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Friday, September 21, 2012

Wednesday, September 26 Wild Duck Chase

Tonight on Bibliocracy:  MARTIN J. SMITH.  The confusion over pop culture, trivia and politics, of what is important and what is not is often resolved by the urgency of individual writing and reporting, and the skill of the writers on such topics in constructing a context, not to mention be entertaining and teach the reader.  The perhaps unlikely topic of the revenue stamp sold as a bird hunting license in the United States is transformed into an engaging, fun, and teachable one by my guest this week, the mystery writer, pop and trivia historian-in-chief, magazine editor and journalist Martin J. Smith.  His newest, The Wild Duck Chase:  Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest might be indexed, in no particular order, as wildlife education, conservation history, nature painting, federal natural resources management, ducks, hunting, the legacy of the New Deal, the subculture of wildfowl painters and, well, so much more.  It’s a book which explores the cooperation and the tension between two groups of citizens, both of whom like ducks: some as targets and some as, well, beauty and indicators of ecological health of the planet.  And some who understand the shared interest of both groups.  Marty Smith is a former senior editor at the Los Angeles Times and currently editor in chief at Orange Coast.  He is the author of three crime novels and his previous nonfiction work includes Oops: 20 Life Lessons from the Fiascoes that Shaped America and Poplorica, both with Patrick J. Kiger. Thanks for listening, on the radio or online, and downloadable for free from the KPFK audio archives. 

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