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Just the Best Literature

English, Literature, 1 season, 134 episodes, 2 days, 20 hours, 27 minutes
About
Just the Best Literature inspires you to not only read printed books, but to read only the best books. Besides books, host Dennis Leap will lead discussions on other current literature such as essays and important articles.
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#336: The Scion Finds a New War

In this special hourlong episode, Dennis Leap discusses the significance of Chapter 4 in Candice Millard’s Hero of the Empire. After licking his wounds from losing the election in Oldham, Winston Churchill renews his desire to become a great politician by finding a new war to build his reputation. This chapter is a great introduction to the Boer War.
7/15/202458 minutes, 26 seconds
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#335: The Scion Is Defeated

Host Dennis Leap discusses Winston’s election day in Oldham. The candidates campaigning to win the election brought their wives with them. Winston was not yet married, so he begged his mother, Jennie Jerome, to come support him on election day. Jennie showed up dressed as a star-studded actress. Her sparkling beauty drew attention, but Winston fell 1,300 votes short of victory.
6/24/202428 minutes, 45 seconds
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#334: The Scion Speaks

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing Candice Millard’s book Hero of the Empire, Chapter 3 “The Scion.” This chapter gives great insight into Winston Churchill’s mighty push to get into politics at a young age.
6/10/202428 minutes, 13 seconds
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#333: The Graven Palm, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing Candice Millard’s book Hero of the Empire. In this podcast, Dennis focuses on Winston Churchill’s unbearable uncertainty waiting to see if he would be chosen for a place on the Conservative ticket for a by-election in Oldham, England. Winston had no doubt in his star, yet he didn’t feel it wasteful to have his palm read to see into his future. Exploring mysticism was popular in England at that time, even with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Winston did not allow his “choice of palm reader” to advertise what she saw for his future, but events happened that put Winston on the ticket that launched his political career.
5/6/202428 minutes
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#332: The Graven Palm, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing Candice Millard’s book Hero of the Empire. In Chapter 2, Candice provides additional history on Winston Churchill’s desire for power and fame with his involvement in the British Empire’s war against the Mahdists in the Sudan. It was a war of great carnage, but Winston remained unscathed. “Nothing touched me,” he wrote two days after the Battle of Omdurman, in which the British lost 500 men and the Mahdists 20,000.
4/22/202428 minutes, 42 seconds
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#331: The British Empire’s Vast Responsibilities

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing Candice Millard’s book Hero of the Empire. Candice opens Chapter 1 with a review of Winston’s early love of 1,500 toy soldiers and make-believe battles and then gives an in-depth discussion of the extant and success of the vast British Empire.
4/8/202428 minutes, 41 seconds
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#330: Hero of the Empire

Host Dennis Leap begins discussing a new book on the life of Winston Churchill by author Candice Millard. Hero of the Empire gives us details of Churchill’s daring escape from prison in Pretoria, South Africa (the capital of the Boer Republic), while fighting in the Boer War and the making of his political career.
4/1/202428 minutes, 22 seconds
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#328: Winston’s Prestige Is Destroyed by Hostile Attitudes

After fighting the bloodthirsty Pathans and getting reassigned to leading a Punjabi infantry (none spoke English), Winston attempts to get attached to the Malakand Field Force permanently. This did not happen, and he was sent back to his home base at Bangalore. In Chapter 13, Winston seeks to maneuver for a job in a new campaign in the Sudan under Sir Herbert Kitchener. However, he discovers that those who had previously been friendly and encouraging had turned against him. Those who once supported him were calling him a medal hunter and a self-advertiser. Winston has to learn to endure “the less amiable aspects of human nature.”
3/4/202428 minutes
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#327: Winston Becomes an Author

After fighting the bloodthirsty Pathans and getting reassigned to leading a Punjaubi infantry (where no one spoke English), Winston attempted to be attached to the Malakand Field Force permanently, but he was sent back to his home base at Bangalore. He began writing a book on his recent experience in the Mamund Valley, which became a published success. Receiving praise from the prince of Wales, Winston began to remake himself as an author.
2/19/202440 minutes, 40 seconds
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#326: Winston Faces Murderous Savages

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing the Pathan’s attack on the British in Chapter 11. The British adjutant had been shot. Four soldiers were carrying him to safety when, out from the edges of the village houses, rushed a half dozen Pathan swordsmen. The leading tribesman rushed upon the prostrate adjutant, slashing him three or four times. Winston angered by the crime wanted to kill the Pathan with his own sword. But upon seeing a group of Pathans behind their leader, he decided to shoot the tribesman instead.
1/29/202429 minutes, 7 seconds
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#325: Winston Gets His Wish to Fight at Mamund

Host Dennis Leap discusses North Indian tribes attack on the British in Chapter 11. As the Malakand Field Force moved deeper into the Mamund Valley, Sir Bindon Blood was negotiating with the North India tribes to avoid a bloody conflict. Yet young Winston and other soldiers like him wanted something exciting to happen. Winston wanted a rifle fight. Sir Bindon Blood and the Mamund tribe gave him his wish.
1/15/202428 minutes, 13 seconds
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#324: Winston Praises Sir Bindon Blood but Not Britain’s India Government

Host Dennis Leap discusses Winston Churchill’s praise for Sir Bindon Blood’s talents as a military leader while working with the Bunerwal and Pathan tribes of Northern India, but then reveals the flaws in some of Britain’s political officers. Winston calls them Marplots because they failed to act resolutely or decisively, leading to the unnecessary deaths of British soldiers.
1/1/202428 minutes, 21 seconds
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#323: Winston Joins the Malakand Force, Part 1

