Tag Archives: Artful Periscope

Episode 73 – How Many Threads Intersect and Impact the World of Sports and the History of a Country? Authors Ethan Scheiner and Jon Langmead



How many threads intersect and impact the world of sports and the history of a country? On this episode, Larry invites author Ethan Scheiner to the show to discuss hisnewest bookThe Freedom to Win: A Cold War Story of the Courageous Hockey Team That Fought the Soviets for the Soul of Its People—And Olympic Gold. Freedom to Win follows the story of the 1969 Czechoslovakian World Ice Hockey Championship team who used The Olympics to protest Soviet Russia’s oppression. Larry and Ethan discuss the brothers at the heart of this story, Jiří and Jaroslav Holík, whose father had trained them to become world class athletes to escape the increasing influence of the Communist party. They also talk about the larger political situation in Czechoslovakia at the time, including Alexander Dubcek’s relaxing of political censorship and the Soviet Union’s military response. Ethan also explains the significance of the replica hockey jersey he’s wearing, which is based on the jerseys the Czechoslovakian hockey team altered to protest the Soviet occupation.

After the break, Larry sits down with Jon Langmead, author of Ballyhoo!: The Rough housers, Con Artists, and Wild men Who Invented Professional Wrestling. Larry and John discuss the history of wrestling styles, the development of over-the-top choreography moves, the public’s changing perception of wrestling stars from athletes to entertainers and the physical impact of wrestling on the long-term health of famous wrestlers.


Episode 71 – How Many Threads are Brought Together in Criminal Justice Reform – Colleen P. Eren



How many threads are brought together in criminal justice reform? On this week’s episode of The Artful Periscope,,Larry sits down with Colleen P. Eren, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at William Paterson University and author of Reform Nation which discusses the First Step Act– a surprising piece of legislation signed off by Donald Trump on the verge of a government shutdown and it’s effect on prison reform in The United States. Colleen traces her interest in reformation to her experience at her catholic high school, where she heard a talk from Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking. She became involved with the anti-death penalty movement while pursuing a degree in sociology at Hofstra University. Larry and Colleen discuss the history of mass incarceration and its boom during the Nixon Era, which increased the prison population from 250,000 to 1.2 million. Colleen explains the connection between mass incarceration and institutionalized racism, and the rise of mass incarceration after the end of The Jim Crow Laws.  She also addresses the increasing tension between police and the public following the BLM movement. In a country fiercely divided by right and left, Colleen advocates for cooperation across the aisle to support prison reform initiatives and program funding.


Episode 58 – How Many Threads Connect Us to What is Below the Surface Authors Peter Spiegelman and T. J. English



How many threads connect us to what is below the surface?  In this installment, Larry has a discussion with Peter Speigelman about his latest book A Secret About a Secret.  Larry and Peter explore the story out side of the cover of the book, how the title draws the reader, and whether this book is a cautionary tale.  Larry draws a comparison of Peter’s work with the television show Dark Shadows, and The Man in the High Castle.  Larry posits how important it is for the author to trust the read to understand the implications and be drawn into the plot and narrative.

After a short break Larry welcomes T. J. English about his latest work Dangerous Rhythms.  Larry asks about growing up in upper Manhattan, whether Jazz is a completely American art form, and how it reordered the music universe.  There is a great discussion of how BillieHoliday’s song Strange Fruit is a seminal work of art along with talking about Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra and the connection of music to the mafia.  Larry brings up Meyer Lansky and how there was a “Jazz drain” to Europe.


Episode 56 – How Many Threads Take us Through the Ages? – Authors Bill Morris and Stacie Murphy



How many threads take us through the ages? On this installment of The Artful Periscope, Larry sits down with author Bill Morris to discuss his latest work, The Age of Astonishment. The book chronicles the long life of his grandfather, John Morris, and the historical events he lived through. Larry and Bill discuss the horrors of slavery in the pre-civil war south, his grandfather’s lifespan ranging from The Civil War to the Cold War and his discovery of his grandfather’s long lost German English dictionary manuscript.

After the break, Larry interviews Stacie Murphy, a debut author, about her first novel The Unquiet Dead. Stacie delves into the challenges of writing a novel, the joy of adding historical details into her fictional story and the potential for a series. 


