FC 83 – Rebecca Dickinson with Marla R. Miller

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Marla R. Miller, author of the book Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman.

Bio – Marla R. Miller

Marla R. Miller, a historian of early American women and work, has made a career uncovering the lives of women who left little in the way of documentary record. She is a professor of Marla Miller on Fieldstone Commonhistory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and directs the Public History program there. She has won the Organization of American Historians’ Lerner-Scott Prize for the best dissertation on women’s history and the 1997 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Colonial History.

This is Marla’s second visit to Fieldstone Common. She appeared on the July 4th, 2013 episode to talk about her other book, Betsy Ross and the Making of America.

Book Summary

Rebecca Dickinson’s powerful voice, captured through excerpts from the pages of her journal, allows colonial and revolutionary-era New England to come alive. Dickinson’s life illustrates the dilemmas faced by many Americans in the decades before, during, and after the American Revolution, as well as the paradoxes presented by an unmarried woman who earned her own living and made her own way in the small town where she was born. Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman, uses Dickinson’s world as a lens to introduce readers to the everyday experience of living in the colonial era and the social, cultural, and economic challenges faced in the transformative decades surrounding the American Revolution.

Publication InfoRebecca Dickinson with Marla Miller on Fieldstone Common

Title: Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman

Publisher: Westview Press (2014)

Trade Paperback; 194 pages with a list or primary sources, end notes, bibliographic essay and an index.

Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Marla and I talk about the diary that acted as the background for Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman. Rebecca lived through American Revolution to see the birth of the United States. She remained unmarried and supported herself independently as a gown maker. Though she had several proposals of marriage she rejected them. Her life was a careful balance of conscious independence and loneliness.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Womanwas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Westview Press.

The winner is:

  • Debra Cravens of Wisconsin

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Westview Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/rebecca-dickinson-marla-miller

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 83)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 83 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 82 Annie’s Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Steve Luxenberg, author of the book Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret.

Bio – Steve Luxenberg

Steve Luxenberg, an associate editor at The Washington Post and author of the award-winning Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret, has worked for more than 30 years as a newspaper editor and reporter.

Annie's Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg on Fieldstone Common

photo by Josh Luxenberg

Steve’s journalistic career began at The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for 11 years. He joined The Post in 1985 as deputy editor of the investigative/special projects staff, headed by assistant managing editor Bob Woodward. In 1991, Steve succeeded Woodward as head of the investigative staff. Post reporters working with Steve have won several major reporting awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes for explanatory journalism.

Annie’s Ghosts was named to The Washington Post’s Best Books of 2009 list and was honored as a Michigan Notable Book for 2010 by the Library of Michigan. It was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and on the Diane Rehm Show. Other media coverage included articles or reviews in Parade, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, the Buffalo News, the Jerusalem Post.

Steve is a graduate of Harvard College. He grew up in Detroit. He and his wife, Mary Jo Kirschman, a former school librarian, live in Baltimore.

Book Summary

Beth Luxenberg was an only child. Or so everyone thought. Six months after Beth’s death, her secret emerged. It had a name: Annie.

Newly selected as a Great Michigan Read 2013-14 and a Michigan Notable Book for 2010.

One of the Washington Post Book World’s “Best Books of 2009,” Memoir.

 

Publication InfoAnnie's Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg on Fieldstone Common

Title: Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret

Publisher: Hyperion Books (2009)

Trade Paperback; 432 pages; with list of recurring characters, end notes, index and some BxW photos.

Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Steve and I talk about the decision behind prying into a family member’s private life, which they’ve kept secret, after they’ve died. We talk about identity – our own identity and other people’s perception of that identity. We dig into the topic of secrets and whether they should be kept or released. And, of course, we dig into the big secret in his family, that his mother had a sister, despite claiming all her adult life that she was an only child. Steve did much more than a reasonably exhaustive search for the research behind this book. His investigative skills and tenacity are a real lesson and inspiration for any historical researcher.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Hyperion Books.

The winner is:

  • Roberta Hunt of Indiana

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Hyperion Books for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/annies-ghosts-with-steve-luxenberg

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 82)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 82 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 81 Through a Different Lens with Tasha Caswell

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Tasha Caswell, curator of the exhibit Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers at the Connecticut Historical Society.

