To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
Gore Vidal has a special fondness for the Found Fathers,
especially George Washington. "The others were geniuses. He
was not a genius" he says, but "he had a powerful character
which got him through the revolution, since he was not much of a
general. But he was a great leader." We'll talk with Gore Vidal
in this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge.
Gore Vidal's been exploring American history
in his novels for half a century. Now he's published a book of
essays: "Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson."
Vidal tells Steve Paulson why he greatly admires the founding
fathers and why we don't have politicians like them today. Also,
we hear a bit of Stan Freberg's history of the United States.
Historian Garry Wills is the author of "Negro
President: Jefferson and the Slave Power." Wills tells Jim
Fleming the term "Negro President" had nothing to do
with Sally Hemings, Jefferson's slave mistress, but instead referred
to the three-fifths rule which gave Southern slave holders more
electoral votes. Wills details Jefferson's complex relationship
with slavery and says its legacy still haunts us. And we hear
a poem by Langston Hughes. Also, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
tells Anne Strainchamps that Colonial American women showed their
patriotism by learning how to weave. Making homespun meant they
weren't buying English cloth. Ulrich's book is "The Age of
The Reduced Shakespeare Company - Reed Martin,
Austin Tichenor and Matthew Croke perform the complete
history of the United States with their customary brevity and
Cassette copies are available
at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 04-07-04-A.
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich,
The Age of Homespun: objects and stories in the creation of
an American Myth (Knopf)
- Gore Vidal, Inventing a Nation:
Washington, Adams, Jefferson (Yale)
- Gary Wills, Negro President: Jefferson
and the Slave Power (Houghton Mifflin)
- After Gore Vidal:
"Declaration of Independence"
from "Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America"
- Music Option:
Dean Shostak w/ "The Star Spangled Banner"
- After Garry Wills:
Paul Robeson w/ "The House I Live In"
from "The Essential Paul Robeson"
- After Laurel Thatcher Ulrich:
John McCutcheon w/ "Piece by Piece"
from "Stored Ground"
- Music Option:
Carla Sciaky w/ "Spinning Wheel Song"
from "Spin the Weaver's Song"
- After Reduced Shakespeare Company:
Jimmy Smith w/ "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"
from "The Best of Jimmy Smith"
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