AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY + THE ‘MONA LISA’ OF STAMPS

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

A look at the history of American foreign policy and a journey inside the quest to own the most valuable stamp in the world are the subjects of The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Wednesday, March 15, 3 pm ET when joining Halli at her table are award-winning former New York Times foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer author of THE TRUE FLAG and New York Times reporter James Barron author of THE ONE-CENT MAGENTA.

American Foreign PolicyIn THE TRUE FLAG: THEODORE ROOSEVELT, MARK TWAIN, AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN EMPIRE Stephen Kinzer turns his attention to the formative events of American imperialism. Today’s debate over intervention – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or the next major conflict – is only the latest episode in a debate that has divided the American soul for more than a century. According to Kinzer, every argument about whether or not the US should intervene in other countries, or allow them to shape their own futures, is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate at the turn of the twentieth century in 1898, following its victory in the Spanish-American War.

American Foreign policy and stamp collectingIn 2014, a stamp known as “The One-Cent Magenta” was sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $9.5 million, the largest amount ever paid for a postage stamp at auction. Today, it is the most expensive object in the world by weight, but when it was first printed in 1856, the stamp cost (as its name suggests) just a penny. What is it about our compulsion to collect, the human desire to own what is most rare, that can give an item—including a tiny, beat-up postage stamp—such extraordinary value? IN THE ONE-CENT MAGENTA: INSIDE THE QUEST TO OWN THE MOST VALUABLE STAMP IN THE WORLD James Barron pulls back the curtain on the secretive and often bizarre world of high-profile stamp collecting. It’s a fascinating tale of immense wealth and obsession, told through the stories of the eccentric characters who have bought, owned, and sold the world’s most sought-after piece of philatelic history. Written with wit and irony, Barron’s signature style, ONE-CENT MAGENTA tells a surprisingly scintillating story in improbable and delicious detail.

The history of American foreign policy as told by a master storyteller Stephen Kinzer and a look inside the obsessive, secretive and often bizarre world of high-profile stamp collecting with James Barron on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Wednesday, March 15. The podcast will be posted 3 pm Eastern at Halli Casser-Jayne dot com.

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