18-19 Segment 1: Honoring the Soldiers Who Fought in Vietnam

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The Vietnam War was an unpopular war and soldiers came home to a society that didn’t approve of or appreciate their service. Elizabeth Partridge, author of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam, first got involved with the war as a protestor. Partridge didn’t have much to do with Vietnam for many years after until she visited the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and found herself overcome with emotion while reading the soldier’s names.

The event had sparked her interest in the war and the men and women who served in Vietnam. Partridge, being a writer, decided to write her own book about the war that she had protested so many years ago. She wanted her book to be different than the thousands of Vietnam War books that already existed. So she set out to find veterans to interview who could tell her their personal experiences of the war. The stories of six men and one woman who Partridge interviewed were interspersed between chapters on politics and culture.

The switching between large-scope ideas to laser-focused personal experiences creates a uniquely informative non-fiction book that achieves an impressive feat; it brings humanity back to the tragic war in which nearly 60,000 American soldiers lost their lives. Partridge can’t raise the dead but she can bring their lost stories back to life. To purchase a copy of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam and read more about Partridge and her other works visit the links below.

Guest:

  • Elizabeth Partridge, Former Vietnam protestor and author of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam

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18-19 Segment 2: Men’s Place in the #MeToo Movement

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The #MeToo movement has been getting headlines for months now. The movement was started by women, but men still have a role to serve in the fight for equality and in the elimination of sexism and misogyny.

Guest:

  • Brendan Kiely, author, Tradition

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Culture Crash 18-19: The Hamilton Mixtape, Hamildrops and the Hamiltome: Keeping Hamilton alive

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture.  What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

By now, it’s well-known that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2015 musical Hamilton is a cultural sensation. The musical won all sorts of awards including 11 Tonys, a Grammy, and a Pulitzer. The lyrics were quoted by President Obama, and the original Broadway recording has spent over 130 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 and has reached as high at number three on the list. Some even credit the musical with convincing the US Treasury to keep Alexander Hamilton on the ten dollar bill.

But Miranda has ensured his musical lives beyond just the musical itself. Since its premiere, he has co-authored a book about the development of the show, participated in a PBS documentary about the show, and released 28- yes, 28- bonus songs.

First came The Hamilton Mixtape, born out of Miranda’s self-professed love of cassette mixtapes from the 90s, the album was full of songs cut from the show and remixes by notable musicians including Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Chance the Rapper, and Asher.

In recent months, Miranda has begun what he called the Hamildrops – one new song per month until he runs out of material. The Hamildrops have included a song about Benjamin Franklin, a pro-gun control collaboration with the musical Dear Evan Hansen made to benefit the March for Our Lives, and the first draft of one of Hamilton’s many showstoppers, Burn performed by five different actresses who has portrayed Eliza Schuyler-Hamilton in the musical.
Hamilton is a cultural moment, but it’s also proving to have some endurance. Over three years since its premiere, new songs released under its brand-name still zoom to the top of iTunes and Spotify charts, and keep Hamilton’s rabid fanbase delighted and excited.

I’m Evan Rook.