At the end of Chapter 9: “Education at Bangalore,” Winston is offered a 3-month leave to return to England, which gives him a break from the sweltering heat of India. While in England, he reads in the newspapers that the north Indian tribe Pathan was revolting against the British. He learns that his friend Sir Bindon Blood is leading a field force of three brigades to quell the revolt. Winston telegraphs Sir Bindon to remind him that he had promised to include Winston in such an event. Winston returns to India to join the fight; however, he learns after his return that he must become a war correspondent to do so.
12/18/202329 minutes, 38 seconds
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#322: There Is Always Time For Polo

Host Dennis Leap finishes his discussion of Chapter 9 “Education at Bangalore” with Winston’s treatise on polo’s popularity with the British troops and the Indian populace. Polo games in India were high cultural events with parades of elephants and British royal regalia. Of course, Winston was most excited about his polo team defeating the highest-ranking Indian team. The ultimate takeaway from this chapter is true education involves books, classes, quality social occasions and challenging athletic events.
12/4/202329 minutes, 18 seconds
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#321: Winston Gets Educated at Bangalore, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing My Early Life Chapter 9, “Education at Bangalore.” Winston comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t have a grasp on religion. He recognized that the British Empire had exposed him to many different religions full of untruths that created much confusion. His final religious belief in God came after a few years of being in constant danger: He continually prayed for protection and he knew that God provided it for him.
11/20/202329 minutes, 21 seconds
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#320: Winston Gets Educated at Bangalore, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing My Early Life Chapter 9: “Education at Bangalore.” During the winter months of 1896, Winston came to the realization that he needed more education. He wrote, “I began to feel myself wanting in even the vaguest knowledge about many large spheres of thought.” While he had developed a huge vocabulary thanks to being an avid reader, he still lacked knowledge in subjects such as ethics, the Socratic Method and history. With the help of his mother, he built his own school library and studied history such as Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He spent five hours a day studying, essentially attaining a university-level education.
11/13/202328 minutes, 41 seconds
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#319: Young Winston Goes to India, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap moves into Chapter 9 “Education at Bangalore.” While being trained to utilize British fighting maneuvers to protect the Empire in India, Winston realized he was not truly educated: There was a lot of English vocabulary he did not understand. He could speak the words, but he did not know their meaning. For example, he loved the word ethics, but did not know exactly what it was. “I would have paid some scholar 2 pounds at least to give me a lecture of an hour or an hour and a half about ethics,” he wrote. So young Winston set a goal to give himself a college-level education.
10/9/202328 minutes, 7 seconds
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#318: Young Winston Goes to India, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap wraps up his discussion of Chapter 8. Winston gives young readers advice on how to take care of their health, specifically warning them not to dislocate their shoulders. He also describes his life as a young soldier in India. His descriptions are a technicolor view of the beauty of British rule in India. In Bangalore, Winston settled into his new life in India. He devoted himself to the serious purpose of life—polo! You won’t want to miss the humor and fascination of India in this podcast.
9/25/202328 minutes, 2 seconds
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#317: Young Winston Visits the Vanished World, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap finishes discussing key highlights from Chapter 7, “Hounslow.” Winston discusses the beauty of the Deepdene House and Gardens, where he mingled with the wealthy and elite members of the Army and Parliament. It was at Deepdene that he learned the importance of punctuality—after showing up late for a dinner with the Prince of Wales. In Chapter 8, Winston heads to India. As he disembarks from the ship, he falls and dislocates his shoulder—which later in life proved to be a blessing. “One must never forget,” he wrote, “when misfortunes come that it is quite possible they are saving one from something much worse; or when you make some great mistake, it may easily serve you better than the best-advised decision.”
9/18/202328 minutes, 28 seconds
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#316: Young Winston Visits the Vanished World, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap discusses key highlights from Chapter 7, “Hounslow,” from Winston Churchill’s memoir My Early Years 1874–1904. As this chapter opens, 21-year-old Winston has completed his calvary training and has 6 months leave before moving on to India where his regiment is scheduled to remain for 12 to 14 years. Churchill reminisces about this time period in Hounslow, a choice district in London, writing, “I gave myself over to the amusements of the London season. In those days, English society still existed in its old form.” This podcast unveils the beauty and power of the early British Empire.
9/11/202327 minutes, 46 seconds
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#315: Young Winston Comes Under Gunfire

On Nov. 30, 1895, after joining the Spanish Army’s fight against the Cuban rebels, 21-year-old Winston Churchill finally got his wish. He was in the jungle gnawing on a skinny chicken leg for breakfast when a volley of gunfire rang out from the edge of the forest. A bullet passed by his head, killing a soldier's horse. Watching the horse slowly bleed led him to write, “I began to take a more thoughtful view of our enterprise.” Host Dennis Leap finishes his discussion of Chapter 6 with more anecdotes from young Winston.
8/28/202328 minutes, 24 seconds
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#314: Young Winston Wants to Go to War, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap discusses key highlights from Chapter 6 “Cuba” in Winston Churchill’s memoir My Early Years 1874–1904. Winston is 21 years old: Having now been trained as a soldier, he believes he needs a dress rehearsal of a real war. He turns his eyes to Cuba where the Spanish are at war with native rebels seeking to overthrow the government. He writes: “Here was a place of vital action.”
8/7/202327 minutes, 18 seconds
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#313: Young Winston Wants to Go to War, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap discusses key highlights from Chapter 5, “The Fourth Hussars,” in Winston Churchill’s memoir My Early Years 1874–1904. As this chapter opens, Winston is 21 years old. Having graduated from Sandhurst with honors, Winston is ready to take his place in the world. Colonel Brabazon, a family friend and commander of the Fourth Hussars, requests Winston come under his command. Winston is excited for such a move. Filled with a desire to go to war, Winston must learn to survive personal tragedies.
7/31/202328 minutes, 7 seconds
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#312: Winston’s Early Soldier Days

