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Why does “Ol’ Man River” still stop Show Boat?

By Todd Decker
Show Boat is back on the boards, visiting four major opera companies in a new production of yet another new version. Originally debuted on Broadway in 1927, apparently Show Boat will never stop being remade. The new production, directed by Francesca Zambello, had its premiere at the Chicago Lyric Opera a year ago, an appropriate starting place as much of the second act takes place in the Windy City.

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How to survive election season, oral history style

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
Every presidential election, similar concerns arise: Don’t the campaign ads seem especially vicious? Has the media coverage always been this crazed? Will we ever actually get to vote? While I know many who become more motivated the more absurd the election season becomes, I tend to become disenchanted with the whole process, wondering how my one small vote could compete against the Koch Brothers or Morgan Freeman.

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Networked politics in 2008 and 2012

By Daniel Kreiss
A recent Pew study on the presidential candidates’ use of social media described Barack Obama as having a “substantial lead” over Mitt Romney. The metrics for the study were the amounts of content these candidates post, the number of platforms the campaigns are active on, and the differential responses of the public.

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To sell a son… Uncle Tom’s Cabin

On 5 June 1851, the abolitionist journal National Era began running a serial by the wife of a professor at Bowdoin College. A deeply religious and well-educated white woman, Harriet Beecher Stowe was an ardent opponent of slavery. As she wrote to the journal editor, Gamaliel Bailey: “I feel now that the time is come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak… I hope every woman who can write will not be silent.” The work, eventually titled Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Or Life Among the Lowly, became a national sensation.

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