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
  • North Carolina’s Last Liberal 

    October 15, 2014 at 5:00 am

    What was the greatest political upset in North Carolina political history? Old timers will tell you that it was Kerr Scott’s victory in the Democratic primary for governor in 1948. Scott, a dairy farmer from Alamance County, beat the favored candidate of the conservative wing of the party. Once in office, he adopted a liberal […]

  • Mountain Music: Where It Came From, Where It’s Going

    October 8, 2014 at 5:00 am

    As the International Bluegrass Music Association’s five-day “World of Bluegrass Festival” wound down in Raleigh a few days ago, some people were still asking: where did bluegrass music come from, anyway? North Carolinians have a quick and certain answer: It came out of the hills and hollows of our Appalachian region. And where did that […]

  • A More Interesting Senate Race, In Fiction

    October 1, 2014 at 5:00 am

    While you are watching U.S. Senate campaign television ads, occasionally interrupted by brief segments of programming, do you ever wonder what goes on inside the candidates’ campaign organizations? For instance, what if you could take on the role as the top aide to an incumbent North Carolina U.S. senator running for reelection against a top […]

  • North Carolina’s Scottish Connection

    September 24, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Did North Carolinians have a stake in the outcome of last week’s referendum in Scotland? Maybe not the same kind of stake the residents of Scotland had, but our ties to that land are so close, so important, and so contemporary that perhaps we should have been entitled to vote on the question of its […]

  • New Lessons From Old Wars

    September 17, 2014 at 6:00 am

    At the end of a two-day conference about World War I at UNC-Chapel Hill, I asked a leading military historian what approach he would recommend to the United States to deal with the challenge of ISIS. I will tell you about his response in a minute. The World War I conference was one of a […]

  • “Most Moderate” And “Kay”: Do Words Make A Difference?

    September 10, 2014 at 6:00 am

    First of all, a warning: I am a Democrat. You cannot trust a partisan commentator to give an objective report on a political contest such as a debate between candidates for the United States Senate. Now that you’ve been warned, here are two observations about last week’s first debate between current Senator Kay Hagan and […]

  • A Letter From Home

    September 3, 2014 at 6:00 am

    It was like the pleasure of a long letter from home. At least it was for this exile from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. I picked up the new book, 27 Views of Charlotte: The Queen City in Prose & Poetry, to see if any of my friends were among the almost 30 contributors. But when […]

  • A Non-Lawyer On The Supreme Court?

    August 27, 2014 at 6:00 am

    President Obama plans to appoint National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg to the United States Supreme Court. Not really, of course. Totenberg may know more than most lawyers about the Supreme Court from her experience as an award-winning legal affairs correspondent for NPR. But she is not a lawyer, and you have to be a lawyer […]

  • Remembering The Negro Leagues

    August 20, 2014 at 6:00 am

    “He is number 42,” I said. On a baseball outing with my daughter’s family the other night, I was trying to find the name of a player on the Durham Bulls baseball team while the Bulls were playing a doubleheader against the Buffalo Bison. The player list in the game program did not show a […]

  • The Most Important Thing The Legislature Did

    August 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

    The most important thing the legislature did this year is what it did not do. Adjourn. Instead of adjourning and closing down as is customary shortly after the state’s budget has been revised, the legislators resolved to stay in session indefinitely, coming back from time to time to respond to emergencies, to vote on various […]

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