Host Dennis Leap with special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 4, 5 and 6 of My Early Life. Entering the Sandhurst military school gave Winston a new start in his young life. He wrote, “I was no longer handicapped by past neglect of Latin, French or mathematics. We had now to learn fresh things and we all started equal.” They show how Winston Churchill truly began to blossom as a strong young man with opportunities in a setting that enhanced his talents.
7/10/202330 minutes, 3 seconds
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#311: The Deep Thoughts of Young Winston

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon continue discussing Winston S. Churchill’s most charming memoir My Early Life 1874–1904. They focus on the first three chapters, which show how deeply Winston Churchill thought as a young boy. He definitely had an understanding of politics and politicians. He recognizes that he was a “troublesome boy” and that he resisted educational subjects in which he had no interest. He hated mathematics, Latin and Greek classics. He loved French, English and poetry. Remember, the list of books planned for this series is featured on Twitter @JBliterature1.
7/3/202330 minutes, 6 seconds
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#310: Child of the Victorian Age

Host Dennis Leap, with special guest Grant Turgeon, begin discussing Winston S. Churchill’s most charming memoir: My Early Life 1874–1904. They focus on William Manchester’s 1996 introduction to this book, which provides key additional insights behind the events Churchill recorded. As a reminder, the list of books planned for this series is featured on Twitter @JBliterature1.
6/26/202335 minutes, 39 seconds
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#309: Winston Churchill: Soldier, Statesman, Writer, Reader

Host Dennis Leap introduces the new JBL series dedicated to the life and accomplishments of Sir Winston S. Churchill. During the British Black Lives Matter riots over the death of George Floyd, Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square was desecrated with red paint, calling him a racist. At the same time, instructors at Churchill College at Cambridge planned a year-long program titled "Churchill, Race and Empire" to critically examine the college’s founder Winston Churchill. Because of family opposition to the program, the project was soon squashed by college executives. While Winston Churchill certainly had human flaws, he also had a sterling life of great accomplishments. Listeners are invited to read the best books about him, the books he wrote, and the books he loved to read. The list of books planned for this series is featured on Twitter @JBliterature1.
6/19/202326 minutes, 54 seconds
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#308: Understanding Melville's Use of the Bible

6/12/202326 minutes, 40 seconds
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#307: Why Read Moby Dick?

Host Dennis Leap introduces the JBL short series on Herman Melville’s classic American novel, Moby Dick or the Whale, using quotes from Nathaniel Philbrick’s small book, Why Read Moby Dick?
6/5/202331 minutes, 4 seconds
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#306: Ishmael’s Epilogue and Highlights From Moby Dick

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon finish this series with a discussion of Ishmael’s Epilogue of his survival from Moby Dick’s destruction of the Pequod Ahab and his crew. They also recount highlights from this incredible American classic in order to encourage listeners to read and study it again.
5/29/202359 minutes, 27 seconds
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#305: The Three-Day Chase to Kill Moby Dick

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 133 through 135 titled “Chase Day 1,” “Chase Day 2” and “Chase Day 3.” Ahab awakes early one night and smells Moby Dick in the air like “a sagacious ship dog.” Ahab believes Moby is near and sets the crew on active duty to follow the whale’s trail in the sea. Ahab is lifted high above the crew and yells out, “There she blows!” It is Moby Dick! But who can kill the powerful Greek god Moby Dick? Listen to this podcast to find out.
5/22/202336 minutes, 24 seconds
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#304: The Rachel, the Cabin, and the Hat

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 128, 129 and 130. Chapter 128 deals with the Pequod’s encounter with the Nantucket whaler named The Rachel. Manxman, and old sailor, warns Ahab that The Rachel is bringing bad news. Ahab is only interested in an answer to his question: Hast thou seen the white whale? The Rachel’s captain has lost sight of his son helping in a whale boat crew due to a dangerous encounter with Moby Dick. He requests Ahab and the Pequod’s help in searching for the boat. Ahab refuses because he wants to pursue Moby Dick. Chapter 129 gives a look inside Ahab’s cabin and a discussion between Ahab and Pip. Ahab admits he is crazy and wants Pip to stay in the cabin because he knows a dangerous encounter with Moby Dick is imminent. In Chapter 130, The Hat, Ahab, Fedellah and the crew are downcast over the coming, sure-to-be-violent encounter with Moby Dick. Melville foreshadows what is to come.
5/15/202330 minutes, 39 seconds
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#303: Ahab Hates Queequeg’s Coffin (Chapters 110 and 127)

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss the two chapters foreshadowing the destruction of the Pequod as Ahab continues his insane search to destroy Moby Dick. In Chapter 110, Queequeg suffers a near-fatal illness caused by removing casks of oil from below deck. He requests the ship carpenter make him a coffin so he is not buried at sea in his hammock, but Queequeg does not die. Chapter 127 shows how Ahab hates the coffin because it reminds him of the wooden leg the carpenter crafted for him after Moby Dick took off his leg. Ahab chides the carpenter when he refashions the coffin into a life buoy to rescue sailors who might fall overboard.
5/1/202330 minutes, 15 seconds
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#302: Chapter 99: The Doubloon—a Mirror Into the Soul

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss one of the most unique chapters in Moby Dick. Melville uses the gold doubloon as a mirror into Ahab’s soul and the souls of some of the crew. You’ll want to hear this one.
4/17/202331 minutes, 58 seconds
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#301: Chapter 93: The Castaway—Pip

