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Mann, Brian 1965-

Mann, Brian 1965-

PERSONAL:

Born 1965; married Susan Waters; children: Nicholas.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Saranac Lake, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Adirondack Radio News Bureau (affiliate of North Country Public Radio), Paul Smith's College, Paul Smiths, NY, bureau chief, 1999—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Edward R. Murrow Awards include: a national award, 2005, for team coverage of the Iraq War, a regional award, 2005, for individual reporting on the rural heroin epidemic, two regional awards, 2006, for coverage of rural issues, an individual award, 2006, for reporting on the "American Tragedy" murders, and a team award, 2006, for reporting on rural health issues.

WRITINGS:

Welcome to the Homeland: A Journey to the Rural Heart of America's Conservative Revolution, Steerforth Press (Hanover, NH), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Brian Mann has been a radio journalist with public radio stations from Alaska to New York and became bureau chief of North Country Public Radio's (NCPR) satellite Adirondack News Bureau, based at Paul Smith's College, near Saranac Lake, New York. The main station is located in Canton, New York, at St. Lawrence University. It is unusual for a public radio station to have a satellite, but in this case, NCPR made a commitment to cover the Adirondacks and an area larger than either Massachusetts or Vermont. It is not an easy area to cover, as the beautiful mountains and back roads can be treacherous for many months of the year, but in being the single media source that reaches all corners of the area, NCPR keeps connected the many small towns that otherwise would not receive coverage.

On the Web site of North Country Public Radio, Bill McKibben, author of books that include his most recent The End of Nature and resident of the Adirondacks, lavished praise on the work of the station and Mann, writing: "One day Brian Mann, the Adirondack bureau chief, may be covering the ninety-miler canoe race, or following forest rangers as they try to cope with the bears at Marcy Dam. The next he may be focusing on how tiny North Country parishes cope with the loss of priests, or finding out what life is like inside the park's many prisons …" McKibben commented on the awards that have honored the work of the station, many of the awards being given for reporting done by Mann: "Every year NCPR wins a skein of regional and national awards for its news and cultural coverage; and every year it wins new listeners among all kinds of Adirondackers." As to the need for North Country Public Radio, McKibben commented: "And in an emergency—the great ice storm of 1998, the creeping forest fires of 2002—it becomes clear just how much all of us who live and vacation here depend on the station. Not only that—if you listen to NPR's national news programs, you've doubtless heard how often NCPR's features are picked up for airing across the country. No station its size matches its contribution to the national network, a real tribute to its journalistic skill." Mann, individually or in a team effort, has been responsible for the stories about this one section of the country that are heard by other public radio listeners from coast to coast.

Mann's Welcome to the Homeland: A Journey to the Rural Heart of America's Conservative Revolution is a study of the red-blue divide in which Mann includes the thoughts of his brother. Salon.com reviewer Andrew O'Hehir wrote that the book "is no mild-mannered exploration of the common ground between Brian and Allen Mann's visions of the world. It's a full-on metro jeremiad against Allen's people, the homelanders, whom Brian describes as a tiny cadre of right-wing rural revolutionaries who have hijacked the party of Abraham Lincoln, hypnotized the media and convinced many of the rest of us that they represent the truest and most virtuous aspects of our national character. Brian can't help believing that his brother's right-wing views are ‘troubling, ugly, and morally wrong.’ (Allen, naturally enough, feels the same way about him.)"

Mann points out that in many cases the conservative rural vote decides elections in states where the urban, or as he calls them, "metro" voters tend to be liberal. He states that the Constitution gives the red voters a disproportionate advantage. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that the book has inadequacies, and that Mann "says little about class, for example," but concluded that the volume "is a lucid, provocative contribution to the conversation over America's political future."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Atlantic Monthly, October, 2006, review of Welcome to the Homeland: A Journey to the Rural Heart of America's Conservative Revolution, p. 126.

Publishers Weekly, July 17, 2006, review of Welcome to the Homeland, p. 151.

Whole Life Times, December 2006, Monica Woelfel, review of Welcome to the Homeland, p. 46.

ONLINE

Brian Mann Home Page,http://www.welcometothehomeland.com (November 23, 2007).

North Country Public Radio Online,http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/ (November 23, 2007).

Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (September 28, 2006), Andrew O'Hehir, review of Welcome to the Homeland.

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