This Sunday at 12:30pm CT on KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM my guests are Anthony Winkler, author of The Family Mansion, and Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Chalice. The Family Mansion, set in London and Jamaica in 1805, chronicles the follies of the second son of an English aristocrat and the racial conflicts between slaves and whites in Jamaica.
The Chalice is set in 1538 England and Europe during the reign of Henry VIII, and follows a Dominican novice who some believe is destined to bring the “true religion back to England” after King Henry VIII started the Church of England.
At 8:30am CT on the Monday morning edition of KAZI Book Review I’m airing an interview with Jonathan Rieder, author of Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation.
A Man Without Breath (from Penguin Books Web Site)
Berlin, March, 1943. A month has passed since the stunning defeat at Stalingrad. Though Hitler insists Germany is winning the war, commanders on the ground know better. Morale is low, discipline at risk. Now word has reached Berlin of a Red massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk. If true, the message it would send to the troops is clear: Fight on or risk certain death. For once, both the Wehrmacht and Propaganda Minister Goebbels want the same thing: irrefutable evidence of this Russian atrocity. To the Wehrmacht, such proof will soften the reality of its own war crimes in the eyes of the victors. For Goebbels, such proof could turn the tide of war by destroying the Alliance, cutting Russia off from its western supply lines.
Both parties agree that the ensuing investigation must be overseen by a professional trained in sifting evidence and interrogating witnesses. Anything that smells of incompetence or tampering will defeat their purposes. And so Bernie Gunther is dispatched to Smolensk, where truth is as much a victim of war as those poor dead Polish officers.
Smolensk, March, 1943. Army Group Center is an enclave of Prussian aristocrats who have owned the Wehrmacht almost as long as they’ve owned their baronial estates, an officer class whose families have been intermarrying for generations. The wisecracking, rough-edged Gunther is not a good fit. He is, after all, a Berlin bull. But he has a far bigger concern than sharp elbows and supercilious stares, for somewhere in this mix is a cunning and savage killer who has left a trail of bloody victims.
This is no psycho case. This is a man with motive enough to kill and skills enough to leave no trace of himself. Bad luck that in this war zone, such skills are two-a-penny. Somehow Bernie must put a face to this killer before he puts an end to Bernie.
Tune in at 8am CT tomorrow on KAZI 88.7 FM: One of W.E.B. DuBois greatest academic accomplishments was his sociological study published in 1899 of African Americans in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Negro. In Yale sociologist Marcus Anthony Hunter’s new book Black Citymakers, he traces the transformation of one of the neighborhoods immortalized by DuBois’s study, Black Seventh Ward.
In his book Hunter ” argues that black Philadelphians were by no means mere casualties of the large scale social and political changes that altered urban dynamics across the nation after World War II. Instead, Hunter shows that black Americans framed their own understandings of urban social change, forging dynamic inter- and intra-racial alliances that allowed them to shape their own migration from the old Black Seventh Ward to emergent black urban enclaves throughout Philadelphia. These Philadelphians were not victims forced from their homes – they were citymakers and agents of urban change.”