We remember Ed Abbey, author of “The Monkey Wrench Gang” and “Desert Solitaire,” and consider his legacy. What is Abbey's relevance today? What is the status of the environmental movement today? We’ll talk about Abbey's political philosophies, rooted in traditions of anarchism and civil disobedience, the rise of Earth First! out of Abbey's writings, and "monkeywrenching" today, including Abbey’s influence on activists like Tim DeChristopher.
In his book, “The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society,” Notre Dame History Professor Brad Gregory shows how the unsolved doctrinal disagreements and religious and political conflicts of 16th- and 17th-century Europe continue to influence American political, social, intellectual, and economic life today.
He asks what propelled the West into a trajectory of pluralism, polarization and consumerism, and finds answers deep in our medieval Christian past.
Forget the royal baby and Suri Cruise. Meet Quinoa, a viral sensation and star of the popular Pinterest board, My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter. Quinoa is a trendy, fashion-forward girl who, when she’s not hanging out with her BFFs Chevron and Aioli, is teaching the world about proper parenting, fashion and accessorization, etiquette for play dates, and much more.
In the fifth century BC, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote of a high plateau in a mountainous region where there were gold-digging ants. This launched the myth of Tibet as a place of beauty, riches and peace. University of Cambridge Professors, Lezlee Brown Halper and Stefan Halper, were invited to visit Tibet in 1997 as guests of the Chinese government. The only way to see the place while they were there was to sneak out of their hotel window, past their Chinese guards at 3 a.m. They were shocked by the real Tibet they encountered: a 180 degree departure from the myth.
M. B. McLatchey is recipient of the May Swenson Poetry Award for “The Lame God,” a collection of powerful poems on a very sensitive subject: the kidnap and murder of a young girl. Using the art of poetry she gives voice to a suffering—and a love—that might otherwise go unheard. Philip Brady says of this collection, “in magisterial cadences, this powerful poetic sequence gives voice to the unspeakable and transposes profound grief into immortal song. McLatchey's poems are talismans and spells--not against loss but against forgetting.
On Wednesday’s AU we’ll revisit our conversation from January with Jared Farmer whose latest book is “Trees in Paradise: A California History.” In addition to California, we’ll talk about Utah history, and Farmer will offer his list of iconic Utah trees as well. California now has more trees than at any time since the late Pleistocene. This green landscape, however, is not the work of nature. It's the work of history. In the years after the Gold Rush, American settlers remade the California landscape, harnessing nature to their vision of the good life.
What’s on your nightstand or in your beach bag? Periodically we come together as a UPR community to build a reading list. And It’s time once again. We want to know what you’re reading, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, classic literature, young adult or children’s books. You may have discovered a great read that we’d enjoy. You can post your book list to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-826-1495 during Access Utah Tuesday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Elaine Thatcher will join Tom Williams for the program; and we’ll check in with Catherine Weller from Weller Book Works in SLC and other booksellers.
Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture, made public parks an essential part of American life and forever changed our relationship with public open spaces. He was co-designer of Central Park, head of the first Yosemite commission, leader of the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, designer of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, site planner for the Great White City of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, planner of Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” of green space, and of park systems in many other cities.
Olmsted’s design of the public parks and parkway systems in Buffalo, New York, is the oldest coordinated system in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. His efforts to preserve nature created an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics. “Olmsted has a double legacy," says writer Adam Gopnik. "On the one hand, he’s a super pragmatist; he’s a problem solver. At the same time, he’s a dreamer. What his parks are all about is finding immensely practical solutions to the problem of building a dream in the middle of a city."
My show is ending next week, so it’s appropriate that this week I feature the blues, with new releases from the legendary Bobby Rush, and the powerhouse writer Deanna Bogart. I’ll also play songs from new discs by Liz Kennedy, Lucky Peterson, and Tommy Malone, among other talented artists. Join me and listen this Saturday at 8pm, for Fresh Folk, on Utah Public Radio.