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss the the sad mishap of Pip, Ahab’s cabin boy. Stubb recruits Pip to be an oarsman on his whaling canoe. At his first lowering, Pip is frightened by a whale and jumps out of the boat. Stubb tells Pip to never jump out of the boat or he'll abandon him at sea. Pip jumps again. In the drama of catching a whale, Pip is left to drift on the ocean alone. When recovered, Pip appears to have gone mad. However, Ishmael see Pip’s experience differently.
4/3/202328 minutes, 55 seconds
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#300: The Pequod Meets the Virgin

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Mr. Grant Turgeon discuss Chapter 81 of Herman Melville’s American classic Moby Dick. The whale ship called the Virgin is actually a German whaler known as the Jungfrau in the German language. The Jungfrau is anxious to gam (or meet up) with the Pequod because they have no oil. They are not a successful whaler. The captain of the Virgin brings a lamp feeder on board to borrow some oil from the Pequod. All of the ship's lamps are dry of oil, making it difficult to manage the ship at night. Ahab is immediately impatient with the visiting captain because of the language barrier. Also, this captain knows nothing about Moby Dick. Ahab supplies the oil reluctantly. As the German captain returns to his ship with oil, eight whales are seen in the distance and the ships race to capture the whales. Ahab’s men easily beat the Germans to the one whale in the pod that is captured.
3/20/202330 minutes, 7 seconds
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#299: The Jeroboam’s Story

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Mr. Grant Turgeon discuss Chapter 71 of Herman Melville’s American classic Moby Dick. Captain Ahab signals another Nantucket whale ship named the Jeroboam to have a meeting to gain information on Moby Dick. The Jeroboam’s Captain Mayhew was fearful to join up with the Pequod because there was a malignant epidemic on board. Onboard the Jeroboam was an insane sailor who believed he was the archangel Gabriel. From a distance between the ships, Gabriel warns Ahab not to pursue Moby Dick because it would lead to his death. Ahab, like the ancient Israelite King Jeroboam, ignores the warning of a prophet.
3/6/202327 minutes, 46 seconds
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#298: Just the Best Literature Revived

2/20/202326 minutes, 40 seconds
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#297: Lessons From George Washington’s Life

Host Dennis Leap discusses several key leadership lessons from the life of George Washington.
2/13/202327 minutes, 4 seconds
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#296: The Final Days of George and Martha Washington

Host Dennis Leap with Deborah Leap discuss the final years of the Washingtons’ productive lives.
2/6/202326 minutes, 38 seconds
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#295: George Washington Faces Conflict Within His Cabinet

Host Dennis Leap and 60-plus panel member Deborah Leap discuss the problems George Washington faced with cabinet members’ desiring to establish a two-party system for America.
1/30/202328 minutes, 32 seconds
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#294: George and Martha Washington as First President and First Lady

Host Dennis Leap and 60-plus panel member Deborah Leap discuss Mrs. Barbara Bush, as well as George and Martha Washington’s lives as first president and first lady. NOTE: This episode is a repeat from Dec. 17, 2018
1/9/202329 minutes, 28 seconds
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#293: George and Martha Washington at Valley Forge

Host Dennis Leap and 60-plus panel member Deborah Leap discuss the funeral of George Herbert Walker Bush, followed by a discussion of George and Martha Washington’s support of the troops during America’s war with Britain.
1/2/202327 minutes, 35 seconds
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#292: George Washington: Architect and Builder

Host Dennis Leap discusses George Washington as a skilled architect and builder.
12/26/202226 minutes, 18 seconds
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#291: George Washington: Agricultural Pioneer

Host Dennis Leap discusses George Washington as one of America’s first agricultural pioneers.
12/19/202225 minutes, 19 seconds
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#290: George Washington: Man of Noble Principles, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing George Washington’s treatment of slaves and disgust for slavery.
12/12/202225 minutes, 48 seconds
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#289: George Washington: Man of Noble Principles

Host Dennis Leap discusses George Washington’s noble qualities of character in his physical appearance, manners and dress, and begins a discussion on Washington’s hatred of chattel slavery.
12/5/202227 minutes, 24 seconds
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#288: Introducing Martha Washington, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap, with 60-plus panel member Deborah Leap, discusses fascinating historical facts concerning Martha Washington’s family and her first husband, Daniel Custis.
11/28/202227 minutes, 58 seconds
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#287: Introducing Martha Washington

Host Dennis Leap, with 60 plus panel member Deborah Leap, discuss fascinating historical facts concerning George Washington’s wife Martha.
11/21/202225 minutes, 36 seconds
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#286: Introduction to Paul Johnson’s Biography George Washington: Founding Father, Part 3

Host Dennis Leap continues to discuss the pertinent facts of George Washington's life, including his marriage, family life and health.
11/14/202225 minutes, 18 seconds
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#285: Introduction to Paul Johnson’s Biography George Washington: Founding Father, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap continues to discuss the pertinent facts of George Washington’s life in the context of liberal leftists’ rage against “dead privileged white men.”
11/7/202225 minutes, 48 seconds
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#284: Introduction to Paul Johnson’s Biography George Washington: Founding Father

Host Dennis Leap discusses the pertinent facts and towering moral character of George Washington in the context of liberal lefts' handling Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
10/31/202227 minutes, 36 seconds
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#283: Final Thoughts on George Orwell’s 1984

