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Best of the Book Nook: Winifred Gallagher And James Lee Burke

"How the Post Office Created America: A History" by Winifred Gallagher

The United States Postal Service has gone through some troubled times over the course of that institution's long history. This essential service is still one of the most important organizations in America. The U.S. Post Office became the U.S. Postal Service after a reorganization that took place under President Richard M. Nixon almost 50 years ago.

The postal system was never designed to make a profit and with the monumental pension obligations the USPS currently is dealing with there's little chance it will ever make a profit again. But then, that's not the reason that it exists. It forms an enormous, intricate web of connections that have held this country together since the middle of the 19th century and it is just as crucial today.

Our current president is not being very supportive of this government entity. He is impeding funding for it and he just appointed a postmaster general who can be described as one his cronies. Under these current circumstances I decided to replay my interview with Winifred Gallagher for her book "How the Post Office Created America: A History." I consider it to be essential reading about this incredibly valuable and totally irreplaceable delivery service.

And if you listen to the entire interview you'll get a bonus, an interview I did some years ago with James Lee Burke for his book "Last Car to Elysian Fields."

"Last Car to Elysian Fields" by James Lee Burke
(original recording made in 2003)

In 2003 James Lee Burke still went on book tours and he was headed to Yellow Springs to see me when something happened that delayed him. We ended up doing the interview by cell phone. Jim was in a moving car being driven by his wife Pearl when I talked to him that day about his Dave Robicheaux novel "Last Car to Elysian Fields." I have done many interviews with Jim over the years and this remains one of my favorites.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.


Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.