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 jackass or a carpenter?

    June 1, 2016 at 1:00 am

    “Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.” Using a saying from UNC President Margaret Spellings’s native Texas, one attributed to Sam Rayburn, the long-time speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tom Lambeth was beginning his tribute to Spellings’s predecessor, Tom Ross. In an evening filled with […]

  • Get to Ayden before it’s too late

    May 24, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Can a Louisiana food writer tell us something about North Carolina barbecue that we did not already know? Rien Fertel gives it a good try in his new book, “The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog.” Fertel caught the “whole-hog” bug in Tennessee, where a restaurant owner and […]

  • The next big high-tech product: Why Concord?

    May 17, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Why would Alevo, a European company seeking to develop and manufacture a powerful groundbreaking battery, choose Concord, North Carolina, as the site of its operations, rather than some other place anywhere in the world? There are several answers to this question that I will share in a minute, but first some background about Alevo and […]

  • Finding our way out of a locked bathroom

    May 10, 2016 at 1:00 am

    What can we do about House Bill 2? Polls show North Carolinians divided about the new law. Answers to polling questions depend upon how the questions are asked. Most North Carolinians, even supporters of transgender rights, do not want men to barge into women’s bathrooms. And most, even those who disagree with the lifestyles of […]

  • Summer reading and lessons about campus names and renaming

    May 3, 2016 at 1:00 am

    What can Yale University teach UNC-Chapel Hill and other universities about naming and renaming college buildings and programs? What does Yale’s solution have to do with North Carolina and one of the books I recommend for early summer reading? Yale divides its undergraduates into separate colleges, where they live and eat together over four years. […]

  • Groping and hoping: Why John Hart is so good and why the latest book took so long to write

    April 27, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Can’t we just find something that we can agree upon? Thrown into a silly unnecessary bathroom dispute that has brought unwelcome international attention, good North Carolinians of all ideological, religious, and political persuasions would like to have something that brings them together. It happens on May 3 with the release of John Hart’s latest literary […]

  • Fire in Fayetteville leaves a gap in Chapel Hill

    April 19, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Why did a fire in Fayetteville cause a panic in Chapel Hill? When I got word about the April 9 fire that destroyed the Haymont Grill in Fayetteville, a little bit of me got destroyed, too. The Grill was a few blocks away from a house at 1805 Bragg Blvd., into which I and seven […]

  • Like actors, putting ourselves in the shoes of others

    April 13, 2016 at 1:00 am

    How hard is it for a white person to really understand the black experience well enough not to get into trouble when speaking about hot-button matters of community concern? Ask Hillary Clinton. Or ask her husband, the former president. Both have spent their lives working to improve the economic conditions of blacks and to increase […]

  • What’s behind the Bathroom Bill?

    April 5, 2016 at 1:00 am

      Was passing the new “Bathroom Bill” the biggest mistake the current North Carolina General Assembly has made so far? Or was it just one in a series of similar overreaching legislative efforts that offend groups of citizens, discourage businesses and organizations from dealing with our state, and subject us to ridicule? Or, instead, was […]

  • Why it’s basketball, not politics, on our minds

    March 29, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Get used to it! Even though we are in the middle of a national election contest with choices so varied, so unusual, so important, and with a possible result that would stretch the traditions of American democracy… Even though terrorist movements challenge our security and the human values important to most Americans and threaten to […]