Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

Lost Cause
August 02, 2004

Florence, South Carolina- On a Saturday afternoon not long ago, Walt Hilderman was standing in a soggy horse pasture here—a .75-caliber musket in one hand, a Confederate flag in the other. He was participating in a reenactment of an 1865 Civil War battle called the Skirmish at Gamble's Hotel. A retired police captain with bowed legs and a drooping silver moustache, Hilderman wore the rebel-gray uniform well. In fact, if you forgot he had been swigging from a bottle of Coke shortly before the battle, it wasn't hard to picture Hilderman fighting some 140 years earlier.

Crashing the Party
July 19, 2004

It's not often that a U.S. political campaign is launched on foreign soil. Then again, it's not often that a U.S. political campaign revolves around a major motion picture.

May 10, 2004

There once was a time, not long after I gave up my dreams of being a firefighter, but well before I settled on a career as a writer, when I wanted to be a trustbuster. I was in sixth grade, if I recall correctly, and my class was studying Teddy Roosevelt. That meant readings on the Rough Riders and lectures on the National Park system. But, while most of my classmates lapped up Roosevelt's physical exploits, I was drawn to one of the comparably drier facets of TR's career: his administration's efforts to break up giant financial and industrial trusts.

February 16, 2004

Jason Zengerle on John Edwards' 2004 South Carolina campaign.

Talking Back
February 16, 2004

EVERY WEEKDAY, FROM three in the afternoon until seven in the evening, Randi Rhodes delivers her brief against George W. Bush. Much of it is standard anti-Bush fare: He stole the 2000 election, he wrecked the economy, he led the nation into a disastrous war under dishonest pretenses. But sometimes Rhodes takes her critique into less familiar territory. Citing a book titled George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, Rhodes alleges that in the 1940s Prescott Bush, the president’s grandfather, sold raw materials to the Third Reich.

February 16, 2004

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA –– WHEN PEOPLE IMAGINE the typical John Edwards supporter, they probably imagine someone like Phil Phunn. As recently as January, Phunn was a Howard Dean man. But then one day last month Phunn wandered into an Edwards event in Iowa and heard the North Carolina senator deliver his now-famous stump speech. He was sold on the spot. “I just identified with him,” Phunn recalls. “We’re the same age, we’ve been through the same things, he just spoke to me in a way that Dean didn’t—and that was before the scream.” Phunn’s conversion was sudden—and life-changing, to a degree.

Flag Poll
November 24, 2003

Kirk Lyons doesn't own a pickup truck, but his Toyota Camry sports a Confederate-flag bumper sticker. He flies a real Confederate flag at his home on Confederate Memorial Day and Robert E. Lee's birthday. And the flag isn't just a personal cause for Lyons. It's professional. A lawyer here in western North Carolina, Lyons runs the Southern Resource Legal Center (srlc)--a self- described "Civil Rights Law Firm for Confederate Southern Americans" that provides legal representation to people who have been forbidden from displaying Confederate flags at their workplaces or schools.

Not a Prayer
September 22, 2003

A roadside sign reading "hurry back to the city of opportunity" is the last thing people see before crossing the railroad tracks and heading out of Hobson City, the oldest black town in Alabama. But the sign is a cruel, if unintended, joke: People seeking opportunity aren't likely to find it in Hobson City. The textile plant is closed, and jobs at the nearby Anniston Army Depot are scarce. Almost one-third of Hobson City's approximately 850 residents live in poverty, and many of the rest aren't doing much better.

Being There
September 08, 2003

Reporters and pundits have been quick to pronounce California's recall election "bizarre," "crazy," "loony," and "absurd." But, while these political observers have worn out their thesauruses ridiculing porn-star-turned- gubernatorial-candidate Mary Carey's proposal to tax breast implants and even Governor Gray Davis's Clintonian attempt to paint the recall as part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, they have barely raised an eyebrow at what has to be the California recall race's most freakish development to date: the emergence of Cruz Bustamante as its front-runner.Although Bustamante is Cali

August 11, 2003

There's still no definitive answer to the question, "What do you give the man who has everything?" But there does appear to be some consensus about what to give the man who has testicular cancer. Which is why last November, after I was diagnosed with the disease, I became the owner of several copies of Lance Armstrong's autobiography, It's Not About the Bike. Armstrong is the poster boy for testicular cancer.