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap conclude the discussion of George Orwell’s classic 1984 by focusing on the emotional destruction of Winston Smith.
10/24/202230 minutes, 1 second
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#282: Winston Smith Reads Emanuel Goldstein’s Book, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon continue their discussion of the book within the book 1984, by George Orwell. Goldstein’s book is Orwell’s prescient way to explain the flaws of socialism. They discuss socialism as a religion, Big Brother as a god, and the need to rewrite history.
9/26/202230 minutes, 16 seconds
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#281: Winston Smith Reads Emanuel Goldstein’s Book, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss the book within the book 1984, by George Orwell. Goldstein’s book is Orwell’s prescient way to explain the flaws of socialism that are quickly becoming prevalent in Western society today. They discuss how socialism manipulates the war among the classes of people to gain and keep power.
9/19/202231 minutes, 25 seconds
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#280: Final Thoughts on Orwell’s Animal Farm

Host Dennis Leap shows why George Orwell’s classic tale Animal Farm is not a children’s story. He encourages every adult to read it. Why? This short fable clearly explains how the radical left is taking over our nations today.
9/12/202232 minutes, 1 second
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#279: A Quick Trip to Orwell’s Animal Farm, Part 3

Host Dennis Leap, along with special S.E.P. camper guests Aiden, Issac, Heidi, Nicole and Michal, discuss the final five chapters of George Orwell’s creative and humorous classic fable, Animal Farm.
9/6/202230 minutes, 41 seconds
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#278: A Quick Trip to Orwell’s Animal Farm, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap, along with special S.E.P. camper guests Aiden, Issac, Heidi and Nicole, discuss the first five chapters of George Orwell’s creative and humorous classic fable, Animal Farm.
8/29/202229 minutes, 15 seconds
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#277: A Quick Trip to Orwell’s Animal Farm, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap discusses why he’s interrupting discussion of Orwell’s classic 1984 to discuss his creative and humorous classic fable Animal Farm.
8/22/202229 minutes, 17 seconds
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#276: 1984 'Book 2': Winston, Julia and O’Brien, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and guests Deborah Leap and Emma Moore discuss the characters Winston, Julia and O’Brien and their prescient symbolic relevance to today’s current events.
8/15/202230 minutes, 24 seconds
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#275: 1984 “Book 2”: Winston, Julia and O’Brien, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and guests Deborah Leap and Emma Moore discuss the unique aspects of the characters Winston, Julia and O’Brien.
8/8/202227 minutes, 53 seconds
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#274: 1984: The World of Winston Smith, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and guests Grant Turgeon and James Brandon discuss highlights from Book 1 of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. They discuss Winston Smith’s job in the Ministry of Truth, modern media’s use of fake news, lying permitted on television, Newspeak and the control of others’ thoughts, activist journalists, Syme and the elimination of classic literature, and the people closest to Winston: O’Brien, Julia, Katharine and the Parsons.
8/1/202230 minutes, 26 seconds
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#273: 1984: The World of Winston Smith, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and guests Grant Turgeon and James Brandon discuss highlights from Book 1 of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. Topics discussed include telescreens, Winston’s diary, propaganda, the destruction of language, the two minutes of hate, and today’s mainstream news.
7/25/202226 minutes, 42 seconds
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#272: The Goney and the Gam

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon finish discussing Chapter 48: “The First Lowering.” They then go on to discuss chapters 52 and 53, which focus on the social meeting (or Gam) of two or more whale ships and why Ahab chose not to gam with the Albatross (Goney).
2/14/202231 minutes, 16 seconds
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#271: Whaling With the Phantoms

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon continue discussing Chapter 48: “The First Lowering.” This explosive chapter gives insight into the uniting of Ahab’s stowaway crew—believed at one time to be Phantoms—and the legitimate crew of the Pequod.
2/7/202230 minutes, 6 seconds
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#270: Ahab’s Crack Whale-Killing Crew Revealed

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 46 through 48. For Chapter 46, Dennis and Grant discuss Melville’s additional revelation of Ahab’s megalomania. In Chapters 47 and 48, Dennis and Grant discuss the shocking introduction and use of Ahab’s powerful phantom whale-killing crew.
1/31/202231 minutes, 29 seconds
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#269: Ahab’s Intelligent but Mad Mind

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 43 and 44. In Chapter 43, Melville begins to reveal that there is an unknown mysterious crew on board. For Chapter 44, Leap and Turgeon discuss Ahab’s great intelligence and also his mental madness.
1/24/202230 minutes, 43 seconds
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#268: Ishmael Reveals His Nameless Horror of Moby Dick

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapter 42: “The Whiteness of the Whale.” This fascinating chapter discusses the elusive qualities of the color white. This color happens to appall Ishmael.
1/17/202231 minutes, 1 second
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#267: Introducing Moby Dick

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapter 41, “Moby Dick,” which gives the history of Moby Dick and Ahab and shows that Ishmael recognizes he is totally under Ahab’s influence.
1/3/202231 minutes, 10 seconds
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#266: Kill-the-Whale Festivities

Host Dennis Leap with special guest Grant Turgeon complete their discussion of Chapter 37, titled “Sunset,” showing how Ahab describes himself as “demonic" and “madness maddened.” They then discuss the soliloquy’s of Starbuck (Chapter 38) and Stubb (Chapter 39) and end the program with a comedic soliloquy of the sailors (Chapter 40) written in the form of a musical. Under Ahab’s trance, the shipmates celebrate the killing of the whale.
12/27/202131 minutes, 1 second
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#265: Ahab Hijacks the Pequod, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon complete their discussion of Chapter 36, “The Quarterdeck,” showing how Ahab successfully completed his plan to hijack the Pequod to satisfy his vengeance against Moby Dick.
12/20/202130 minutes, 54 seconds
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#264: Ahab Hijacks the Pequod, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 30 and 31 of Moby Dick: Melville compares Ahab to a Norse king and crafts a humorous tale of Stubb telling Flask about his queer dream of a merman. Dennis and Grant also begin their discussion of Chapter 36, “The Quarterdeck,” in which Ahab initiates his plan to hijack the Pequod for his own dark purpose.
12/13/202131 minutes, 11 seconds
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#263: Ahab—Supreme Lord and Dictator

