Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 8:45 am
Wars are expensive, and governments have always borrowed money to fight them. But it wasn't until the 20th century — the age of advertising — that governments started using war as a marketing tool to encourage citizens to buy government bonds.
To raise money for World War I, the U.S. government issued "Liberty Bonds," and launched an ad campaign full of dramatic, frightening posters.
For World War II, the government ditched the "liberty" euphemism and got straight to the point. It issued "war bonds," which were accompanied by a massive promotional campaign.
Workers pose for a photo at the Hoboken de Bie & Co. gin distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1900. By the end of the 19th century, cocktail culture had helped make gin a more respectable spirit.
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
William Hogarth's <em>Gin Lane</em> (1751) was part of a campaign to reduce gin consumption in England.
Unlike a good martini, the story of gin isn't smooth; it's long, complex, sordid and, as Richard Barnett has discovered, it makes for tantalizing material. Barnett's newly published The Book of Gin traces the liquor's life, from its beginnings in alchemy to its current popularity among boutique distillers.
Barnett joins NPR's Renee Montagne to discuss the medicinal origins and changing reputation of gin.
When Cafe Tacvba first emerged in the early '90s, the band's fusion of rock and traditional Mexican styles was revolutionary for Latin music. Now, its first album in five years, El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco (The Object Formerly Known as a Disc), finds Cafe Tacvba experimenting even more with a mix of rock, folk and electronic sounds.
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:15 pm
Although it's the fourth documentary about the West Memphis Three, West of Memphis doesn't feel superfluous. This bizarre case rates at least 18 documentaries — one for each year Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley spent in prison for murders they clearly didn't commit.
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:04 pm
Revolution can spring from the most personal acts. In Tabu, Portuguese writer-director Miguel Gomes spins a two-part tale examining love, loneliness and the power of memory. It starts in the present day but culminates at the start of the Portuguese Colonial War in 1961. The personal and the political are so hopelessly entangled that even the midcentury colonizers who populate the film's dazzling metafictional second half can't avoid influencing events — even when they are very much disengaged from colonial politics.
There's no deal on the fiscal cliff; there's no deal on guns. There won't even be Ben Affleck in the U.S. Senate. But we might see more of former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. Even worse, you have to listen to NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving explain all of that in this week's episode of the "It's All Politics" podcast.