Jimmy Hoff and Robert 'Bobby' Kennedy.

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, labor leader Jimmy Hoffa was heard to say, “Bobby Kennedy is just another lawyer now.”

The animosity between Hoffa and the Kennedys dated to a famous 1957 Senate investigation, the so-called Rackets Committee, led by Robert Kennedy. That very public hearing began a lifelong feud between two powerful and dedicated adversaries.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about this week’s reading recommendation: artist Sally Mann’s memoir “Hold Still.” Mann is a photographer with an MFA in creative writing. Pearl says that her memoir will delight even people who aren’t aware of her work. 

A photo of Ann Rule in 1976 from her official website. Rule was the author, most famously, of The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy before he was caught.
Leslie Rule/

Marcie Sillman talks with The Stranger's Eli Sanders about bestselling true-crime writer Ann Rule, who died on Sunday at age 83. Sanders wrote an in-depth profile about Rule for The Seattle Times.

A view from inside a Boeing factory.
Courtesy of Boeing

Ross Reynolds interviews journalist Russ Banham about the history of the Boeing company, which turns 100 this year. Banhan is the author of “Higher: 100 Years of Boeing.”

It begins with the story of how Bill Boeing went from the timber business to boat building to airplanes. Banham also tells the story of how at the end of World War II a Boeing executive found plans for a swept wing jet aircraft while touring a liberated German factory. This led to the Boeing 707, the plane that secured Boeing's pre-eminence in the U.S. airline industry.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about a pick that's aimed at teens, but great for readers of all ages: "The Game of Love and Death," by Martha Brockenbrough.

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This week saw the release of Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” a follow-up to her beloved book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” But for Alice Randall, a professor of African-American and diaspora studies at Vanderbilt University, the first novel still has a lot of relevance today.

Scholar Amy Kittelstrom argues that being liberal doesn't mean not being religious or spiritual.q
Flickr Photo/Madison (CC BY NC 2.0)

When we call someone liberal, do we imply that they are not religious or spiritual? Today’s speaker says we shouldn’t.

In her new book “The Religion of Democracy,” scholar Amy Kittelstrom chronicles seven liberals who influenced early American democracy and helped guide its progress -- and did so with their religious values firmly in tow.

Editor's note: spoilers ahead.

I don't remember how old I was when I read To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time. But I do know that I loved it — which is why I was thrilled in February at the news that another manuscript penned by Harper Lee, previously unknown to the larger public, existed and would be published this summer.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman discusses this week's reading recommendation with librarian Nancy Pearl. For very young readers, Pearl has chosen "Walter the Lazy Mouse," by Marjorie Flack.

Bookmarks commemorating Phinney Books for this year's Independent Bookstore Day.
Facebook Photo/Phinney Books

David Hyde speaks with author Jeopardy Champion and Tom Nissley, owner of Phinney Books, about Amazon's mixed impact on booksellers in Seattle. 

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with Nancy Pearl about "Foolscap," by Michael Malone, which she thinks would be a good pick for fans of academic satires like Jane Smiley's "Moo" or Richard Russo's "Straight Man."

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about a Scottish mystery novel that's finally available in the U.S. called "Strange Loyalties," by William McIlvanney.

David Brooks at the 2011 TED Conference in Long Beach, California.
Flickr Photo/Vasudev Bhandarkar

Author and journalist David Brooks says that he gets paid to be a “narcissistic blowhard” and that he has to work harder than most people “to avoid a life of smug superficiality.”

As far as blowhards go, he seems fairly humble. He told NPR “the turning point in a life toward maturity is looking inside yourself and saying, 'What's the weakness that I have that leads to behavior that I'm not proud of?”

Marcie Sillman talks with book maven Nancy Pearl about a more subtle offering from the science fiction genre: "The City & the City," by China Mieville. It's the story of two worlds that take place simultaneously, in the exact same geographic spot.