April 19, 2002 |
AS AN ISRAELI, I don't always feel I'm living in the same universe as the rest of the world. In my universe, Yasser Arafat has violated the Geneva Convention on Human Rights, which calls the murder of noncombatants a crime against humanity in scores of terrorist attacks over the last 18 months that have left hundreds of Israelis dead and thousands injured. In my universe, that makes him a war criminal. But in the parallel universe, it makes him a great freedom fighter who deserves visits from diplomats, sympathy and the offer to head his own state, where he can conceivably continue his activities with a formal cache of even more deadly weapons.
February 9, 2002 |
The St. Louis Blues and the Philadelphia Flyers, who meet in St. Louis tonight, have been skating in parallel lines this season. Each was a preseason favorite to win its conference. Each has a nucleus of skilled players at forward and defense. And each has a question mark about whether its goaltending is strong enough to win a Stanley Cup. St. Louis started off slowly this year, then got hot, just as the Flyers have. And, like the Flyers, they have played inconsistently, of late.
October 18, 2001 |
In 1999 Robin Cook had an idea. In 2001 it came true. Cook's two-year-old thriller Vector recounts an imaginary but technically credible tale of a conspiracy to kill hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers by releasing a highly infectious strain of anthrax into a government building's ventilation system, and later by using a stolen pest-control truck to spray the deadly bacteria around Central Park. The book's jacket billed it as the "latest urban nightmare. " As Cook acknowledged in a telephone interview this week, "It turns out to be remarkably prescient.
October 7, 2001 |
The news reached historian John Lukacs almost immediately. Rudy Giuliani, the "world's mayor," had held up a copy of Lukacs' Five Days in London: May 1940 at a news conference, saying he was reading it for inspiration (the book focuses on Churchill's decision to keep fighting Hitler in the desperate days before America entered World War II). The phone call from a friend found the 77-year-old Hungarian emigre in his Phoenixville home's spectacular two-story atrium library, amid the 12,000 volumes that fuel his work.
September 30, 2001 |
No sooner had the pandemonium begun on Sept. 11 than Jo Walker felt the End Times might be at hand. "Unfortunately, it's written in the Bible, about destruction and chaos like this," Walker said as she watched office workers fleeing Center City that noonday. Walker, a Baptist from West Philadelphia, was standing along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway witnessing the noisy exodus of traffic. She and a coworker, Jacqueline Martin, a Pentecostal Christian from Sicklerville, Camden County, could only shake their heads.
July 8, 2001 |
S?O PAULO, BRAZIL - It's strange that Americans don't pay more attention to their giant mirror-image in Latin America. Even though Brazil is a former Portuguese colony with a history of oligarchy and military rule before turning democratic, this enormous continental nation has some fascinating parallels with the United States. It's an energetic immigrant nation. S?o Paulo's first big industrialists were Italian. The city has a huge Lebanese community, and an exhibition of 1940s photos of earnest Japanese immigrants lining up in factory uniforms and playing soccer decorates a downtown S?o Paulo shopping mall.
May 23, 2001 |
Early in Book of Days, the Lanford Wilson play on view through June 17 at the People's Light & Theatre Company, the central character seeks the definition of crapulous - which, by evening's end, seems a not inappropriate term for the play itself. No, it doesn't mean what it sounds like, although in this instance I wouldn't argue if you wanted to apply it that way. It means, loosely, "overstuffed," and Book of Days is decidedly that. The People's Light production, I should note, is one of its best; seldom has so much first-rate work been squandered on such a muddled play.
April 10, 2001
Is sustained dominance exhilarating, or tedious? In the case of Tiger Woods vs. Everyone Else Who Plays Golf, the public's verdict seems to be: exhilarating. With his victory Sunday in The Masters tournament, Mr. Woods has won all four of golf's most prestigious professional championships ("majors") in a row. This has never been done before. Tigers Woods stands astride the money-drunk modern sports era in a way that only Michael Jordan has equalled. Each has reached that pinnacle as sports champion/media icon/personal conglomerate where a first name (or nickname)
January 28, 2001 |
Donna Crilley and Mike Farrell traveled parallel paths that did not cross until 1998. Both graduated from the University of Pennsylvania; both lived in the Binghamton, N.Y., area; both moved to Philadelphia for work. And finally, both had ties to a group beach house in Avalon. That's where it happened. Mike was a member but came down infrequently. Donna was visiting a cousin there. He walked up the stairs, she turned and smiled. And he was smitten. "I thought, wow, I have to figure out a way to meet this girl," said Mike, a Philadelphia lawyer.
September 24, 2000 |
In an age of emerging American politics during the early 19th century, a local man, Jonathan Roberts, was a notable player. During a public career that spanned more than four decades, he was associated with Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson and other prominent names of the era. Roberts "was a man who shifted with the political winds in an effort to sustain his view of right and the betterment of his country," according to the late historian John...