December 5, 2004 |
It is axiomatic in the publishing industry that books on contemporary politics don't sell. Other than the occasional presidential autobiography -- such as Ulysses S. Grant's "Personal Memoirs," which appeared in 1885 and earned a stunning $500,000, or Richard Nixon's memoir "RN," which became a brief bestseller in 1978 -- the genre is a lackluster one. But in the supercharged atmosphere of this year's bitter election campaign, with American soldiers fighting...
December 5, 2004 |
After Raymond Chandler, Georges Simenon and lead pencils, James Lee Burke is God's great gift to social historians -- especially historians of that atypical wonderland called Louisiana, a place full of violent, driven, intrusive corruption; drive-through daiquiri stores; blues and swamp pop; lowlifes who don't pull their punches; and tourists who come to see a world that no longer exists. Yet bits of that world well lost soldier on in "Last Car to Elysian Fields" (Simon & Schuster: 352 pp., $24.
November 28, 2004 |
Wall Street is hoping for a strong finish to a year that is turning out surprisingly well for financial markets. Despite rising interest rates, a plummeting dollar, a sharp jump in energy prices and slowing corporate profit growth, Americans are on track to make good money this year in the bread-and-butter investment categories of stocks and bonds. Things could always go wrong in December.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2004 |
The Legislature finished an unusually trying year before dawn Saturday. Over eight months, its very existence was questioned and its political virility was mocked while it braced for the retirement of some of its most experienced and effective members. Lawmakers' arranged marriage with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- courtesy of an angry electorate -- prevented majority Democrats from dominating the Capitol's political direction this year as they had often done under Gray Davis.
January 18, 2004
America's Heart and Soul. Filmmaker Louis Schwartz- berg tells the country's story one person at a time, from a Vermont farmer to a coal miner in Appalachia and a cowboy on the range. Walt Disney, July 2. Broadway: The Golden Age. Using interviews, home movies and with more than 100 subjects, including Angela Lansbury, Shirley MacLaine and Stephen Sondheim, filmmaker Rich McKay fashions a record of a bygone era. Dada Films, June. Bukowski: Born Into This.