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Polar Bear Monument in White Chapel Cemetery, Troy, Michigan, sculptor Leon Hermant. Photo by Bolandera from Wikimedia Commons
Bolandera / Wikimedia Commons

When President Woodrow Wilson agreed to send American troops to northern Russia in 1918, it was only to guard stores in Archangel. But it didn’t take long for the Americans to find themselves in combat with Bolshevik soldiers. Author James Carl Nelson tells the story in his book The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919. Note: This interview was originally broadcast in February


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Author James Carl Nelson says as World War I was winding down on November 11, 1918, fighting in northern Russia was getting more intense. He says it was frustrating for American troops who wondered what their mission was. 

Nelson’s book is called The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919. He tells the story of men, most of them from Michigan and Wisconsin, and their strange trip from what was then called Camp Custer near Battle Creek to Russia, 600 miles north of Moscow for a mission that went beyond the end of World War I. Note: This interview was originally presented in February. 


Poster for P.T. Barnum's show with Joice Heth J. Booth and Son, Wikimedia Commons
J. Booth and Son / Wikimedia Commons

Author Kevin Young says he started out writing about “why we deceive, and I ended up thinking about why we believe.” The result is the book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News. Young says there are many reasons we believe hoaxes, “but a lot of it is because we want too." Note: this interview originally aired in January. 


Cover of the book On Living by Kerry Egan
Courtesy of Kerry Egan

As a hospice chaplain, Kerry Egan says there are two questions she’s often asked: What are people’s last words? And what do people regret as they are dying? She says “I think what they’re really asking is ‘what am I going to regret? And what are the most important things to say?’”


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Hospice chaplain Kerry Egan says watching a loved one die is hard. She says they may suffer in pain for a long time. But Egan says one benefit of having time before death is that people have a chance to reflect on life, make a connection and say something to a loved one before they can’t say it anymore.   

The book On Living chronicles the things people told Egan while they were in Hospice. It includes reflections on the meaning of life, and regrets people felt at the end. Egan will speak at the McShane Preacher’s Colloquium Sunday March 10th and Monday March 11th at First Presbyterian Church in Kalamazoo.


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