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
  • The Minotaur and Today’s Politics

    August 24, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Do you think that the Greek legendary half-bull, half-man called the Minotaur could help us understand what is going on in American politics this year? In case you do not remember the Minotaur, he was the offspring of a queen of Crete, who, subject to a curse from a vengeful god, fell madly in love […]

  • Hard to Win After Beating the Party Establishment in the Primaries

    August 16, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Is Donald Trump really a unique political candidate? Did North Carolina ever have anybody in politics who compares with him? When I asked that question in a column last year, I suggested U.S. Senator Robert Reynolds “out-Trumped” Trump and was so full of bunkum that it was part of his nickname, “Buncombe Bob.”  Reynolds served […]

  • A Word to Make Trump Immortal

    August 9, 2016 at 1:00 am

    He has put his mark on buildings and businesses that might last a lifetime. But could he more effectively gain immortality by adding his name to the language? That is the way, for instance, that Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry did it 200 years ago. He signed a partisan redistricting plan in which one district looked […]

  • Chang and Eng: Chapter Two

    August 2, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Sometimes a simple newspaper column can take its writer to surprising places. For instance, after my column on the Siamese Twins was published last month, I got a call from Henry Bunker who lives in Mebane. His brother, Fred, read the column and passed it to Henry. “We’re descendants of the twins,” Henry said, “and […]

  • Take a Break From Politics; Read Books

    July 26, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Do you need relief from two weeks of over-the-top contentious politics? Here are four books that could give both Trump and Clinton supporters a break from worrying about our political future. One is the paperback edition of a poignant memoir by one of North Carolina’s most important novelists. It hit bookstore shelves this week. Another […]

  • Our two great Robert Morgans

    July 19, 2016 at 1:00 am

    North Carolinians of my generation have been blessed with two important Robert Morgans. One is the mountain-born-and-raised and acclaimed writer who is featured this week on North Carolina Bookwatch for his latest novel, “Chasing the North Star.” The other, the former U.S. senator, died on Saturday. My dream had been that author Morgan would write […]

  • Clinton needs Biden: So Do We

    July 12, 2016 at 1:00 am

    For her sake, and for ours, I hope Hillary Clinton asks Joe Biden to run for a third vice presidential term this fall. There are several important reasons; the most important one is at the end of this column. She needs help in dampening the appeal of Donald Trump to white workingmen in key battleground […]

  • Our two most famous citizens

    July 6, 2016 at 1:00 am

    If I asked you to name our state’s best-known citizen, living or dead, whom would you suggest? Hint: What if I said to think of people of who lived in Mount Airy? I bet you would then say Andy Griffith. After all, his still popular TV show was set in Mayberry, which was based on […]

  • Sealing family ties with dripping red wax

    June 28, 2016 at 1:00 am

    On the second weekend of June, people in Louisville, Kentucky, laid to rest two leading citizens. One of them, of course, was Muhammad Ali, buried on June 10. The other, my cousin Boyce F. Martin Jr., was buried the next day. Recently retired, he was for many years chief judge of the U.S. Court of […]

  • Books for summer: Mountains and Military

    June 21, 2016 at 1:00 am

    If you want some more tips for good summer reading from recent books by North Carolina authors, I have four suggestions, two set in the mountains, two about our military. An obvious choice if you are planning a trip to the mountains is Randy Johnson’s book, “Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian […]

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