Bio – Tasha Caswell

Tasha Caswell on Fieldstone Common

photo by Kyle Sprague

Tasha Caswell is the Thorne-McKenna Curatorial Assistant at the Connecticut Historical Society. Since last October, she has been working to catalog and digitize the photographs by Harriet V.S. Thorne and Rosalie Thorne McKenna that were recently given to CHS by the Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation. Tasha has degrees from Ryerson University and George Eastman House, the University of Toronto, and Lewis & Clark College. She recently completed a ten-month student residency at George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, where she catalogued 19th- and 20th-century and contemporary photographic and audiovisual materials.

Book Summary

This exhibition at the Connecticut Historical Society (October 11, 2013 – March 29, 2014) presents the work of three female photographers, who came from very different places in Connecticut history and society. Each of their photographs is a record of personal and local history, a picture of the people, landscapes, and buildings of Connecticut. Together they reveal how women have taken part in amateur and professional photography from the late 1800s into the mid 1900s.

Publication Info Through a Different Lens: Connecticut Women Photographers

Title: Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers

Publisher: Connecticut Historical Society (2013)

Exhibition Publication, 38 pages

Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers is available for purchase fromthe Connecticut Historical Society.

The Interview

Tasha and I spoke about the three pioneering women photographers featured in the exhibit: Harriet Van Schoonhoven Thorne (1843-1926), Rosalie Thorne McKenna (1916-2003) and Marie Hartig Kendall (1854-1943). Harriet Thorne was from a wealthy family and focused her photography on portraits, mostly of her family. Her great granddaughter, Rosalie McKenna became a professional photographer before discovering her own ancestor’s connection with photography. She also did mostly portraits with some photos of Stonington, Connecticut where she lived. Marie Hartig Kendall, was a photographer and business woman who sold her photographs where ever she could. She focused extensively on the town of Norfolk, Connecticut. We also talked about what a curator looks for when creating an exhibit.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winners

One copy of Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographerswas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the Connecticut Historical Society.

The winner is:

  • Leslie Wolfgang of Connecticut

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to the Connecticut Historical Society for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/different-lens-tasha-caswell

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 81)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 81 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

 

FC 80 Jerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Paul Della Valle, author of the book Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History.

Please note:

A few parts of the interview contain mature topics about serial killers which may not be appropriate for children.

 

Bio – Paul Della Valle

Paul Della Valle, father of three and grandfather of two, lives on five acres of an old farm in Jerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle on Fieldstone CommonSterling, Massachusetts with his wife Karen, their dog, Yaz, and Boots Vanzetti, their anarchist cat. In 2009, he wrote Massachusetts Troublemakers: Rebels, Reformers, and Radicals from the Bay State (Globe Pequot Press).

Della Valle won dozens of writing and reporting awards in a thirty-year career as a journalist that began even before he graduated from Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1979. In 1996 he founded the Lancaster Times and Clinton Courier, which he published for 9 years. During that time, the combined newspapers were twice runner-up for New England Press Association Newspaper of the Year. He has taught writing at Worcester’s Clark University and journalism at Boston’s Northeastern University.

Book Summary

Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History features eighteen short profiles of notorious bad guys, perpetrators of mischief, visionary if misunderstood thinkers, and other colorful antiheroes from the history of Beantown. It reveals the dark side of some well-known and even revered characters from Boston’s past – both part-time Jerks and others who were Jerks through and through.

Book InfoJerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle on Fieldstone Common

Title: Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History

Publisher: Globe Pequot Press (2014)

Trade Paperback; 219 pages; with bibliography, index and some BxW photos & illustrations.

Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Who are the truly bad guys from Boston history? That might be debatable but Paul Della Valle makes a pretty good case in his book Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History. In this interview Paul and I debate the reputation of Bronson Alcott and Cotton Mather. Paul gives us the low-down on some of the worst characters from Boston history such as Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo and serial killer Jane Toppan. We also take a look at Revolutionary War spy Dr. Benjamin Church. You will learn about a whole new group of decidedly bad folks.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winners

One copy of Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston Historywas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Globe Pequot Press.

The winner is:

  • Melanie Mueller of Texas

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Globe Pequot Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/jerks-in-boston-with-paul-della-valle/

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 80)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 80 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.