December 7, 2012 |
38 Nooses Lincoln, Little Crow, and the Beginning of the Frontier's End Scott W. Berg Pantheon: 384 pp., $27.95 In summer 1862, as President Abraham Lincoln waged war to keep 11 Southern slave-holding states from seceding from the Union, four young Dakota Indians approached a farmhouse in what is now central Minnesota looking for food after a failed hunting expedition. Drunk, they quickly compounded a series of bad decisions and shot dead the farmer, two other men, a woman and a 15-year-old girl, all white.
November 18, 2012 |
RICHMOND, Va. - Below the spaghetti-works of Interstate 95, beside a canal where excursion boats are the only watercraft, I try to imagine a group of African American workers on the day after Union soldiers brought freedom to Richmond. They were repairing a bridge in the newly surrendered capital of the Confederacy when a tall, gangly man in a stovepipe hat approached from the James River. A few Marines surrounded him, but there was no fanfare. President Abraham Lincoln had just arrived by rowboat to see the city that had been his nemesis for four long years of the Civil War. Pandemonium erupted.
November 17, 2012 |
The Expendables 2 Lionsgate, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99 Available on VOD beginning Nov. 20 Doubling down on what worked just fine two years ago, this sequel brings back Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and adds Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme to the roster of action veterans paying homage to the big, dumb guns-and-bombs flicks of the 1980s. The plot this time has the team of mercenaries losing one of their own and exacting revenge, but "plot" isn't really the point of either of the "Expendables" movies; the idea is to show buff, beloved old stars, swapping quips and bullets while running in slow-motion ahead of explosions.
November 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama drew a careful limit around the U.S. role in the civil war in Syria, saying he would not recognize the opposition as a “government in exile,” or yield to mounting international pressure to begin arming militias battling President Bashar Assad. Obama said at a White House news conference that his administration would continue providing humanitarian aid to victims and refugees, and keep pressing the opposition to become more unified and to exclude extremists.
November 9, 2012 |
There Was a Country A Personal History of Biafra Chinua Achebe Penguin Press: 352 pp., $27.95 Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author of the groundbreaking 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," is widely considered the most influential African writer of the 20th century. A staple in school curricula worldwide and with more than 10 million copies in print, Achebe's novel is an African story told in an African manner by an African - remarkable for colonial times. While Achebe identifies himself as a Nigerian author, he is also Igbo, one of the three most dominant tribes in the vast country of more than 200 million people.
November 7, 2012 |
The Civil Wars have pulled the plug on the rest of their tour. The Grammy-winning folk duo, who were in the middle of a European tour, announced they have canceled all of their upcoming live gigs due to "internal dischord. " “We sincerely apologize for the canceling of all of our tour dates. It is something we deeply regret,” Joy White and John Paul Williams wrote in a statement posted on their Facebook page Tuesday afternoon . “However, due to internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition we are unable to continue as a touring entity at this time.” White and Williams nixed their current European tour, as well as next year's scheduled trek to Australia and New Zealand.
October 28, 2012 |
The Tale of the Heike Translated by Royall Tyler Viking: 734 pp., $50; illustrated An epic retelling of the 12th century Japanese civil war, "The Tale of the Heike" (Heike Monogatari) has provided the source material for Kabuki, Noh and bunraku plays, novels and films. Printmakers from Yoshitoshi and Chikanobu to the contemporary artist Hideo Takeda have illustrated it. Graphic novelist Stan Sakai referred to it in his long-running "Usagi Yojimbo" series. In the late 12th century, the emperor was a divine figure who commanded little real power; the de facto rulers of Japan were the lords of the Fujiwara clan.
October 25, 2012 |
L.A. rapper Omar Offendum came of age in a hip-hop era filled with violent tales by artists like Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. But last year, the 30-year-old Syrian American discovered how truly dangerous hip-hop could be. "I had to hold my tongue for a long time," Offendum said of his song "#Syria," a furious riposte to Syrian President Bashar Assad that he released in March. Although Offendum (he prefers not to use his real name to protect family) is hardly a superstar, the underground track still could have had devastating implications for family members still in Syria.
October 20, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Lebanon's military was out in force Saturday as authorities struggled to maintain order amid outrage about a deadly bombing here that many Lebanese blamed on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Officials urged calm in an edgy nation where many fear that Friday's bombing, which killed the country's police intelligence chief and seven others, could usher in a new wave of communal violence linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria. Diplomats and others have been warning that Syria's violence could spill over into nearby nations - especially Lebanon, with its volatile sectarian mix and history of civil war - and further destabilize the entire Middle East.
October 11, 2012 |
GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan repeatedly castigated the Obama administration for calling Syrian President Bashar Assad a "reformer," though his security forces have killed an estimated 30,000 people in his country's civil war. TRANSCRIPT: Read Biden, Ryan's arguments In fact, administration officials described Assad as a reformer at least a year before the armed uprising in Syria broke out in 2011. At the time of the statement, the administration hoped it might start peace negotiations between the Syrians and the Israelis.