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She struggled with her disorders for a long time, though she says she was always good with spoken word, having come from a family of great storytellers. An ancient tablet contains records written in Linear B a€” a script that was discovered in the 19th century and remained undeciphered for decades. Critics have called Margalit Fox's new book, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, a paleographic detective procedural. Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lived for 27 years in a Tacoma, Wash., shopping mall, chews on his finger at the Atlanta Zoo in 1996. The school year is drawing to a close, but NPR's Backseat Book Club has plenty of reading lined up for the summer. On becoming a writer "I think all writers write from the time they're really young, and you just start asking the question, 'What if?' What if you were sitting here next to me and you turned into a cat?
Over the past decade, there's been a revival in popular histories of ancient Rome; not the academic tomes once reserved for specialists and students, but books and movies designed for the rest of us. Anthony Everitt, a visiting professor at Nottingham Trent University, has also authored biographies of Cicero and Augustus. A big dog celebrates a big birthday this year: Clifford the beloved "Big Red Dog" first appeared on the literary scene 50 years ago, along with Emily Elizabeth, the little girl who loves him. In the early 1960s, Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist at Yale, conducted a series of experiments that became famous. On conversations with the subjects, decades after the experiment "[Bill Menold] doesn't sound resentful. After spending her childhood shivering through one lake-effect snowstorm after another, Diana Abu-Jaber left Syracuse and started roaming the country in search of tropical beaches.
It follows the story of the laborious quest to crack a mysterious script, unearthed in Crete in 1900, known by the sterile-sounding name Linear B. Our June pick is The One and Only Ivan, a Newbery Medal-winning book by Katherine Applegate.
It's the summer of 1964 in Hanging Moss, Miss., and 11-year-old Gloriana Hamphill is about to learn a lot about bigotry, loyalty and bravery. When the news of the experiment was first reported, and the shocking statistic that 65 percent of people went to maximum voltage on the shock machine was reported, very few people, I think, realized then and even realize today that that statistic applied to 26 of 40 people. I'd say he sounds thoughtful and he has reflected a lot on the experiment and the impact that it's had on him and what it meant at the time. She is the author of The Language of Baklava and Crescent, and after moving to Miami, she wrote Origin, a literary thriller set in Syracuse during an interminable blizzard. She has won many awards for her illustrations, which are done in gorgeous, full watercolor. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. I took my 13-year-old daughter a€” she was about 10 at the time a€” and it was a very wet day.
So I was writing at a really young age, but it took me a long time to be brave enough to become a published writer, or to try to become a published writer.
A man who pretended to be a recruit himself was wired up to a phony machine that supposedly administered shocks.
I did interview someone else who had been disobedient in the experiment but still very much resented 50 years later that he'd never been de-hoaxed at the time and he found that really unacceptable." On the problem that one of social psychology's most famous findings cannot be replicated "I think it leaves social psychology in a difficult situation.
The Nephilim Trilogy made the CBA best sellers list and continues to thrill readers a decade after the first book in the series was published. In fact, there were variations of the experiment where no one obeyed." On how Milgram's study coincided with the trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann a€” and how the experiment reinforced what Hannah Arendt described as "the banality of evil" "The Eichmann trial was a televised trial and it did reintroduce the whole idea of the Holocaust to a new American public. In The Riddle of the Labyrinth, she tells the story of Alice Kober, a classics professor at Brooklyn College, who worked alone over decades and discovered the essential grammar of Linear B, only to die in 1950 before she could complete her work.
Marzulli received an honorary doctorate from Pacific International University for his work on the Nephilim Trilogy.
And I was kind of scared, so I started out as a ghost writer, and I wrote for other series, like Disney Aladdin and Sweet Valley and books like that.
Simply having military power, simply being an all-powerful autocracy with a secret police, let's think of Syria, or think of the old Soviet Union, sooner or later the people that you're ruling rise up and say, 'Look, we've had enough of this.'" On the end of the Roman Republic "The people who governed the world suddenly lost the ability to govern themselves.

