What happened on December 19, 2004
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
So many Bartlebys Thomas McGonigle, Thomas McGonigle is the author of "Going to Patchogue" and "The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov."
Myths that rode west Jonathan Kirsch, Jonathan Kirsch, a contributing writer to Book Review, is the author of, most recently, "God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism."
A family in need ... Merle Rubin, Merle Rubin is a regular contributor to Book Review.
All creatures great and small Richard Ellis, Richard Ellis is the author of "No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species" and the forthcoming "Tiger Bone & Rhino Horn: The Destruction of Wildlife for Traditional Chinese Medicine."
Institutions of higher yearning Adam Bresnick, Adam Bresnick writes for several publications, including the (London) Times Literary Supplement.
An endurance test for literary greats Peter Stansky, Peter Stansky is a professor of British history at Stanford University and the author of several books, including "Sassoon: The Worlds of Philip and Sybil," and the coauthor, with William Abrahams, of "Journey to the Frontier" and "Orwell: The Transformation."
1944's glorious, hopeless battle for Warsaw John Lukacs, John Lukacs is the author of numerous books, including "Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred," to be published by Yale University Press in February.
Tummy love Clancy Sigal, Clancy Sigal, a screenwriter, is the author of "Going Away," "The Secret Defector" and "Weekend in Dinlock."
Full of Holiday Jeer Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
Pardon My Values, but Merry Christmas to All Gary Lawrence, Gary Lawrence is a Republican pollster in Orange County who celebrates Christmas with his Mormon congregation.
Democratic Nation-Building, Brick by Brick Timothy Garton Ash, Timothy Garton Ash's book, "Free World: America, Europe and the Surprising Future of the West," is published by Random House. He is professor of European studies at Oxford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
They're Sticking It to Us With Antique Vaccines Wendy Orent, Wendy Orent is the author of "Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World's Most Dangerous Disease."
Light Up the Palms and Telephone Poles Susan Diamond, Susan Diamond is a former Times reporter and consumer affairs columnist.
Ex-Con Xmas Trees, Trimmed in Guilt Michael Lewis, Michael Lewis is the author, most recently, of "Moneyball."
Touched by the Turn of a Page Geoffrey Nunberg, Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at Stanford University, is the author of "Going Nucular" and the editor of "The Future of the Book."
Born-Again President -- White House Hanukkah Dennis Prager, Dennis Prager's talk show is heard in the Los Angeles area on KRLA-AM (870). His website is www.dennis prager.com.
You Are Here Jeffrey Levin, Jeffrey Levin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
Still In Shadow Megan K. Stack, Megan K. Stack is a Times staff writer based in Cairo, Egypt.
A '60s Lefty Reconsiders Peter Savodnik, Peter Savodnik is the political editor of The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C.