BostonTalks: Here’s to You, Boston

WED, SEP 28, 2016 (1:02:14)

This time we spotlight The Hub. The Curiosity Desk's Edgar Herwick asks, "Just what is it that makes Boston, Boston?" The Sox and the Citgo sign? The hallowed and oft-maligned T? Our Puritan past? All those thinkers, geeks, and entrepreneurs buzzing about? How do Bostonians define their city and just how accurate is the image of it that we broadcast to the rest of the world?

Boston Globe reporter Alex Beam brings his signature wry wit to the party for an incisive look at the region, and historian Ed O'Donnell examines some of the local history that tends to get swept under the rug. Plus, John Romard offers his spirited take on the soul of the city. And if that isn't enough, Lesley University's Dean of the College of Art and Design, Richard Zauft gives insight into the trajectory of creativity.

(Image By By Matthias Rosenkranz CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

+ BIO: Edgar B. Herwick III

Edgar Herwick is the guy behind WGBH's Curiosity Desk, where the quest is to dig a little deeper into (and sometimes look a little askew at) topics in the news, and search for answers to questions posed by the world around us. His features can be seen on WGBH's Greater Boston and heard on 89.7 WGBH's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He also appears regularly with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio. Follow him on Twitter @ebherwick3.

+ BIO: Edward T. O'Donnell

Edward T. O’Donnell is an Associate Professor of History at Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA. He is the author of several books, including Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age (Columbia University Press, 2015), Ship Ablaze: The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum (Random House, 2003), and (co-author) Visions of America: A History of the United States (Pearson, 3rd edition, 2016).

O’Donnell also hosts a podcast, In The Past Lane (iTunes, that explores topics in US history. More information at: He writes history-themed opinion pieces for outlets such as the Huffington Post, Newsweek, and the New York Times. His scholarly articles have appeared in the Public Historian, Journal of Urban History, and the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

He also writes a blog: O’Donnell has also created video courses for the Great Courses Company titled, “Turning Points in American History” and “America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.”

+ BIO: Alex Beam

Alex Beam burst on the Boston scene in 1988 with TGIF, a Boston Globe column on business news and commentary. Beam was born in 1954 and graduated from Yale University. He spent some formative years in Moscow, started his journalism career as a researcher for Newsweek magazine, then shifted to Business Week where he reported from Los Angeles and Moscow. His second novel, The Americans are Coming!, is available through St. Martin's Press.

+ BIO: John Romard

John Romard, better known by most as @BostonAttitude, is a born and raised Bostonian who exudes the true Bostonian spirit—so much so that he took his passion for the city to the social media world.

+ BIO: Richard Zauft

Richard Zauft serves as the Dean of the Lesley University College of Art and Design. Previous to joining Lesley in 2014,
he served as the Dean of Graduate Studies, Executive Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Emerson College in Boston. He’s also served as the President of the College Book Arts Association and President of the Society of Printers.

A two-time National Endowment for the Arts recipient, his artists’ books are included in many institutional special collections, among them Brown University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Smith College, Wellesley College, University of the Atlantic, New York Public Library, National Gallery of Canada, and the Centre Romand d’Art Graphique, Lausanne, Switzerland. Zauft holds an MFA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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