Martin Fletcher – Promised Land: A Novel of Israel
Fiction / March 25, 2019

March 25, 2019 – In this episode, our time machine travels back to post-World War 2 Israel. When we arrive, we’ll follow its return to statehood — beset by enemies on three sides and their back against the sea on the fourth — through the eyes of two fictional brothers and the woman they love. Our guide on this journey is Martin Fletcher who brings us Promised Land: A Novel of Israel. In it, we meet characters shaped in very different ways by the darkness of the Holocaust. Peter protects Israel as an agent for the Mossad, his kid brother Arie builds it as a businessman — and then there’s Tamara, an alluring Jewish refugee from Egypt, seeking a new life in the reborn nation. The love triangle of these three vivid characters spans the first twenty years of Israel’s modern existence, as war, intrigues and jealousy threaten to tear their lives — and the struggling nation — apart. You’ve seen Martin Fletcher’s work as NBC News Bureau Chief in Tel Aviv and he’s earned recognition with the National Jewish Book Award, a Columbia University DuPont Award, several Overseas Press Club Awards, and five Emmys. His books include The War…

Joan E. Cashin – War Stuff: The Struggle for Human and Environmental Resources in the American Civil War
Civil War / March 11, 2019

March 11, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the American Civil War for a look at the toll paid by civilians and the countryside trampled under the boots, hooves and wagon wheels of rampaging armies. We’re all familiar with the devastation wrought on soldiers, but after a century-and-a-half, those sacrifices have become romanticized — and battlefields once soaked with blood and littered with corpses, are now pristine national parks. Here to catalog the loss of ordinary citizens who didn’t wear Confederate butternut or Union blue, is Dr. Joan Cashin, noted historian and author of the first full environmental history of the conflict. It’s titled War Stuff: The Struggle for Human and Environmental Resources in the American Civil War. Joan earned a B.A. from The American University and a Ph.D. from Harvard. Today, she is a Professor of History at the Ohio State University in addition to her duties as editor of Our Common Affairs: Texts from Women in the Old South. Her previous books include A Family Venture: Men and Women on the Southern Frontier and First lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis’s Civil War. She also edited the book War Matters: Material Culture in the Civil War…