By D.G. Martin D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Sundays at noon and Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. For more information or to view prior programs visit
  • Who can tell us how North Koreans really live?

    March 5, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Charles Robert Jenkins. Does that name ring a bell? Jenkins is a North Carolina native whom I have wanted to meet for a long time. Why? I would like to talk to somebody who knows how North Korea works and how North Koreans think and live. As an outsider living half a world away, I […]

  • Birds from Dinosaurs? Not so fast, says one North Carolinian

    February 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    The publication of a new book by retired UNC-Chapel Hill Professor Alan Feduccia could make our state a battleground in an argument among evolutionary scientists. This fight between evolutionists could make creationists as happy as Democrats watching the Republican presidential candidates tear each other apart. This difference of opinion between two groups of scientists, all […]

  • Celebrating George Washington's failures

    February 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    George Washington was a failure. But that is not the reason we do not celebrate his birthday (February 22) anymore, unless you count Monday’s President’s Day.   Washington’s failures are not the reason there are no more cherry pies or axes to help us remember the legends of his honesty and character. We just don’t […]

  • Gen Zers – your Social Security may depend on them

    February 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Gen Z, I thought to myself, what in the world is that? Because it was the theme of the annual Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh last week, I knew I was behind the times. Just so you will not be so far behind, here are some basics. Gen Z is shorthand for Generation Z, young […]

  • My coach did not spit on anybody's hand

    February 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    It is too bad that sports reporters and historians at Atlantic Coast Conference headquarters are not reading “ACC Basketball.” This UNC Press book by Sam Walker was published last year and chronicles the game during the conference’s first 20 years. On the other hand, maybe it is a good thing for my old basketball coach, […]

  • Opening ever so slightly

    January 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    It is the kind of surprise for which every ambitious politician must be prepared: the unexpected decision by an incumbent elected official to retire. It is, my friend Jay Rivers told me, the kind of window of opportunity that opens ever so slightly and rarely. Be ready to decide quickly and pounce on the unexpected […]

  • Does time heal all wounds?

    January 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Will John Edwards someday be the new Newt Gingrich? Where did this crazy question come from? To get the answer, read on. First, we should wrestle with the questions political experts have been stuttering over since Gingrich’s stunning upset of Mitt Romney in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary last weekend. How can a candidate […]

  • Learning about North Carolina from a Favorite Mystery Writer

    January 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    What is the best book I could read to learn about North Carolina? I get this question all the time from people who know about my interest in books about our state and those written by our great writers. My answer differs, depending on what kind of books my questioner likes to read. For instance, […]

  • Replacing elections with lotteries

    January 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    There has to be a better way. Some of us reached that conclusion after discussing the mess our congressional and legislative governing systems have come to. Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government “except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” I wonder if he […]

  • Following Daniel Boone to the west

    January 3, 2012 at 1:38 am

    First there was Daniel Boone. Boone’s real exploits on America’s frontier made him a legend in a new country whose people were ever pushing westward, driving the boundaries of their nation to the Pacific and beyond. The history of our country’s push westward has never been easy to write, wrapped up as it is with […]