In praise of Harvard’a Jill Lepore — including one book that goes down like an insomniac bedtime story, with endnotes nearly as mesmerizing as the text, and another about Ben Franklin’s sister, whose story is no less than his a biography of America.
I was excited to see Paula Span’s piece today in the Times, “No End to Trauma for Some Older Veterans.” She follows one 80-something vet in his struggles and notes that seeking help wasn’t popular in his war: “The prevailing medical advice — even for someone like Mr. Perna, who had fought in North Africa,Continue reading “PTSD in 1945: let there be truth”
Manning’s testimony is riveting. So is this from Daniel Ellsberg, whose similarly groundbreaking leak occurred in what now (though it was the Nixon era) feels like a gentler time.
Ward Reilly’s so much of a firecracker now, I can only imagine when he was an infantryman stirring up trouble in 1974.
It’s kind of stereotypical, but every year I watch this film as part of the observance of Martin Luther King Day. It feels the least I can do, given what Bayard Rustin did for all of us. This year, of course, I thought also of Rustin during President Obama’s Second Inaugural address, when the PresidentContinue reading “A day for angelic troublemakers”
I went back to Fort Meade this week, more than two years after Manning was first brought to court. Now in dispute during these last pre-trial motions before the court martial, now scheduled for June 3: those two-plus years. If there’s not another delay, that means that Bradley Manning’s court-martial will begin almost exactly threeContinue reading “these might be giants: report from Fort Meade”
Another military rape scandal — this one at Lackland Air Force Base. A very few of you might have guessed my first thought: “Ground Hog Day. When will they learn?” I say that because it’s nearly 18 years since a similar scandal at Aberdeen Proving Ground changed my job description and catalyzed the formation of the short-livedContinue reading “Men and MST: getting to the core of it”
I’ve been reading a lot of biographies of late. These days, most are marvels of narrative nonfiction. I just finished Jean Harvey Baker’s work on Mary Todd Lincoln, (via Michelle Dean at the New Yorker), which taught me that the much-reviled First Lady was less a loon than a feminist that coulda been. And sometimes Continue reading ““Hollywood’s conscientious objector.” The subtitle wrote itself.”
For those who might be wondering why this whole project is so overdue.and/or why you DIDN’T see it on the fall catalog for UCPress. When I started working on this book, its subtitle was Soldiers Who Dissent: From George Washington to John Murtha, the latter name because back then, in 2006, it wasn’t that longContinue reading “Status report”
Canada’s long history as a refuge gave young people like Kimberly Rivera, like Joshua Key, like the estimated hundreds still underground, hope that they’d be welcome in the human family, with their struggles respected. Canada deserves its image as a haven, however clouded. And if it yet again embraced its role as a refuge from militarism, we would all be the richer for it, on both sides of the border.