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Monday, June 9, 2014

Wednesday, June 11 - Scott Martelle

Wednesday at 8 on Bibliocracy, KPFK 90.7 FM:  SCOTT MARTELLE.  The new biography of a human body --- perhaps a genre all its own --- written by one of our smartest, most curious and hardworking nonfiction writers arrives as a popular history book, The Admiral and the Ambassador.  You’ll be familiar with author its author Scott Martelle’s previous books, or should be, and will have seen his reporting and commentary and book reviews all over the place, including at the Los Angeles Times.  The longtime journalist has done previous take-aparts of the city Detroit, the judicial prosecution of American Left radicalism and the infamous Ludlow Massacre.  In his newest, on the American Revolutionary navy hero John Paul Jones, he digs up the story of Jones’ forgotten if still very large life and, yes, the fascinating search for his lost corpus.  Telling the story of Jones, a hero but also a scoundrel, and the Civil War veteran who searched for and found the lost and nearly forgotten body of the founder of the US Navy gives the enthusiastic and engaging Martelle the chance to tell two, three, a dozen or more stories about our Republic by way of resurrecting all kinds of through-lines of our wonderfully complicated and entertaining military and cultural heritage.  This is an elegantly woven story within a story within the big story of the first hundred years of our Republic, with Martelle tying the search (and discovery, and interment) for a body to a search for national identity, national myth and the discovery of a second hero, the man, Horace Porter, who largely created it by way of the buccaneer and naval adventurer.  Thanks for listening live on the radio on online, and as a free download from the station’s archives.  

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