My new “Think Again” column is called “Two Views of Samantha Power: A Case Study in Conservative Journalism” and it’s here.
My Nation column is called “How Low Will the ‘Washington Post’ Go?” here.
My Daily Beast column: is “Obama’s Savvy Deficit Play” here.
I gave a talk at Google a little while back and they posted here.
Then I had a conversation with a bunch of really smart folk at the Brennan Center for Legal Justice, here.
Alterman appearances next week:
Seattle: April 27, Town Hall, Kabuki Democracy
LA, 1: An KPCC AirTalk Event—Is There Still a Place for Objective Journalism with Eric Alterman and Geneva Overholser, Thursday April 27 in Pasadena.
LA, 2: A Panel on Obama at the LA Times Book Festival as USC, Saturday April 30 at 10:30 (with Katrina).
The new Smithsonian Jazz Anthology
It’s a big moment when the Smithsonian weighs in with a new proposed canon of an American art form, and none so much as with Jazz, America’s most democratic and important native cultural creation. I kept my copy of the first edition for more than thirty years and the the new one, six cds worth, functions as one long argument as almost all of them are newly chosen.
The Anthology, which aptly renews the legacy of Folkways Records founder Moses Asch’s commitment to letting the people’s music be heard and fulfills the educational mission of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the United States national museum, naturally features the major contributions from Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Parker, Gillespie, Davis and now, Hancock, Corea, Marsalis. With 111 tracks on six cds, nearly eight hours of music and a smart 200-page book of essays tied to each track. (Photos, too, of course.) Because of the respresentativeness issue, it’s really easy to quibble. What good, for instance, is a less than three minute version of Coltrane playing “My Favorite Things?” It’s just silly if you ask me. But arguing with such sets is a big part of the fun—that and learning stuff about artists you thought you knew. You can find out more about it here.
And while you’re working on your Jazz education, I’m pretty sure I can recommend the second edition of Ted Gioia’s History of Jazz. I read the first edition when it came out. But unlike the Smithsonian collection, I don’t plan on comparing them—except to point out that this one is soft-cover and takes you up to the present and that one was hard-cover and only took you up to what was then the present. Back when it came out, it was the best history of jazz available, but today it’s got a great deal more competition, and I can only promise that it will be really good.