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To the Best of Our Knowledge: Classics

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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, Greil Marcus is the author of Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, and he's one of America's most admired pop culture critics. Now he's taken on the entire American canon. With Harvard professor Werner Sollors, he's edited a compendium of essays called "A New Literary History o America." Marcus talks with Steve Paulson about what's in the book and why.

Next, in his book The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder, David Thomson makes the case that Psycho was a ground-breaking film that forever changed American cinema and America itself. Thomson talks with Anne Strainchamps and we hear clips from the film.

Then, back in 1973, country music legend Johnny Cash gave his daughter Roseanne a list of 100 songs he considered essential. Now, music critic Michael Streissguth takes us behind the scenes in his book Always Been There: Roseanne Cash, The List, and the Spirit of Southern Music. Streissguth shares his expertise with Steve Paulson and we hear lots of music.

And finally, biographer Joan Schenkar thinks Patricia Highsmith deserves to be recognized as the author of one of the great American novels. The Talented Mr. Ripley became a Hollywood hit. Schenkar tells Anne Strainchamps that Highsmith poured her disturbing impulses into taut, psychological thrillers. [Broadcast Date: February 3, 2010]

Listen to The Moment of Psycho by David Thomson.

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