War One through literature.

Wendy Galgan, Assistant Professor of English at St. Francis College joins us to discuss the New York Council for the Humanities' Our World Remade: WWI New Reading & Discussion Series.


  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we check in with the New York Council for the Humanities and learn about about the history of Freedom Summer - 50 years ago - and its importance today. We are joined by Dr. Emilye Crosby is a history professor at SUNY Geneseo and the coordinator of the Africana/Black Studies program. She has written A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County, Mississippi and edited Civil Rights History from the Ground Up: Local Struggles, a National Movement.

    On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood.

At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting his own religion and creating his own “Golden Bible”—the Book of Mormon—he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He’d led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for president. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women.

In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation—the doctrine of polygamy—created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride.

    From 1944 to 1946, as the world pivoted from the Second World War to an unsteady peace, Americans in more than two hundred cities and towns mobilized to chase an implausible dream. The newly-created United Nations needed a meeting place, a central place for global diplomacy—a Capital of the World.

But what would it look like, and where would it be? Author Charlene Mires share the history with us.