This is just a fluke.' " That "fluke" turned into close to 90 Clifford books that have sold more than 126 million copies in 13 languages. And Milgram very much, I think, believed that Hannah Arendt's view of Eichmann as a cog in a bureaucratic machine was something that was just as applicable to Americans in New Haven as it was to people in Germany." On the ethics of working with human subjects "Certainly for people in academia and scholars the ethical issues involved in Milgram's experiment have always been a hot issue. By the end of that week, she had submitted every one of them, and her career was about to begin. Marzulli is also the author of the non-fiction work, Politics, Prophecy & the Supernatural.
And my husband, Michael Grant, and I started a series called Animorphs, about kids who can turn into animals, and that was our big first success." On what she'd like young readers to take away from the book "I think we have a real obligation when we do have animals in captivity to understand their needs and to care for them as well as we can. It traces Rome's 800-year transformation from a small market town in the hills into a world power moving well beyond the confines of the city. He was rejected everywhere, except at one publisher, where a young woman told him he wasn't a very good illustrator, so if he wanted to illustrate a book, he'd need to write one on his own.
And I think it really leads to the question of why it is that we continue to refer to and believe in Milgram's results.
Many of her books feature her grandmother, called "Babushka" in Yiddish, and take place on her grandmother's farm in Michigan. The book packs a hard hitting expose of how the current political landscape may bring about ancient Biblical prophecies, which then may trigger supernatural events that are foretold in the book of Daniel and Revelation. But at the end of the day I realized this guy actually had some control over his environment.
In September, Clifford's publisher, Scholastic Press, reissued the original stories under the title Clifford Collection. Each time the learner got one wrong, which he intentionally did, the teacher was instructed by a man in a white lab coat to deliver a shock. I think the reason that Milgram's experiment is still so famous today is because in a way it's like a powerful parable. Partly, she says, because of her struggle with many learning disabilities growing up, including dyslexia.
This collapse of the constitution and an unwillingness of political opponents to talk with each other, to do deals, to come up with agreements, however messy and provisional, that loss was a catastrophe for Rome. It's a very discouraging business sometimes, but the rewards are marvelous, especially emotionally." On replying to all the letters that children send to him or to Clifford "We make a real effort to answer every letter. And the Republic, in fact, went up in flames." On how we know so much about the last years "It was such a cataclysm. From the other room came recorded and convincing protests from the learner a€” even though no shock was actually being administered.
That penetrating gaze, that intelligence; it's hard not to be anthropomorphic when you're looking at a great ape a€” at any primate a€” but especially with gorillas.
And the people involved in this cataclysm, the destruction of the Roman Republic and its replacement by a military autocracy, it was such a traumatic event that people wrote about it.
He will never rise above sergeant and works in the most despised branch of "the Factory": Unexplained Deaths. I was in my first year of high school; I'd never heard of Chekhov, but something about the steady, scholarly gaze in the author's photograph arrested me. So not only could no one decipher Linear B for half a century, no one even knew what language these strange tablets recorded." On how Kober came to be obsessed with cracking the code to Linear B "When she was an undergraduate at Hunter College in Manhattan, she took a course on early Greek life, and it seems to have been there that she encountered the first glimpse of Linear B.
I did go to his memorial service later, though." On Ivan's memorial service "His keeper Jodi Carrigan told stories about Ivan.
And some of the characters are real but whose stories are so fantastic you'd think they were fiction, like Julius Caesar, the Roman general who died at the hands of his senate colleagues. And undeciphered scripts exert a powerful hold on people, and Alice Kober, already confident of her own blazing intellect on her graduation from Hunter College, announced confidently to anyone who would listen that she would one day solve the riddle of the script, and she came very close before she died." On Kober's laborious method of cracking the code "Kober, who never married and lived in Flatbush with her widowed mother, would sit at her dining table, cigarette burning at her elbow, and sift the hundreds of words and symbols in these strange and Cretan inscriptions. His world is a nightmare of shed blood and compromise, sexual distress and annihilated victims. He was talking about bone-chilling places and worn-out people, but somehow the beauty of his language lifted everything up, giving it gravity and importance.
