Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Biggest Johnson in Washington

Readers of the latest volume in Robert Caro’s monumental LBJ biography, The Passage of Power, can look forward to  400 pages of gripping, closely-documented historical narrative.  This is great, and would be even better if the book weren’t 800 pages … Continue reading

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The Spirits of ’76

On the morning after Election Day 1976, my mother recalled having dozed off as the country waited for results, and having awakened to see a jubilant Jimmy Carter announce “There’s plenty of booze, so let’s everybody get drunk.”  Not being … Continue reading

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Turning American

The other day I got an e-mail from a niece about an article she is writing.  The article argues against the use of the word “American”as a demonym for the U.S. (as in an American citizen), a usage she considers … Continue reading

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A Mighty Fortress is Our Dog

The other day a Facebook friend of mine posted a link intended to comfort those who have lost a pet. The linked-to  story  is that a little girl’s dog Abby has died, and she writes a letter to God, including a … Continue reading

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Pulp fiction 2012

Here are capsule reviews of some detective and historical fictions. Farthing, Jo Walton.A country-house whodunit set in a slightly alternate universe where Britain has made peace with Hitler and is sliding toward Fascism, and where about half the men are … Continue reading

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Gentlewoman of the Road: Moll Flanders

If you go into a church in Rome and see a mosaic of the BVM or St. Catherine of Alexandria or whoever, the pieces that make up these pious icons were most likely cannibalized from some extremely un-Christian image decorating … Continue reading

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La joie venait toujours apre’s la peine: post-election thoughts

Some thoughts evoked by the presidential election results: One heard people on the right comparing Pres. Obama to Jimmy Carter, and this election to 1980. This was never objectively plausible; for example, Carter had lost so much of his own … Continue reading

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