From Homer to Harry Potter, literary critic and philosopher Martin Puchner takes the reader on an epic journey through the history of literature, and so the history of humanity in The Written World, The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, and Civilization. This work is lively and accessible and Martin brings that energy to his conversation with Suzanne Lang.
A bunch of high school students are taken to see a movie that’s supposed to teach them about history. They don’t learn the history. But they learn a lot of other stuff instead.
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As the impacts of high-end tourism stir increasing debate in Healdsburg, a new exhibit at the local museum traces the history of that industry in the north county area.
The large display that greets visitors to the “Destination Healdsburg" exhibit is a detailed recreation of a block of the storefronts that faced the downtown plaza roughly 80 years ago. Curator Holly Hoods says it’s the work of a uniquely skilled volunteer.
Smooth surface areas on some large rocks on the Sonoma Coast might be a remnant of prehistoric animals rubbing against them, but definitive evidence to justify the popular name given to these Mammoth Rocks” has been elusive.
Since he began looking into this issue, the now-retired archeologist has found several other similarly polished rock surfaces not too far from his first discovery. And after a paper Parkman wrote about his explorations was published, he heard about still more such locations in other states.
A new film biography of 1960s songwriter and record producer Bert Berns is out to raise awareness of his behind-the-scenes contributions to popular music. It’s named for the record label Berns launched and ran: Bang.
Bert Berns drew a lot of attention within the record industry in New York during his short, intense career. He was already dead—in 1967, of a chronic heart condition, at age 38—when San Francisco music writer Joel Selvin began noticing Berns' body of work.
The old Cotati Cabaret had an enthusiastic fan base and a colorful history—one that ended rather abruptly in 1990. But this weekend, for one brief evening, the venue will open its doors once more.
The concert Sunday evening (details here) is a benefit for Live Music Lantern, a three year-old non-profit run by Elijah and Kaya Barntsen. he explains their dual purpose is all about expanding opportunities for people to hear live music.
Historian Kevin Starr, known for his 8-volume chronicle of the state of California, died last weekend. One of his last books was a short but comprehensive history of the Golden Gate Bridge, which he discussed in this archival North Bay Report from the summer of 2010.
As a native San Franciscan, Kevin Starr spent most of his life within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, and saw it from just about every possible perspective, even from below while swimming beneath the span. But there is one vantage point he never tried.
The Rolling Stones’ infamous 1969 free concert at the Altamont speedway has become mythologized as “the end of the 60s,” a symbolic counterweight to the romanticized images of peace, love and Woodstock. But a detailed new book from veteran San Francisco music writer Joel Selvin shows that the full story of the event is much more complicated.
Eighty-five years in 400 pages—with plenty of pictures included. That’s what entrepreneur, philanthropist and music lover Don Green has packed into his newly published memoir.
When Don Green elected to leave his position with the General post Office in London and venture into the business world, many of his then-associates were shocked, he recalls. But it was a pivotal and life-changing decision.
Almost 40 years ago, an unprecedented sit in at the Federal Building in San Francisco helped launch the nationwide disability rights movement. A special exhibit coming to SRJC details that historic turning point.
The mid-70s were a time when political activism was gaining momentum among people with disabilities, recalls Stan Kosloski, driven in large part by a change in the way they viewed themselves.
A well-known quote from Luther Burbank provides the title for “Santa Rosa: The Chosen Spot of all the Earth.” And most of the rest of the concise new video history of the city is locally sourced as well.
The process of making this film has also had a ripple effect benefiting the local history collections for area libraries and museums, explains Don Silverek.
Jack Kerouac’s On The Road had a literary antecedent written by another Jack 50 years earlier, The Road by Jack London. London scholar Jonah Raskin discussed the similarities in themes and in the two authors’ lives with Bruce Robinson back in September 2007, in this story from the North Bay Report archives.
They’re back! After a four-year absence, a pair of tall-masted wooden sailing ships will sail back into Bodega Bay Wednesday for a 5-day stay, offering public tours and excursions.
The Lady Washington’s companion vessel is actually older, and an original. The builder synthesized elements from several different historic ships to create the Hawaiian Chieftain, explains first mate Matthew Callen, but the first impression most modern observers have is “pirate ship.”
The past year has been a tough one for Marin County’s History Museum. Ongoing financial troubles and declining public trust led the historic institution to close its doors last year. But KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports the museum is looking to re-open this year...with an infusion of donated money and new leadership.
As director of the CIA during the early Cold War years, Allen Dulles was at the center of some of the most consequential moments in American History. And, writer David Talbot argues, our nation is the worse for that.
The core conflicts between Dulles and Kennedy—which have echoed along partisan lines down through the decades since—have their roots, David Talbot says, in two radically different world views.
The Running Fence, Sonoma County’s most iconic artwork, embodied some curious contradictions. It was public art created without public funds, and took ten times longer to erect that it actually stood. Yet despite—or perhaps because of that short physical existence, it lives on vividly, in both artifacts and memory.
While the Running Fence was striking and unusual, SSU Art History professor Michael Schwager says it can also be seen as part of the Earth Art movement that began in the mid-20th Century.
The Black Panthers may have been the most polarizing political movement in 1960s America. Current Santa Rosa resident Elbert “Big Man” Howard was one of their founding members, and recounts some of the group’s early history in today’s report.
Big Man Howard is also interviewed in the recent documentary film, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution (see the trailer below). He’ll be on hand to answer questions following a free public screening of the film at the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol, Monday night at 7 pm.
Down through human history and around the globe, there have been occasional times and places where creativity and innovation flourished. In The Geography of Genius, reporter Eric Weiner explores the conditions they share.
Former NPR journalist Eric Weiner says he elected to apply a geographic approach to his survey of creative clusters, because he hoped it would offer insights that more conventional analyses have missed.
John Trudell, who died Tuesday, was a poet, a soldier, a musician, and an outspoken activist for Native American issues. He spoke with KRCB during a North Bay visit several years ago, and today we revisit that archival North Bay Report.
Eloquent, impassioned and powerful, Trudell's words were his greatest strength, even in his music vidoes. See two examples below.