When she started in the 1930s, she kept her statistics in a series of notebooks, but during World War II and for years afterwards, paper was a very scarce commodity in this country.

It's not as easy as it looks." It's not easy because Ivan lives far from the wild at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He moves through his days a€” and, more often, nights a€” racked by his outrage at the sins of others and at his own failings. Undaunted, she cut out by hand the equivalent of index cards from any spare paper she could find a€” examination blue book covers, the backs of old greeting cards, and it must be said an awful lot of checkout slips the she discretely pinched from the Brooklyn College library. Ivan is always on display, but it's not a one-way street; Ivan watches all the people watching him, and his observations about humans are among the greatest delights in the book. He hated wet weather so he would carry around a burlap coffee bag and stick it under his butt and slide around on the grass that way. Gina Perry, a psychologist from Australia, has written Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments. He pursues cases that no one else would find worthwhile, plunging like an intoxicated author into the lives of others until he can taste them, move under their skins. Over time until her death in 1950, she hand cut and annotated 180,000 of these cards." On why Michael Ventris gets the credit for cracking the code to Linear B "Ventris, in my opinion and in the opinion of historians of the decipherment, did not give her due credit.
It's a lonely life, but he does have a few loyal friends, including a highly opinionated dog, an aging elephant and, eventually, a baby elephant who sets Ivan's life on an entirely new course.
Somewhere between the holiday cheer and the dark winter, this writer created new angles of light. The fact that he had been captured as an infant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and brought to Tacoma, Wash., to live in a mall? They live, like his narratives, in places you don't want to visit, places that threaten you through the small hours from the bleak ends of streets. And that's not much of a surprise, because your founding fathers were great admirers of the Roman Republic and read authors like Cicero. The headline read, 'Gorilla Sulks in [a] Mall as His Future Is Debated.' This was about 20 years ago. It was like being in a situation that you never thought you would be in, not really being able to think clearly." In his experiments, Milgram was "looking to investigate what it was that had contributed to the brainwashing of American prisoners of war by the Chinese [in the Korean war]," Perry tells NPR's Robert Siegel. It listens while the detective investigates the brutal murder of the derelict alcoholic, Charles Staniland a€” a failure, a nobody.
Say, whose full name is Sheldon Russell Curtis, was Polacco's great-great-grandfather, and fought in the Civil War at a young age.
In doing so, it thumbs through souls, finds human nature entirely wanting and resurrects Staniland's broken life: his former gentility and his fall into drink, poverty, manual labor and self-degradation among London's criminal classes.
Listening obsessively to Staniland's diary, which he recorded on tape, we join the detective in learning of a broken world and broken killers. I regarded Stanley Milgram as a misunderstood genius who'd been penalized in some ways for revealing something troubling and profound about human nature. I imagined him crossing Russia at night in a horse-drawn sleigh, calling on his patients, dispensing glittering insights upon a sea of darkness. When she is shot and killed by marauders, the boys make a run for it, back to their regiments.
In He Died With His Eyes Open, Raymond (whose real name was Robert Cook) fed on every misstep he had taken in his own life, and delivered both the startling prose and the commercial success his previous darkly knowing and beautiful books had never achieved.
Raymond had already been multiply divorced and had embraced the scorchingly downward trajectory that took him from an Eton education to London's criminal underbelly, semi-destitution and scraping by as a manual laborer. In the first book of the Factory series, his love of the absolute, particularly the negative absolute, seems to be fully released in a torrent of densely poetic and disturbing fiction. He Died With His Eyes Open has, among other qualities, the shine of authorial delight, a sense of wild unleashing.

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