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Herman Melville’s well-known and yet most mysterious character, Captain Ahab, from his American classic Moby Dick.
12/6/202132 minutes, 3 seconds
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#262: Starbuck, Stubb, Flask and Harpooners

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 26 and 27 of Herman Melville’s American classic Moby Dick. Leap and Turgeon focus on the personalities of the Pequod’s three mates and their assistants, the harpooners.
11/29/202130 minutes, 56 seconds
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#261: Ishmael and Queequeg Aboard the Pequod

Host Dennis Leap with special guest Grant Turgeon discuss chapters 19 through 21 of Melville’s timeless classic Moby Dick. The two shipmates meet again with the prophet Elijah who warns them about the mysterious sailors running toward the ship.
11/22/202131 minutes, 4 seconds
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#260: Ishmael and Queegueg Sign On With the Pequod

Host Dennis Leap with special guest Grant Turgeon begin discussion of chapters 14 and 16 of Melville’s American classic Moby Dick. Dennis and Grant focus on the history of old Nantucket and Ishmael’s selection of a whaling ship.
11/15/202132 minutes, 9 seconds
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#259: Ishmael and Queequeg Tour New Bedford

Host Dennis Leap with special guest Grant Turgeon discuss chapters 5 through 9 of Melville’s timeless classic Moby Dick, which give the history of America’s once great whaling capitals, New Bedford and Nantucket.
11/8/202131 minutes, 27 seconds
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#258: Introducing Ishmael and Queequeg

Host Dennis Leap with special guest Grant Turgeon begin discussing the first nine chapters of Melville’s American classic Moby Dick. Dennis and Grant focus on the first first four chapters, which introduce us to the characters Ishmael and Queequeg.
11/1/202131 minutes, 57 seconds
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#257: Why Read Moby Dick?

Host Dennis Leap introduces the JBL short series on Herman Melville’s classic American novel, Moby Dick or the Whale, using quotes from Nathaniel Philbrick’s small book, Why Read Moby Dick?
10/25/202131 minutes, 4 seconds
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#256: Jim Does Not Run

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss the final two chapters of Lord Jim. Jim naively believes that scoundrel Brown will leave Patusan peacefully. Yet Brown, with the help of Cornelius, unleashes an act of cold-blooded ferocity on Dain Waris’s camp. This time Jim does not jump or run away from the problem. With the help of Doramin, he dies a romantic hero.
10/18/202132 minutes, 25 seconds
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#255: The Scoundrel Brown Invades Patusan, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap discusses the fateful conversation between Jim and the scoundrel Brown, which took place at the muddy creek Jim jumped over to escape imprisonment by the Rajah.
10/11/202130 minutes, 18 seconds
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#254: The Scoundrel Brown Invades Patusan, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap discusses the sadistic nature of evil pirate Brown, who plans to tear the people of Patusan to pieces.
10/4/202129 minutes, 54 seconds
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#253: Marlow Leaves Jim at Patusan

Host Dennis Leap discusses Jim and Marlow’s parting as Marlow returns to the outside world.
9/27/202130 minutes, 55 seconds
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#252: Remember: This Is a Love Story

Host Dennis Leap and special guests Deborah Leap and Gabe Greaser discuss Jim’s profession of his love for Jewel and Marlow’s analysis of Jewel.
9/20/202132 minutes, 47 seconds
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#251: Jewel Saves Jim From Assassination

Host Dennis Leap and special guests Deborah Leap and Gabe Greaser discuss Jewel’s intervention in a plot to assassinate Jim.
9/13/202132 minutes, 14 seconds
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#250: Jim—The Romantic Hero, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and guest Gabe Greaser continue to discuss Jim’s love affair with Jewel, and the dark side to Cornelius’s character.
9/6/202131 minutes, 32 seconds
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#249: Jim—The Romantic Hero, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and guest Gabe Greaser discuss Jim’s love affair with Cornelius’s stepdaughter, whom he names Jewel, and the mounting number of enemies planning his assassination.
8/30/202131 minutes, 20 seconds
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#248: Taking Down Sherif Ali’s Camp

Host Dennis Leap and guest Gabe Greaser discuss Jim’s first adventure as the peacemaker of Patusan.
8/23/202131 minutes, 47 seconds
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#247: Jim Creates Anxiety on His First Day at Patusan

Host Dennis Leap and guest Deborah Leap begin discussing Marlow’s visit to Jim at Patusan, two years after Jim lands on the island (Chapter 24). Jim tells Marlow about his dramatic first days.
8/16/202131 minutes, 17 seconds
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#246: Introduction to Jim’s Life on Patusan, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and guest Deborah Leap continue discussing the background chapters (23 and 24) that lay the groundwork to better understand Jim and his life on Patusan.
8/9/202131 minutes, 37 seconds
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#245: Introduction to Jim’s Life on Patusan, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and guest Deborah Leap discuss the background chapters that lay the groundwork to better understand Jim and his life on Patusan.
8/2/202131 minutes, 19 seconds
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#244: The Darkness of Gossip

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss Jim’s bad habit of quitting jobs when he hears gossip about the Patna incident. Marlow seeks out Jim to help him stop running from a past he was not solely responsible for.
7/26/202131 minutes, 30 seconds
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#243: Jim: Not Thrown to the Dogs

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss Marlow’s work to help Jim put the Patna incident behind him and overcome his gloom. Marlow writes Jim a letter of reference for a great job, showing Jim he could have a clean slate.
7/19/202131 minutes, 8 seconds
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#242: It’s All Over

