April 12, 2013 |
Asking Kevin Starr a question is like turning on a fire hose. First there's a blast of erudition. Then, as his intellect gathers, information rushes out in a deluge. He's talking, but it's as if an invisible scholar inside his head is yanking books off shelves, throwing them open, checking the index, then racing off to find the next volume. On the outside, Starr is an avuncular 72-year-old, but his brain is sprinting like an Olympian. Amazingly, it's possible to keep up. This may be Starr's greatest gift: not just that he has amassed a phenomenal body of knowledge but that he can translate it into dynamic works of history.
December 7, 2013 |
In terms of mythology, it was Bonnie Parker who turned a small band of murderous thugs led by Clyde Barrow into the stuff of legend. Even as the Depression-era gang went on its murderous two-year crime spree, the idea of a female outlaw titillated a nation already prone to romanticizing criminals amid a failing economic system. When she and her lover died in a hail of gunfire, and photos of her posing with firearms and a getaway car were discovered, Bonnie became the pin-up girl for the hyper-sexualized archetype of the gun moll.
August 4, 2013
Re "History meets politics," Opinion, Aug. 2 Sam Wineburg's cogent essay unwittingly makes a powerful case for Howard Zinn's signature contribution to history education. Everyone I know in my profession who assigns "A People's History of the United States" does so for the right reasons: It encourages students to think with some detachment, shows how all histories are "constructed," illuminates the narrative in which we all have been submerged and invites criticism (if only for the simple fact that Zinn himself is so critical)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 1994
The three stages of history: B.C., A.D. and O.J. ROBERT FINKEL North Hollywood
April 26, 2014
Re “The 'Mother Ditch,'” April 22 The Times' informative article on the discovery and proposed removal of a portion of the historic “Mother Ditch” leaves one key question unasked: Should this important piece of Los Angeles history, which provided the 19th century town with water from the Los Angeles River, be moved? Although relocating portions of the brick pipe to other sites is certainly better than destroying it, the right solution is to leave it where it is, preserved and visible as witness to embryonic Los Angeles and its always fragile relationship with its vital water supply.
May 22, 2011
Absolute Monarchs A History of the Papacy John Julius Norwich Random House: $30 The respected historian of the Byzantine Empire and Venice now turns to one of the oldest institutions on Earth and those who have worn the mitred hat during its 2,000-year-old history. (July) American Dreamers How the Left Changed a Nation Michael Kazin Alfred A. Knopf: $27.95 From the early anti-slavery movement to Noam Chomsky and filmmaker Michael Moore, the author examines the radical thinkers and reformers who have transformed American politics and culture.