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The audio essays here bring history to life as no written work could do. The voices of American men and women describing great events of this century as they knew them transport us to times and places that on paper can seem only distant by comparison. We learn firsthand from a Jewish athlete of the racism he encountered at Nazi Germany's 1936 Olympics--not only from Nazis but also from American Olympics officials. The stories of Americans liberating the concentration camps are chilling not only as the soldiers recall gruesome sights but as they disclose their emotional reactions: one man tells how, as a survivor clutched his leg, he could not pull away for fear of offending the woman even while he felt unworthy of her veneration. Former hostage Jackie Pflug details her harrowing hours on EyptAir flight 648 and the moment the plane's hijackers took her outside, pointed a gun to her head, and pulled the trigger. From descriptions by rural Americans of their first encounters with electricity to the recollections of those who attended Marian Anderson's historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, these compelling, emotionally charged pieces remind us that at the heart of all historical events are the human beings who experience them. (Running time: 90 minutes, one cassette) --Uma Kukathas
A collection of interviews from the archives of National Public Radio highlights some of the key events and historical moments of the past twenty-five years.