Host Dennis Leap discusses Marlow’s experience with Jim and his gloom caused by the magistrate’s devastating judgment at the conclusion of the Patna inquiry. With his certificate canceled, Jim’s career as a ship’s chief mate was over. Yet his life was not! Marlow tries to rescue Jim from an emotional, somber and hopeless ocean.
7/12/202131 minutes, 33 seconds
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#241: I Don’t Run Away

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss Marlow’s attempt to get Jim to take the “rupees and run.” Jim remained and faced the consequences of his unintended jump.
7/5/202131 minutes, 24 seconds
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#240: French Sailors Rescue the Patna

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss Marlow’s discussion with a French sailor about how the French rescued the Patna and towed it to shore.
6/28/202130 minutes, 52 seconds
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#239: The Depths of a Greater Darkness

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss Jim's mental state as he recounts learning that the Patna was towed safely to shore. Even though none of the 800 passengers died by drowning, Jim is distraught over the destruction of his character.
6/21/202132 minutes, 21 seconds
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#238: Jim Becomes One of Them, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss Jim's time with the "three dirty owls" on the lifeboat removed from the Patna.
6/14/202132 minutes, 29 seconds
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#237: Jim Becomes One of Them, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss Jim’s mental state and the events that led him to jump ship.
6/7/202130 minutes, 37 seconds
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#236: ‘Enough to Make Angels’ Weep’

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap discuss Jim’s recollection of his fight with the skipper and three engineers as they prepared to abandon the Patna and 800 pilgrims.
5/31/202130 minutes, 59 seconds
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#235: Marlow Invites Jim to Dinner, Part 3

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Deborah Leap continue to discuss Marlow’s dinner conversation with Jim. Outside of the restaurant dining area, Jim fully opens up to Marlow about the unfairness of the inquiry. He works hard to defend his damaged reputation. Jim also reveals the cowardly actions of the skipper, the chief engineer and his assistant at the onset of the Patna crisis.
5/24/202131 minutes, 44 seconds
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#234: Marlow Invites Jim to Dinner, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap continues to discuss Marlow’s dinner conversation with Jim. As the two seamen move from the restaurant to an outside veranda, Jim opens up and reveals his actions and inaction during the Patna emergency.
5/17/202131 minutes, 17 seconds
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#233: Marlow Invites Jim to Dinner

Host Dennis Leap and guest Deborah Leap finish Chapter 6 and begin Chapter 7 of Joseph Conrad’s complex novel Lord Jim. After a near street brawl, Marlow convinces Jim to meet him for dinner. As promised, the revelation of what happened on the Patna is about to begin.
5/10/202131 minutes, 32 seconds
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#232: Marlow Takes Charge of Jim’s Story, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and guest Deborah Leap delve into chapter 6 of Joseph Conrad’s complex novel Lord Jim. The two discuss Marlow’s stories of Captain Brierly and his chief mate, Jones. Brierly assumes himself to be a perfect skipper, though Jones would disagree. Brierly’s story should lead us to examine our own weaknesses.
5/3/202131 minutes, 35 seconds
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#231: Marlow Takes Charge of Jim’s Story, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and guest Deborah Leap continue discussing Chapter 4 of Joseph Conrad’s complex novel Lord Jim. The two discuss Jim’s awareness of Marlow’s attendance at his inquiry and reveal Jim's first impressions of Marlow. Moving into Chapter 5, the literature team shows how Marlow assumes control of Jim’s story.
4/26/202131 minutes, 1 second
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#230: Jim’s First Encounter With Marlow, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and guest Deborah Leap continue discussing the first four chapters of Joseph Conrad’s complex novel Lord Jim. In Chapter 3, Conrad gives us deeper insights into Jim’s romantic and adventurous imagination and his self-assured security of living a successful life. In Chapter 4 we suddenly find ourselves in a courtroom where Jim is on the witness stand answering questions about the wrecking of the Patna.
4/19/202131 minutes, 43 seconds
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#229: Jim’s First Encounter With Marlow, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap begins discussing the first four chapters of Joseph Conrad’s complex novel Lord Jim. The key to understanding these chapters is that they cover three different points in time leading us to Marlow.
4/12/202131 minutes, 39 seconds
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#228: Introduction to Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim

Host Dennis Leap provides an overview look at Joseph Conrad’s uniquely structured novel Lord Jim, including historical background, themes and cast of characters.
4/5/202130 minutes, 30 seconds
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#227: Final Thoughts on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap uses Marlow’s discussion with Kurtz’s intended to conclude his summary comments on how to understand this classic novella.
3/29/202132 minutes, 33 seconds
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#226: Final Thoughts on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap uses Marlow’s thoughts on Kurtz after his burial to begin summary comments on how to understand this classic novella.
3/22/202131 minutes, 19 seconds
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#225: Marlow’s Full Testimony to the Life and Death of Kurtz, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap discusses Marlow’s fascination with Kurtz’s desire to reenter the darkness of his own human nature as he crawls back to the native Africans who desire to worship him. Marlow also recounts Kurtz’s struggle to reconcile his life as he lays dying.
3/15/202131 minutes, 15 seconds
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#224: Marlow’s Testimony on the Life and Death of Kurtz, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap discusses the overlooked conflict Marlow holds for his hero Kurtz. Marlow insists that Kurtz is not his idol, but he also states that Kurtz is a remarkable man. In this matter, Joseph Conrad reveals his own conflict with human nature.
3/8/202131 minutes, 23 seconds
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#223: Marlow Meets His Hero Kurtz, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and guests Deborah Leap and Gabe Greaser discuss Marlow’s first meeting with Kurtz.
3/1/202131 minutes, 10 seconds
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#222: Marlow Meets His Hero Kurtz, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and guests Deborah Leap and Gabe Greaser discuss Marlow’s surprising defense of Kurtz to his companions on the Nellie and Marlow’s story about meeting Kurtz.
2/22/202130 minutes, 42 seconds
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#221: The Women in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and special guests Deborah Leap and Hannah Worrell continue their discussion of Joseph Conrad’s use of women in his classic novella Heart of Darkness. In this episode, the panel focuses on the woman in Kurtz’s painting, the Mistress and the Intended.
2/15/202133 minutes, 53 seconds
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#220: The Women in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and special guests Deborah Leap and Hannah Worrell discuss Joseph Conrad's use of women in his classic novella Heart of Darkness.
2/8/202131 minutes, 42 seconds
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#219: Marlow Learns About His Hero Kurtz, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap, along with special guests Parker Campbell and Gabe Greaser, discusses Marlow’s education about Kurtz as he travels from station to station, entering the heart of darkness.
2/1/202130 minutes, 51 seconds
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#218: Marlow Learns About His Hero Kurtz

