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From Podcast to Print


Civics 101 Hosts Publish New Book Looking at Fundamentals of Democracy and U.S. Government.

NHPR’s Civics 101 podcast hosts Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy will become first-time authors when their new book, A User's Guide to Democracy: How America Works, goes on sale Tuesday, September 8. The book also features illustrations by cartoonist Tom Toro of The New Yorker magazine.

The book gives readers an overview of the United States government and how it works. Taking the form of an easy–to–understand guide, the book helps readers find answers to both commonplace and contemporary questions, such as:

  • What's the difference between the House and the Senate?
  • How do Congressional investigations work?
  • What is Federalist X actually about?
  • What basic civil rights do Americans have?

An early review cited the book’s utility as a way for all Americans to learn more about the basics of our democracy, similar to the podcast itself. The Civics 101 podcast, produced since 2017 at New Hampshire Public Radio and made possible by support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, offers a ‘refresher’ course on the basics of how the U.S. government works. Each 15-20 minute episode explores a single topic and offers perspectives from experts and educators. Graphic organizers and other educational resources also provide opportunities for educators and parents to use the podcast in classroom or remote learning settings.

To learn more about the book and ask questions, join the authors on virtual trivia nights hosted by bookstores and libraries around the country:

Wednesday, September 23, 7:30 p.m. EST: Pete’s Candy Store (Brooklyn, NY)

Monday, September 14, 8 p.m. EST: Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO)

Thursday, October 1, 7 p.m. EST: Baltimore County Public Library (Baltimore, MD)

A User’s Guide to Democracy: How America Works is available for purchase through readers’ bookseller of choice starting September 8 at Celadon Books.

The authors will also have guest ‘appearances’ to talk about the book in the following podcasts:

September 7, 14, 21 and 28: Quick and Dirty Tip’s Unknown History Podcast, four-episode miniseries


"An easily digestible, illustrated guidebook to the agencies and institutions that make up the federal government... Just the thing for students of civics?which, these days, should include the entire polity."
?Kirkus Reviews

About the Authors:

Nick Capodice: Before hosting and producing Civics 101, Nick worked in the Education Department at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where he wrote and led tours, trained educators, and helped design digital exhibits. He also led beer history and tasting tours for Urban Oyster in Brooklyn.

Hannah McCarthy: Before hosting Civics 101, Hannah was a State House reporter and producer for New Hampshire Public Radio. This after a stretch in New York City where she worked on WNYC’s Death, Sex and Money, wrote for New York magazine’s Bedford and Bowery, and did the whole struggling actor thing. She still practices monologues when alone in the bathroom and is a sucker for some analytic philosophy and/or a decent Nancy Drew.

Tom Toro (illustrator): Tom is a cartoonist for The New Yorker and a fiction writer. He is the author/illustrator of How to Potty Train Your Porcupine and Tiny Hands. Tom lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, kid, and cat.


NOTE: Civics 101 is made possible in part with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Since 1981, New Hampshire Public Radio has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Our mission is “Expanding minds, sparking connections, building stronger communities.” NHPR is broadcast from 14 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week, NHPR is the choice of 157,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage, with thousands more viewing NHPR.org, following our social media sites or listening to our podcasts. Each day, New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by its award-winning news team. Locally produced programs and podcasts include The Exchange, The Folk Show, Outside/In, and Civics 101, among others. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcasts national weekly programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and This American Life. Visit nhpr.org to access our news and information.

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