5.11.16: A Cultural History of Nudism & The Essence of Dog

May 11, 2016

“Birthday suit”, “in the buff”, “wearing nothing but a smile.” Call it what you will, on today’s show we’ll strip bare the American nudism movement and we’ll explore the progressive-era origins and continuing tensions over what it means to take it all off.

Then, people love dogs - but few pay attention to the most common variety - village dogs. We're speaking with two experts who have spent their lives traveling around the world and studying the truest essence of dog. 

Listen to the full show. 

A Cultural History of Nudism

  Brian Hoffman is the author of the book Naked: A Cultural History of American Nudism which takes a look at the American nudism movement from its roots in Germany to its definition as a therapeutic health movement. Naked is now available on the Kindle. 

Tracking Down a Chemical Killer

One of the most popular subgenres in television is the police procedural - CSI, NCIS, Law & Order - you know what we’re talking about. This story, from producer Megan Molteni, takes the police procedural format in a new direction, by focusing on crimes against bees.   

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.    

What Is A Dog?

Humans love dogs.  A quick search on Amazon's bookstores reveals more than 31,000 entries - training books, breeding books, inspirational dog-related novels and non-fiction essays - but for everything written about canis lupus familiaris, academic or otherwise, very little attention has been paid to the planet's most common variety.  We’re not talking about a particular breed – we’re talking about the street and village dogs that some say make up 75% of the estimated one billion dogs around the globe.

Raymond and Lorna Coppinger have studied these village dogs in dumps and cities all across the world. Raymond was a founding professor of biology at Hampshire College in Massachusetts and Lorna is a biologist and science writer. Their new book is called What Is A Dog?