Host Dennis Leap, along with special guests Parker Campbell and Gabe Greaser, discusses Marlow’s education about Kurtz as he travels from station to station as he enters the heart of darkness.
1/25/202130 minutes, 47 seconds
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#217: Marlow’s First Contact With the Dark Continent and the Company’s Decayed Outpost

Host Dennis Leap discusses Marlow’s colorful descriptions of his first contact with Africa and the company’s outpost, supposedly established to bring civilization to the uncivilized natives.
1/18/202130 minutes, 26 seconds
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#216: Marlow Ignores the Warning signs of Entering the Heart of Darkness, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap finishes his discussion of the warning signs Marlow ignored prior to going to work for Belgian Congo Company. Dennis brings to light Conrad’s use of Psalm 74:20 which states “For the dark places of the earth are habitations of cruelty."
1/11/202125 minutes, 12 seconds
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#215: Marlow Ignores the Warning Signs of Entering the Heart of Darkness, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap begins discussing the evidence of the main flaw in Marlow’s character as revealed in Book 1 of Jospeh Conrad’s novella The Heart of Darkness.
1/4/202130 minutes, 51 seconds
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#214: Hidden Keys to Understanding Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap and guest Deborah Leap continue discussing Heart of Darkness, Book 1. They discuss whether colonialism is violent conquest or the spread of civilization.
12/28/202030 minutes, 57 seconds
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#213: Hidden Keys to Understanding Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap, with special guest Deborah Leap, begins discussing Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, Book 1. They reveal the hidden keys to understanding the complex themes and plots in this fascinating tale of the African Congo.
12/21/202032 minutes, 1 second
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#212: Background to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap continues his background discussion of Heart of Darkness, showing how Conrad’s life experiences provided the structure for his tale of fiction.
12/14/202030 minutes, 54 seconds
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#211: Background to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap provides critical background facts to facilitate readers’ understanding of Conrad’s gripping novella Heart of Darkness. Dennis explains Marlow’s change in temperament from Youth to Heart of Darkness.
12/7/202031 minutes, 39 seconds
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#210: Final Thoughts on Joseph Conrad’s Short Story Youth

Host Dennis Leap, with special guests Deborah Leap and Gabe Greaser, discusses key points expressed in Conrad’s short story Youth.
11/30/202030 minutes, 58 seconds
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#209: Marlow Laments an Absurd Delusion From His Youth

Host Dennis Leap, with special guests Deborah Leap and Gabe Greaser, discusses Marlow’s revelation of an absurd delusion in his youth as second mate on the Judea.
11/23/202031 minutes, 56 seconds
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#208: The Overlooked Character in Conrad’s Youth, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing the overlooked character in Joseph Conrad’s short story Youth—the Judea. Dennis mentions the rat prophecy and shows how Marlow praises the Judea for living up to her motto “Judea, London. Do or Die."
11/16/202030 minutes, 34 seconds
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#207: The Overlooked Character in Conrad’s Youth, Part 1

Host Dennis Leap and special guest Gabe Greaser discuss the overlooked character in Joseph Conrad’s short story Youth—the Judea. Marlow provides loving descriptions of her sterling character.
11/9/202031 minutes, 47 seconds
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#206: Marlow—The Storyteller, Part 2

Host Dennis Leap continues discussing the narrator and main character, Marlow, in Joseph Conrad’s short story Youth. Dennis puts an emphasis on Marlow’s ability to observe and make criticisms of others.
11/2/202032 minutes, 34 seconds
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#205: Marlow—The Storyteller

Host Dennis Leap begins discussing the narrator and main character, Marlow, in Joseph Conrad’s short story Youth. Dennis puts an emphasis on Conrad’s written statements about Marlow.
10/26/202031 minutes, 39 seconds
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#204: Introduction to Joseph Conrad’s Novella Youth

Host Dennis Leap begins the discussion of Joseph Conrad’s novella Youth by talking about the story’s structure and characters and a suggestion about why Conrad chose to write the story.
10/12/202031 minutes, 44 seconds
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#203: A Snapshot of Joseph Conrad’s Early Childhood

Host Dennis Leap begins the promised series on Joseph Conrad’s Youth, Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim with a short introduction to Conrad’s difficult childhood under Russia’s domination of the Poles.
10/5/202031 minutes, 22 seconds
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#202: An Overview of 1984’s Appendix 1

Host Dennis Leap, along with special guest Deborah Leap, discusses “The Principle of Newspeak” found in Orwell’s classic 1984. George Orwell believed that totalitarian governments strive to control human thought through the destruction of language.
9/21/202032 minutes, 44 seconds