This election season, we explore politics through historical and cultural lenses. Find out how Nixon deceived American farmers and negotiated with the Soviets to end the war in Vietnam. We also tune in to Sis Cunningham's Depression-era protest music and go back to when some wanted to build a wall along California's eastern border to keep out the Okies. Plus, reflections on reporting in a partisan climate, a farewell to Mike Synar, new poetry, and so much more.
In this issue:
THE BALLAD OF SIS CUNNINGHAM: Richard Higgs takes a look at the life and songs of one of Woody Guthrie’s fellow-travelers, Sis Cunningham.
THE ANTI-OKIE PANIC: Thomas Conner considers the immigration crisis of Steinbeck’s era.
THE PACIFIST PREACHER & QUANAH PARKER: Jay Cyril Mastrud traces the journey of pacifists from Germany to Russia to the Great Plains.
DEATH UNDER THE STRAWBERRY MOON: James Murray describes a massacre in Indian country.
PUTTING ON AIRS: James McGirk examines class through an academic lens.
LAND OF GORE: Dale Ingram offers six vignettes on gore and Gore.
STALKING THE SMOKING GUN: David Fritze tracks down Daily Oklahoman reporter Jack Taylor.
THE SECRET WHEAT DEAL: James C. Thomas explains how Nixon exploited a Soviet wheat crisis.
POETRY: Hay Maker by Sandy Hiortdahl.
LAST NICE DAY: Meg Thompson offers reflections of family, weather, and distance.
TRUST ME: Mark Singer recalls getting close to Donald Trump in the ‘80s.
THE TIME I SHOT DONALD TRUMP: Juan Reinoso recalls working with a very rich republican.
LEANING: Tatiana Ryckman sends a letter from Cleveland.
STARLIGHT: Les Howell casts light on Jennifer Jones’s Okie roots.
LOVE, LENNIE: Charles Morrow tunes into how Tony Randall tested television boundaries.
POETRY: For This Time, at Least by Ken Hada.
A YOUNG DONALD TRUMP WRITES A DYING WOODY GUTHRIE: Barry Friedman takes on the voice of a slumlord.
ON CASTING HER BALLOT: Sarah Vowell writes a letter to Mike Synar.
POETRY: Dream Catcher by Xandra Kaste.
THE SIREN AND THE SAVIOR: Tim Berry checks on the health of a politician with a vote to cast.