Becoming Shakespeare begins with his death in 1616 and relates the fascinating story of his unlikely transformation from provincial playwright to universal Bard. Unlike later literary giants, Shakespeare created no stir when he died. Though he'd once had a string of hit plays, he had been retired in the country for six years, and only his family, friends, and business partners seemed to care that he was gone.
In its long history, the English language has had many lawmakers - those who have tried to regulate or otherwise organize the way we speak. The Lexicographer's Dilemma poses a pair of questions: What does proper English mean? And who gets to say what's right? Our ideas of correct or proper English have a history, and today's debates over the state of the language - whether about Ebonics in schools, the unique use of language in a South Park episode, or split infinitives in the Times - make sense only in historical context.
This September 2004 edition of CatoAudio features West Point historian Robert McDonald on the long struggle for equal rights in America; Charles Peña and Timothy Lynch on the 9/11 attacks, three years later; Jack Valenti on the moral significance of intellectual property; Ted Galen Carpenter on the looming danger of war with China over Taiwan; Stanford's Marcus Cole on successful schools and charities that were crowded out by the welfare state; and more.