November 22, 2012
By Alice Munro Knopf. 336 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by Susan Balée Alice Munro is not going gentle into that good night. Dear Life strikes me as Munro's best collection yet, and I have read and loved them all. If this turns out to be the octogenarian's last book, it will show that age served only to sharpen her powers of observation. Imagine Munro's creative mind at work: a bright blue eye taking in the landscape of human foibles, a scouring gaze that nevertheless thrums with compassion.
November 10, 2012 |
The Man Who Saved the Union Ulysses Grant in War and Peace By H.W. Brands Doubleday. 718 pp. $35 The life of Ulysses S. Grant makes mincemeat of F. Scott Fitzgerald's remark that in American society there are no second acts. Grant graduated toward the low end of his West Point class, served bravely during the Mexican War, resigned his commission because of his drinking, became a hardscrabble farmer, went broke, virtually saved the Union as general of the Union armies in the Civil War, and was twice elected president of the United States.
September 7, 2012
Below are excerpts of President Obama's remarks, including his goals for a second term, as prepared for delivery and released by the Obama campaign. But when all is said and done - when you pick up that ballot to vote - you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace - decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children's lives for decades to come.
February 29, 2012 |
THERE IS NOTHING wrong with Ilya Bryzgalov that a slick interpreter can't cure. Never mind the goalie's early-season lament that he was lost in the woods. What he is, is lost in translation. Too often, the quirky statements he makes are misinterpreted. Take the latest cry for help, that he hopes to "find peace in his soul to play in this city. " That is the way it was reported and it sounded gloomier than a Stalingrad winter. Listen closely and the anguished moaning can be explained in other ways.
February 15, 2012 |
LET'S BE honest here: "Downton Abbey" isn't the manliest of television shows. It's a highly addictive soap opera dressed up nice with a British accent. Despite "Saturday Night Live" parodies announcing a run on the uber-masculine Spike TV, "Downton's" love triangles, backstabbing and pretty costumes seem to spurn those with an XY chromosome. But men are watching. PBS doesn't have specific demographic numbers and while the network knows the show skews female, they anecdotally acknowledge that men are watching.
May 12, 2011 |
When I first heard that Newt Gingrich was mapping a Republican presidential bid - he formally announced Wednesday - I recalled what conservative Sen. Tom Coburn said recently about the guy. It sure wasn't pretty. Coburn was a Newt soldier back in the '90s, when Newt was riding high as House speaker and conservative Pied Piper. Nevertheless, Coburn told C-SPAN in March that "having served under him in the House, he's probably not one I would choose to support" for the presidency.
May 8, 2011
James McCartney, 85, a longtime Washington correspondent and columnist, died of cancer Friday at his home in Holmes Beach, Fla. Mr. McCartney covered foreign affairs and defense policy in Washington, first for the Chicago Daily News from 1959 to 1965 and then for Knight-Ridder Newspapers from 1968 until 1995. He also taught courses on the media and foreign policy and politics at Georgetown University. After he retired to Florida, Mr. McCartney wrote a monthly column for the Herald in Bradenton.
May 28, 2010
AS I WRITE this, Aric should be somewhere between Afghanistan and Fort Bragg, N.C. "Somewhere between" pretty much describes the life of a career soldier in a time of perpetual war. They seem to be always in transit, en route, deployed in the Middle East or redeployed back home. They call it rotating, an apt name for the spin cycle they're in. Their lives are an alternating current of tearful good-byes and tearful reunions separated by long stays in places where people try to kill them.
January 5, 2010
DOES BILL SIMMONS know that Red Auerbach used to ban the distribution of postgame box scores in the Boston locker room? "Statistics are for losers," Auerbach would grumble on his way to another NBA championship. Surely Simmons must know that. He grew up in Boston, adored the Celtics. Still adores the Celtics. How else can you explain why he would list John Havlicek as the 13th best player in NBA history, ahead of Elgin Baylor, ahead of Julius Erving, ahead of Scottie Pippen in a book he's written called, "The Book of Basketball.
April 23, 2007 |
Rolling up Roosevelt Boulevard in his pal Ernie DeNofa's black Cadillac Escalade, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady learns someone is mad at him. This is a problem. Not that Brady cares what anyone thinks. Oh, no. As the Philadelphia mayoral candidate will tell anyone, he's not one of those slick, status-seeking pols who spend their whole lives trying to win people over. "I am what I am," he likes to say. Deal with it. But the angry person today is a ward leader and longtime Brady ally: Councilwoman Carol Ann Campbell.