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Episode 152: Brent J. Steele, Part II

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Release Date: 11/04/2019

Episode 194: Michael Gorra show art Episode 194: Michael Gorra

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Michael Gorra is a native of Connecticut who has taught at Smith College since the 1970s. A professor of English, his most recent book is The Saddest Words: William Faulkner's Civil War. This book builds on a career dedicated to examining writers such as Henry James and V. S. Naipaul. In Faulkner, Professor Gorra has tackled one of our most brilliant and baffling novelists. Raised on a steady diet of sci-fi, Michael entered college thinking he wanted to write novels. Or at least, he knew he didn't want to work in his father's fruit business. He ended up pursuing an English degree, though he he...

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Episode 193: Country Boy: The Roots of Johnny Cash show art Episode 193: Country Boy: The Roots of Johnny Cash

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Colin gives a sneak peak at his January 6 "Legacies and Lunch" talk for the Central Arkansas Public Library in Little Rock. His talk will be on his upcoming book Country Boy: The Roots of Johnny Cash, coming out in the fall of 2021 from the University of Arkansas Press. Country Boy seeks to reclaim Cash for Arkansas. In the book, Colin examines Cash's upbringing in rural Arkansas, his rise to stardom, and the memorable concerts he gave in his home state. These included the concerts for Winthrop Rockefeller in 1968, at Cummins prison farm in 1969, his 1976 show in Rison, and his final Arkansas...

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Episode 192: Alan Farrell show art Episode 192: Alan Farrell

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

It's not often that Colin has a poet warrior on the podcast. It's been twenty years since Dr. Farrell taught at Hampden-Sydney College, where he was a professor of modern languages. He spent 27 years at HSC before moving on to VMI, where he was fired from being a dean after he said the wrong thing to a "fat guy in an expensive suit." Nevertheless, he enjoyed a long tenure as a teacher at VMI before his retirement to Unlucky Mountain near Lexington, where he lives and rides motorcycles. Alan grew up in New Hampshire, went to prep school in Connecticut, graduated with a bachelor's from Trinity...

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Episode 191: Jean H. Baker show art Episode 191: Jean H. Baker

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Historian Jean Baker is a lifelong resident of Baltimore, so it makes sense that her most recent book is Building America: The Life of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Her book on Latrobe is only the latest in a long and productive career that began as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University. At Hopkins, she worked under the late, great, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Donald, whose students include Michael Holt, Robert Kenzer, and Bill Cooper (who have previously been on the podcast). True to her mentor's example, Dr. Baker's scholarship has combined political history and biography. Her...

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Episode 190: David Dixon show art Episode 190: David Dixon

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

David Dixon is the author of Radical Warrior: August Willich's Journey from German Revolutionary to Union General. Surprisingly, it is the first major biography of General Willich, whose life was the stuff of Hollywood movies. Willich was an aristocrat, born into a prominent family in Prussia. After growing up in the household of the philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher, Willich pursued a military education before joining the army. Thus began his interesting and unconventional military career. Willich took part in a rebellion in Germany amid the revolutions running through Europe in the late...

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Episode 189: Michael Scott and Friday the 13th show art Episode 189: Michael Scott and Friday the 13th

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Happy Halloween! Movie guru Michael Scott returns to the podcast to talk about his love for the Friday the 13th films. How did a low-budget 1980 horror movie spawn a franchise and draw in millions of fans? Is it all about the hockey mask? As it turns out, Michael's first foray into the series was Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives, which led him to devour the rest of the "Jason Movies." Michael has also read a few books on our friend Mr. Vorhees, including Crystal Lake Memories, written by author Peter M. Bracke. As Michael notes, Jason not only inspired numerous splatter flicks, the Friday...

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Episode 188: John Lingan show art Episode 188: John Lingan

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

A native of Maryland, John Lingan's first book is Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of Mountain-Top Honky Tonk, which examines the northern Virginia town of Winchester. Winchester is known largely for two things: the Civil War and being the birthplace of Patsy Cline. But as John's book shows, just as compelling are the stories of more recent inhabitants, including chefs, writers, and store owners. Homeplace shows how people in 21st century South are trying to make a living in a region undergoing severe political and economic change. Homeplace builds upon John's...

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Episode 187: James MacDonald show art Episode 187: James MacDonald

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Once again, Colin plays "Six Degrees of Court Carney," this time with fellow LSU veteran and historian James MacDonald. As is the case with Colin, James is a Damn Yankee who moved to the South as an adult and has never looked back. Oh, and like Colin, he married a southerner. James teaches at Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches (pronounced "Nackadish"), a town so southern that it was the setting for the film Steel Magnolias. James talks about the teaching life, including how to cope with educating during the pandemic, wrestling with technology, what it's like to handle a...

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Episode 185: Carytown Blues show art Episode 185: Carytown Blues

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

American Rambler talks about some new albums he got at Plan 9 Records in in Carytown in Richmond. Carytown seems to be losing businesses steadily, but Plan 9, thankfully, is still open. Yesterday, Colin picked up music from Margo Price, Blaze Foley, King Curtis, and King Biscuit Boy. The band County Kitchen takes us out with the song "Devil Dog," set in the old blues town of Helena, Arkansas.

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Episode 186: Wayne Edmondson show art Episode 186: Wayne Edmondson

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Wayne Edmondson is a high school teacher living in northern Louisiana. He and Colin are old friends and survivors of the LSU grad program in history. Colin stayed to finish his dissertation, but Wayne took a different path. In addition to studying at LSU, he's played in a rock band, been a sonar technician on a nuclear sub, surveyor in the Gulf of Mexico, funeral home assistant, disaster relief worker after Hurricane Katrina, and sweated out desert days as a contractor working on military bases in Iraq.  Wayne talks about growing up in Louisiana, grad school, and seeing one of his...

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More Episodes

In part two of Colin's talk with Brent J. Steele, Brent discusses his newest book, Restraint in International Politics, which is available from Cambridge University Press. And with several decades of college life between them, Colin and Brent talk about striking a good balance between work and life. How do you get scholarship done while also being a responsible family person? What changes will you have to make in your creative process? Are your days of third-shift writing over? Probably, but there are other ways of being productive.

In the intro, Colin talks about the World Series and how the Nat's were the team of destiny for reasons involving baby sharks, dancing, and Donald Trump.