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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
  • Hard to find dirt on this politician

    September 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Every politician is the object of critical, unfriendly, and just plain bad comments. That is the rule. But retired journalist and biographer Ned Cline may have found an exception. He had to look long and hard to find any dirt on the subject of his latest book, “The Man from Mount Gilead: Bob Jordan Helped […]

  • September 11: Remembering what we thought and wrote back then

    September 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Ten years ago, what were we thinking? Here is what I wrote in September 2001: War. War. War. What is it about this word that excites us, that unifies us, that puts aside at least for a moment our selfish preoccupation with ourselves? The word brings with it a spirit of action that rises out […]

  • Basketball and the small cracks in the wall of segregation

    August 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    The best thing about the new movie and best-selling book, “The Help,” may be something other than the compelling story and the view into the relationships between white women and their black servants. So what is this “best thing?” “The Help” has us talking, thinking, remembering, reflecting, and reconsidering. It reminds us of friendships between […]

  • Dealing with “The Help”

    August 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    “You-all afraid if we take over we might treat y’all like you treated us. And you might be right.” It sounds like something Minny, one of the characters in “The Help” (either the book or the new movie), might say to one of the white women who treated their African American servants with such little […]

  • In the shadow of Cold Mountain, a real Inman

    August 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Driving south on Lake Logan Road, in the Pigeon River Valley and the shadow of Cold Mountain, headed towards Inman’s Chapel the other day, I could not help wondering whether or not the Inman in Charles Frazier’s “Cold Mountain” was a real person. The dedication of a highway marker at Inman’s Chapel that day gave […]

  • Hope for our “contentious and fitful process”

    August 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Did anything good come out of last week’s resolution of the debt limit crisis? Well, maybe. But it was hard to find it in those first few days after the last-minute legislation passed, promising reductions in spending and raising the country’s debt limit so it could pay its bills. Crisis avoided. But nobody was happy […]

  • New books and a new Bookwatch

    August 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch begins a new season on Friday, August 5, at 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, August 7, at 5 p.m.   My editors let me share with you my reading suggestions. They know that the suggestions parallel exactly upcoming Bookwatch shows.   Because earlier columns have already discussed several books on the list, […]

  • North Carolina’s British Queen

    July 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Here is a North Carolina history question: Which North Carolina counties were named in honor of women?   Dare, of course, in honor of Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents born in America. Wake was named for Margaret Wake, wife of Governor William Tryon. And then, Mecklenburg, named in honor of the wife […]

  • The Civil Rights Revolution—inside and on the ground

    July 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Do you remember seeing photos of the 50th anniversary reunion of the Civil War battle at Gettysburg? Aging veterans from both sides of that war gathered to remember together the horrors of the battle and to celebrate their common homeland. As we begin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights struggles of the […]

  • Fiction tells the truth about North Carolina’s changing rural landscape

    July 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    We have changed. More urban. Less rural and farming. At least that is what the latest Census is telling us. But the story is more complicated. It is more interesting, too. Out in the formerly all-rural counties of our state, new kinds of residents have moved in. But lots of the old-time residents are still […]