Monthly Archive: April 2014

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Talkin’ Praha Blues: Czechoslovak Jazz Under Communism

  Jazz in Czechoslovakia was inspired, experimental, and popular. It was also subversive. The Nazis attempted to regulate jazz, and the communists suppressed it. Jazz threatened basic principles of the totalitarian powers: it was hyper-individualistic, improvisational, and innovative. Josef Skvorecky detailed this in “Red Music,” from Talkin’ Moscow Blues: When the lives...

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On Travel Writing and Writing Well

Good travel writing doesn’t come from exotic locations. Any place can spark insight, nuance, or inspiration. Appalachia provides as good material as England, Ukraine, or Thailand. To write well requires a mix of entrepreneurial spirit to act as historian, journalist, tourist, guide, and sociologist. It leads to historical quirks or...