Birmingham

Why did the Times Magazine reject Martin Luther King's "Letter From Birmingham Jail"?

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Mitt Romney's greatest gift of all to Democrats was clarying which party is on whose side. That wasn't so obvious to voters two years ago.

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Southern liberals say the region isn't as severely Republican as it seems. But they're ignoring reality.

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I’m in London, having arrived on Saturday evening. The Sunday morning papers had absolutely nothing about the enormous riot in Tottenham the night before. But the online press had plenty—except who exactly was doing the rioting. I got all my news all day from this—shall we say incomplete?—source. The front pages of the print press on Monday, however, had almost nothing else. (Except, de rigueur,the disastrous news of advanced capitalism in further collapse.) The headlines were a bit different Tuesday morning.

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The unemployment rate, reported this morning, stayed relatively steady at 9.6 percent in August. But there are 1.1 million discouraged workers that don’t show up in that stat, who, at the same time, ironically contribute to its stubbornness.  Since the beginning of the recession, the U.S. population 16 and older grew by 4.7 million, but the labor force--the employed and unemployed actively seeking a job--actually shrank. Many of the people who dropped out of the labor force are part of the growing share of discouraged workers who have given up on their prospects of finding a job.

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Chinamen

Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvous with American History By Yunte Huang (W.W. Norton, 354 pp., $26.95)  Even in our fading half-life of cultural memory, the notion may endure that 1925 was a good moment for American literature. In that year, we were given Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House. Hemingway was writing The Sun Also Rises.

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Chinamen

Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvous with American History By Yunte Huang (W.W. Norton, 354 pp., $26.95)  Even in our fading half-life of cultural memory, the notion may endure that 1925 was a good moment for American literature. In that year, we were given Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House. Hemingway was writing The Sun Also Rises.

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News from England: A married gay couple subjected to years of homophobic abuse by a neighbour saved his life during a deadly house fire. Bryn and James Tudor made headlines in 2005 when they became the first homosexual couple to tie the knot in a civil partnership in Birmingham. But they were later subjected to three years of abuse at their home in Shirley by their next door neighbour, Baljit Koonar.

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Did anyone notice that NEC director Larry Summers quietly exploded old-fashioned urban policy last week?  He didn’t mean to. In a speech at the Brookings-White House Council on Automotive Communities summit on May 18, Summers set out to talk about the economy, and how to stimulate manufacturing in general and auto manufacturing in particular.   He identified four policy areas that are particularly important: the availability of credit; exports; innovation and R&D; and human capital. More credit, more exports, more innovation, and more educated workers could, in conjunction with huge and su

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Not long ago, Tavis Smiley did something I would not have expected, which is rare. He announced that he was discontinuing his annual State of the Black Union conferences. These have been powwows where the Usual Suspects are invited to make the usual points: roughly decrying racism while genuflecting to the radical idea that people are responsible for repairing their own culture too.

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