Sometimes, we don't fully appreciate the greatness of people in public life until they step to the side, where they are more free to express ideas, influence or initiate change, and use social media to bring us on board. So it has been with economist Robert Reich, who served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Currently teaching at UC Berkeley, he has authored 13 books. His film, Inequality for All (click link to watch the short trailer), sounds the alarm for the future of the middle class in America. Most recently, he's taken on Harvard Business School and how it needs to change the way it trains this country's future CEOs. I love his daily Facebook posts, which shine the spotlight on economic and social issues around the world. Follow him on Facebook, if you're there. Robert Reich makes economics accessible (and relevant) in the way Neil Degrasse Tyson makes astrophysics accessible. Rare, indeed.
If you've been reading The New York Times forever, as I have, you know the work of Bill Cunningham, who has been photographing and writing about street fashion and high society, well... forever. Several years ago, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, Bill Cunningham New York, a documentary review of his life and work, came out. I'm no fashionista, but I've watched it three or four times, and my respect for him continues to grow. Such energy! Such joie de vivre! And behind the public persona, a most interesting private person, too. Bill Cunningham crafted his passion for fashion into a career. I can't imagine what The New York Times will do if he ever retires. Watch the film on Netflix.
My mother would tell you I've been reading The New Yorker magazine since before I could read. In fact, I can't remember a time when I haven't had a subscription. I love that, in this electronic age, The New Yorker has given many of my favorite social commentators their own online homes. Andy Borowitz -- comedian and writer -- casts a wry eye on the news of the day, and calls out the powers that be when the world gets a bit skewed. The Borowitz Report arrives like magic, in my inbox, and almost always gives me my first laugh-out-loud of the day.
The passing of Pete Seeger -- musicologist, activist, pacifist, storyteller extraordinaire -- left a hole in my heart. A recent tribute in New York Magazine described him as "a scholar, in dungarees, with a banjo." My favorite collection of Pete Seeger's music is a rallying cry for all generations: If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope and Struggle.
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