Episode 55 – How Many Threads Connect the Good Actors with the Bad Actors, Even if Some of the Good Have Done Some Bad Things? – True Crime & Organized Crime Writer Michael Benson



How many threads connect the good actors with the bad actors, even if some of the good have done some bad things? In this episode of The Artful Periscope, Larry is joined by true crime and organized crime writer Michael Benson to discuss his latest work Gangsters vs. Nazis. Michael begins by recounting his childhood interest in true crime, chasing after his babysitter’s killer and eventually returning as an adult to uncover new evidence in his book The Devil at Genesee Junction. Then Larry and Michael shift gears to the subject of Gangsters vs. Nazis, which sheds light on the fight between Jewish mobsters and German-American Nazis. To defend their communities and to push back against antisemitic sentiments, Jewish mobsters used their gang and boxing connections to break up Nazi meetings and rallies. Michael also highlights the disturbing history of Nazi organizations on Long Island, including Camp Siegfried in Yaphank, which attempted to recruit American children into the Nazi movement. In an America that is facing the rise of Nazi groups again, Michael’s writing is a reminder of how communities need to band together to stand against hate. 


Episode 53 – How Many Threads Bring Strangers Together? – Authors James Grady and Jerry Stahl



How many threads bring strangers together? In this installment of The Artful Periscope, Larry is joined by James Grady, author of This Train. They discuss his debut book Six Days of the Condor and the experience of having it adapted into a Robert Redford movie, as well as methods for keeping thriller plots interesting and the beauty of train ride landscapes.

After the break, Jerry Stahl joins Larry to discuss his latest work Nein, Nein, Nein!, which recounts Jerry’s two-week bus tour of Holocaust sites. Jerry recounts the ethics of touring the locations of tragedies, his friendship with Anthony Bourdain and the origin of the book’s title.


Episode 40: How Many Threads are at the Intersection of Comedy that Binds Us Michael Seth Starr & The Biography of Don Rickles



How many threads are at the intersection of comedy that binds us?  Larry is joined by Michael Seth Starr, the author of Don Rickles: Merchant of Venom.  Michael and Larry explore the life of Don, from his humble beginnings growing up in Queens, New York, his service in the Navy during World War II and his subsequent rise to stardom.  Michael delves into the connection to Frank Sinatra, Don’s studies as a serious actor and the various influences on Rickles’ career.  Larry also talks about the thread between Don and Groucho Marx.  As a writer for the New York Post, there is a spirited discussion on the state of broadcast television vs streaming and how the quality of both have evolved.


Episode 38 How Many Threads Connect Us to a Voyage of Exploration and Discovery: Author Thomas Chaffin and Singer Songwriter Nico Padden



How many threads connect us to a voyage of exploration and discovery? In this installment, Larry chats  with author Tom Chaffin to discuss his latest biography Odyssey: Young Charles Darwin, The Beagle, and the Voyage that Changed the World. They discuss the strange path Charles Darwin walked from dropping out of medical school to becoming the father of evolution and publishing the groundbreaking Origin of Species. While pursuing Darwin’s story, Tom also recounts his research, travel, and growing connection to the characters.

Joining Larry for a musical interlude is singer/songwriter Nico Padden, who shares several of her songs and the real-life influences behind them. Weaving together stories featuring difficult issues such as domestic abuse, sexual harassment and systemic racism into her music, Nico discusses the power of songwriting and the stories that fuel creativity.


Episode 34 – How Many Threads Connect to Challenges and Obstacles? Author Jim Kempton and Para-Athelete Todd Schaffhauser



How many threads connect to challenges and obstacles? In this episode Larry sits down with author Jim Kempton to discuss his new book Women on Waves. Jim delves into the long history of women in surfing, the great Bethany Hamilton and the film Soul Surfer. Jim also reveals some unexpected surfing celebrities such as Agatha Christie and Marilyn Monroe.

Larry harkens back to his running days to speak Paralympic athlete Todd Schaffhauser. Todd recounts the trauma of losing his leg during high school after a cancer diagnosis, the inspiring community of amputee athletes that motivated him during recovery, and the challenges of his running career.  Todd also re-enforces how important mentorship programs are to people who either would like to or are already para-athletes.  


Episode 31 – How Many Threads Connect Us to Lies and Deception? – Author Paul Vidich



How many threads connect us to lies and deception? In this episode, Larry sits down with author Paul Vidich to discuss his new book The Matchmaker: A Spy in Berlin. Larry and Paul discuss the difficulties and intrigue of the spy biz along with the allure of setting thrillers in Cold War Berlin along with the agency of the female protagonist.  Afterwards, Larry shares some random thoughts and observation  on the private lives of recently departed celebrities along with (spoiler alert!), the series ending of Dexter and the myriad of ways humanity continues to break down barriers.