New York Times
TNR Film Classic: 'Glory' (1990)
January 15, 1990
“Can Movies Teach History?” asks the title of a recent New York Times feature article. The answer for Glory is yes. It is not only the first feature film to treat the role of black soldiers in the American Civil War; it is also the most powerful and historically accurate movie about that war ever made. If it wins a deserved popularity, it will go far to correct the distortions and romanticizations of such earlier blockbuster films as Birth of a Nation (1915) and Gone with the Wind.
October 24, 1988
A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam By Neil Sheehan (Random House, 861 pp., $24.95) In Neil Sheehan's apt and accurate phrase, John Paul Vann was "the soldier of the war in Vietnam." He began his extraordinary career there as a military adviser to a South Vietnamese division, and he went on to become the single greatest influence on the young American journalists in Vietnam who were to come into such fierce conflict with their government. Then, in 1963, Vann suddenly quit the Army, in what appeared to be an act of conscience.
February 15, 1987
A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, Volume 4; Se-Z edited by R, W, Burchfield (Oxford University Press, 1,454 pp., $150) The Story of English by Robert McCrum, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil (Elisabeth Sifton Books/Viking, 384 pp.,$24,95) American Talk: The Words and Ways of American Dialects by Robert Hendrlckson (Viking, 231 pp., $18.95) Take My Word For It by William Safire (Times Books, 357 pp., $22,50) A Word or Two Before You Go ..
Warren Court Children
May 19, 1986
MANY OF MY friends, if they are still in legal practice, now hate it. “The world’s most overrated job,” one of them says. Lined up at motion calls: a lost generation, the Warren Court baby boom, the flood of us who went to law school in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We took Tocqueville seriously, and thought lawyers were America’s governing class. And the Warren Court was a Court of gods—Black, Douglas, Warren—hurling thunderbolts to start our cultural revolutions. Back then, the law seemed like a romance.
The Triumph of Asian-Americans
July 15, 1985
David A. Bell: How one group of immigrants found its place in America.
Open the Door
March 31, 1985
Chuck Lane: The case for embracing immigration.
The Great Carter Mystery
April 12, 1980
How does he do it? Here is an administration in ruins. Here is a president who has nearly quadrupled the inflation rate at home, has produced the highest interest rates in American history, and now is deliberately steering the nation into a recession; abroad he has kicked away confidence among friends and foes alike in the sobriety, consistence, and reliability of American foreign policy. Six months ago he was nowhere in the polls.
He Was a Man of Principle
December 25, 1961
Headline, New York Times, September 10, 1962: GENERAL WALKER SEIZES CAPITAL; TANKS CIRCLE THE WHITE HOUSE; NEW JUNTA PROMISES ELECTIONS From a “Letter from Washington, The New Yorker, September 22, 1962. Even in this blasé capital, there were some eyebrows raised by the whirligig of events that have made Major General Edwin A. Walker the provisional President of the United States until—or so his aides inform us—new elections are held in 18 months. That the army had become increasingly involved in the perturbations of politics had been known.
The Profession of Perjury
July 05, 1954
Most Americans were shocked when they read, in the newspapers on May 27 and 28, that Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche was being subjected to a long and arduous loyalty probe by the International Organizations' Employees Loyalty Board, created by President Eisenhower to examine the loyalty of American citizens employed by the United Nations. It was a closed hearing; the evidence remains secret. The New York Times and other newspapers, however, disclosed the names of his accusers: Manning Johnson and Leonard Patterson. Of the latter I have nothing to say.
WASHINGTON, D.C. The present British attitude toward the United States seems to me jittery and touchy beyond any thing I can remember in past visits and protracted stays in England. The American attitude on the other hand seems to me almost arrogantly complacent. The atmosphere, broodingly explosive as a July sky before a storm, has brought Churchill and Eden to Washington. Take a concrete illustration. The State Department asked the right to search foreign ships to block aid to Guatemala.