In this week's Phoenix, I've got a cover story on Brown University's Political Theory Project, which is right in the thick of an intriguing effort to bring a balanced political debate to one of the nation's most liberal campuses.
The institute caught my eye when I stumbled upon an online reference to one of its funders: Charles G. Koch, a billionaire businessman who, with his brother David, is one of the prime financiers of the Tea Party and libertarian causes. What was Koch doing at Brown?, I wondered.
The answer is nuanced, and not what you might expect. I hope you'll read the piece.
One footnote that didn't make it into the story. Koch's donations to Brown, as far as I can tell, have gone almost entirely to the Political Theory Project. But I did find a separate, $30,000 grant for Ross Levine, an economics professor who has written about the merits of bank deregulation.
We've also got an interview with Brown history professor Robert Self, who will be appearing on a panel at AS220 next week - part of the art space's Action Speaks! series - looking back at An American Life, the groundbreaking 1971 documentary on the Loud family of Santa Barbara, California. The doc, which aired two years later on PBS, was by some lights the start of reality television. But as you'll see, there's some debate about that.
A fun look, too - amid the tributes to the Providence's 375th anniversary - at the dark side of city's history . And a piece on seminal indie rockers The Strokes, 10 years after they rescued rock n' roll. Enjoy.