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
  • A Black History Month Valentine

    February 17, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Each February we celebrate Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. There is an important, but seldom (if ever) mentioned, connective link. Here it is briefly: Valentine’s Day’s symbol is a heart, and an African American doctor performed the first reported open-heart surgery. That doctor’s story is the first chapter of N.C. State University professor Rob […]

  • Who Could Succeed Tom Ross?

    February 10, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Five years ago, when the University of North Carolina board of governors was searching for a candidate to replace Erskine Bowles, I wrote in this column, “The Board will be looking for the new president who has two critical qualifications: A good feel for North Carolina’s traditions and the state’s needs, and, Successful experience at […]

  • Four Books For Black History Month

    February 3, 2015 at 5:00 am

    What are you doing to commemorate Black History Month?

    You might read a book, one that you might not otherwise consider.

  • 30 Years Later, Ross In Friday’s Footsteps

    January 28, 2015 at 5:00 am

    “He’s got great job security,” someone asserted a few years ago when UNC President Tom Ross’s job first seemed to be at risk after the party affiliation of UNC’s board of governors changed. He explained, “Look, if the board fires him, he will run for governor—not something they would welcome.” Now that the board has […]

  • Leaving Proudly, But Not With Enthusiasm

    January 20, 2015 at 9:07 am

    “Fired with enthusiasm.” Last week I was reminded of that quote attributed to Clark Kerr, the legendary president of the multi-campus University of California. It is what he said when, shortly after Ronald Reagan’s election as governor in 1966, university regents ousted Kerr. He joked that he left the university the same way he came […]

  • Where Politics And Literature Meet

    January 13, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Is my weekly column supposed to be about books or about politics? I get this question sometimes from editors and readers. In fact, one newspaper editor stopped using my column about a year ago. He wrote that he enjoyed my book columns, but “when I get a column and I have to read it to […]

  • Celebrating NC On Screen

    January 6, 2015 at 5:00 am

    North Carolina loves its connections to the production of movies and television programs. But our political decision-makers did not love that connection enough to appropriate sufficient funds or extend tax credits to persuade movie and television producers to site their programs in North Carolina. That decision in the last legislative session will surely be revisited […]

  • Four Different Looks At North Carolina Life

    December 31, 2014 at 5:00 am

    We can’t read them all. It is what people say to me when I start talking about four important North Carolina related books that UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch will feature in January. Even so, I say, you should know something about each of them. For instance, Bookwatch kicks off its new season with one of […]

  • Remembering The Past, But Not Chained To It

    December 24, 2014 at 5:00 am

    They just could not bring themselves to shake hands with their former enemies. A few weeks ago on the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, we remembered earlier reunions when some American servicemen met the Japanese pilots who had attacked them so many years earlier. Some Americans shook hands with their former enemies […]

  • Holding On To Our Humanity

    December 17, 2014 at 5:00 am

    “What is our tolerance for brutality?” A minister asked this question from the pulpit Sunday morning and suggested that his listeners consider recent news stories relating to “enhanced interrogation” procedures by the Central Intelligence Agency. If we think these enhanced tactics or torture could be justified on the grounds that they were effective in providing […]