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In the Fall, 2013 issue of The Antioch Review, Ken Bode’s essay, “JFK, Earl Long, and Blaze Starr:  Washington D.C. ,” rounds out a picture of the days surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

On a balmy afternoon in mid-October, 1962, a young woman sat in the visitor’s lobby of the White House West Wing. From her seat, she could see down the first-floor hallway past offices where official business was conducted. She wore a conservative. gray business suit. Her credentials identified her as a magazine feature writer, and, and as she puts it, “I had my official looking little leather briefcase.”  She wore minimal make-up and large plastic eyeglasses. The glasses were cosmetic, part of a disguise.

The woman in disguise was exotic dancer, Blaze Starr, known primarily for her affiliation with the colorful Earl Long, three-time governor of Louisiana. Listen to the interview conducted by WYSO’s, Vick Mickunas, with Ken Bode about the article that recounts events of that day over fifty years ago when the world was close to being profoundly changed.

ken bodeKen Bode’s professional career was divided between academia and journalism, positions frequently overlapping. He taught at Michigan State, the State University of New York at Binghamton, DePauw University, and was dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. In journalism, he was politics editor of The New Republic, national political correspondent at NBC News, senior correspondent at CNN, and moderator of Washington Week In Review at PBS.

© 2014 The Antioch Review