Browsing: May-June, 2008

May-June 2008

Blog Posts

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Jonathan Williams, who died on March 16 at age 79, was known for many things, but dullness was never one of them. Photographer, poet, essayist, folk art aficionado, and founder of the Jargon Society-an enterprise devoted to publishing “maverick poets, stray photographers, oligarchs, and characters,” and …

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IN APRIL 1962, Rudolf Nureyev was convicted under Soviet article N43 of treason against the state. Traitor number 50,888 was not present to defend himself against the charges, which had resulted from his dramatic defection to the West at Le Bourget airport, Paris, the year before.

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Martin Duberman writes in his book Stonewall that “the 1969 riots are now generally taken to mark the birth of the modern gay and lesbian political movement,” he is only reflecting how the coastal cultural establishment has come to monopolize the writing of gay history. That view of history needs to be broadened.

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TOBY JOHNSON is co-author, with Walter L. Williams, of Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo (2005), a historical novel that creatively recounts the brutal history of how Union soldiers mistreated the Navajo people in New Mexico just after the Civil War. It turns into a tender love story between the two-spirit “berdache” shaman of the tribe and the protagonist, a young government Indian agent with a conscience.

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Following is the introduction to the forthcoming book, Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeannette Howard Foster (Da Capo Press). Reprinted with permission.

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THOSE OLD ENOUGH will recall the classic photograph of the blond young man sticking flowers into the rifle barrels of soldiers who were there to defend America against the hippies who had vowed to levitate the Pentagon in a massive demonstration in October 1967. The young man was George Harris III, who went through many transformations before his death from AIDS in 1982.

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IN AN ESSAY titled “The Autumn in Florence,” Henry James reflected on the physical changes in the city that had been, for a brief period in the 1860’s, the capital of the newly formed Italian state.

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JOSEPH A. MASSAD, an associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University, does not shy from controversy. His departmental home page provides his response to an ad hoc grievance committee report that investigated allegations he intimidated students who disagreed with his political views on Israel. Massad turns the tables and accuses his detractors of a persistent witch-hunt.

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