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Charlie Thompson

Charlie Thompson wanted to learn more about his grandfather’s history in moonshine, so began investigating his hometown and the “Moonshine Capital of the World,” Franklin County, Virginia. What he found was a complicated picture of poverty and necessity juxtaposed with a hierarchy of power that was revealed during a famous conspiracy trial in 1935.

Host Frank Stasio talks about the history of moonshine with Charlie Thompson, education and curriculum director at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and author of the new book “Spirits of Just Men: Mountaineers, Liquor Bosses and Lawmen in the Moonshine Capital of the World” (University of Illinois Press/2011); and Dan Pierce, chair of the History Department at UNC Asheville and author of “Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay, and Big Bill France” (UNC Press/2010).

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Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.