Radio Times

Bryon MacWilliams’ “With Light Steam: A Personal Journey Through the Russian Baths”; Kathleen Brown on Cleanliness

December 15, 2014

Guests: Bryon MacWilliams, Kathleen Brown

In 1996, writer and journalist BRYON MACWILLIAMS left the United States for Moscow. Wanting a place to relax and recharge while adjusting to the hectic pace of the city, he stumbled upon a local banya (steam bath.) What followed was a 12 year exploration of steam bath culture in which he made new friends, explored the country, and served as an apprentice to one of the best steam-makers in Russia. MacWilliams, now back in the US, is an active part of banya culture in our region. In this hour of Radio Times, MacWilliams joins us to discuss his new book With Light Steam: A Personal Journey Through the Russian Baths. Then we’ll hear from history professor KATHLEEN BROWN of the University of Pennsylvania who’ll discuss the changing attitudes on cleanliness from early America to the modern age.

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