Were people happier in the 1950s than they are today? Or were they more frustrated, repressed and sad?
To find out, you'd have to compare the emotions of one generation to another. British anthropologists think they may have found the answer — embedded in literature.
Several years ago, more or less on a lark, a group of researchers from England used a computer program to analyze the emotional content of books from every year of the 20th century — close to a billion words in millions of books.
Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.
Rachel Kushner's new novel, The Flamethrowers, begins with a crash. A young woman named Reno is trying to set a record on her motorcycle at a racetrack at the Bonneville Salt Flats. She wants to photograph the tracks she leaves in the sand, as an art project. But her crash takes Reno in a different direction. Her artistic ambition thrusts her in the middle of New York's chaotic art scene in the 1970s, and eventually, Reno finds herself embroiled in a radical political movement in Italy.
There's a reason President Obama chose Colorado to hold a rally this Wednesday in favor of gun control.
Among the states this year, Democratic-controlled Colorado has passed the toughest new restrictions on gun rights, requiring universal background checks and banning magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition.
But if certain liberal wishes have come true in Colorado — recall that it was one of two states last fall that voted to legalize marijuana — things look very different next door in Kansas.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO agreed on a plan for a new system to import temporary workers. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving discusses the politics of the business-labor immigration deal. Rusty Barr, owner of Barr Evergreens, shares how he uses the guest-worker program.
And now Syria and Iraq on the Opinion Page this week. As we reconsider the 10 years since the invasion of Iraq, Washington Post editor Jackson Diehl says we should learn from that costly experience as we consider the civil war in Syria. About absent U.S. intervention, he argues, Syria could produce a much worse humanitarian disaster than Iraq. The tragedy of the post-Iraq logic embraced by President Obama, writes Diehl, is that it has ruled out not just George W. Bush-style invasions, but also more modest interventions.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. We've received many kind messages since last Friday, when NPR announced that this program will cease production at the end of June. Our heartfelt thanks to everybody who took the time to write. We have a lot of programs before we sign off and a lot of stories to share.
In Sunday night's NCAA men's basketball tournament, Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome injury. Coach Rick Pitino rallied the team and led them to a victory over Duke. When accidents like this happen, coaches are tasked with rallying team members and keeping them focused.