WYSO

Books - Non-Fiction

During the 1850s rural Athens County, Ohio was briefly a center for some spiritualist activities. The spiritualism movement had begun to sweep across America during the late 1840's and Jonathan Koons became something of a rock star on the scene as he demonstrated his psychic powers for hundreds and possibly thousands of people who made the difficult journey to his farm in southeast Ohio to spend time in his spirit room.

A century ago the suffragettes who were trying to win the right to vote were drawing closer to victory in their long campaign. The Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was finally passed as the state of Tennessee became the last state needed to ratify for the cause to be won. The drama that took place in Nashville was truly amazing.

A free press is one of the key elements in maintaining a healthy democracy and in-depth investigative journalism is a crucial aspect of a free press. Elaine Shannon is one of our truly gifted investigative reporters. It was really a pleasure to interview her about her new book. Here's my review of it which ran recently in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Early on the morning of April 26, 1986 a terrible accident took place in the Ukraine at the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station. A routine test that had been long delayed was finally taking place. Mistakes were made by the inexperienced operators. The result; Reactor Number Four blew up and a cloud of lethal radiation began spewing into the atmosphere.

Gary Hart was a little known US Senator from Colorado in 1984 when he announced that he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination. He came out of nowhere to nearly win the nomination that year. The former Vice President Walter Mondale eventually became the nominee.

When John Shelby Spong came out to our studios in 1999 he was the Episcopalian Bishop of Newark, New Jersey. He was also a mild-mannered lightning rod for controversy.

As you listen to this interview I think you'll begin to understand why Bishop Spong's powerful message might have been creating alarm among some Christians.

Don Wallis had a deep appreciation for the value of communities. He was very involved in the community of Yellow Springs and he remained interested in his hometown community of Madison, Indiana. When he decided to work on this book he ultimately came away from the project with a deeper understanding of his birthplace. He learned a number of surprising things about it. Things he had never realized before.

In November of 1978 the Reverend Jim Jones instigated the mass suicide of over 900 of his followers at Jonestown in the remote jungles of Guyana in South America. Twenty years later Deborah Layton who had been a member of the cult leader's inner circle published a memoir about her experiences in the People's Temple.

The newspaper industry has been in a funk for decades. While some major newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal continue to prosper in this difficult climate many others are enduring challenges. In small towns across America local newspapers have been fighting to survive as area businesses have shut down, populations have shrunk, and advertising bases are dwindling. Newspaper circulation can be challenging.

Dave Barry is one of those humorists who is always on. He's relentless. He never stops cracking jokes. In this interview Dave had some fun talking about this book that was on the cutting edge of computer technology when it came out in 1997. The world of computing has changed a lot since then and Dave's descriptions of what seemed high tech 22 years ago now seem rather quaint.

Pages