January 27, 2002 |
Frances FitzGerald is such an accomplished historian that anything she writes about Vietnam is of great interest to me and others who remember her 1972 classic, "Fire in the Lake." So her newest book, "Vietnam: Spirits of the Earth," is important to those who have loved that small country. "What struck me after my long absence was not so much how the country has changed but the extent to which it has returned to itself," she writes.
February 26, 2003 |
Old memories are coming back now. Feelings of uncertainty. Of peril. Caught between hatreds you cannot fathom and events you cannot escape. Of times when time itself seems elastic -- stretching out interminably and then, snap. War consumes us now, again: Afghanistan, Colombia, the Philippines, Iraq, New York City. How far have we traveled? From Agent Orange to orange alert, from fireballs of white phosphorous to dirty bombs. Experience draws me back to my library. Experience and dread.
March 7, 1993 |
Wayne Karlin's new novel takes us back to Vietnam-Land--not to Vietnam itself, but to that psychic geography defined for us by a school of writers who have been reading and influencing each other for a number of years now. It is sufficient for these writers, and for us, their often eager readers, simply to invoke the name Vietnam in order to conjure a mood, a sense of awfulness, weirdness, sick excitement and regret.
January 15, 1997 |
President Clinton still has a few foreign-policy surprises to pop in his second term, and one is Vietnam. Over the past few months, with no public announcement of any kind, the Clinton administration has taken small but significant steps toward establishing military ties with Vietnam--that is, the same Hanoi regime with which the United States fought a bloody war three decades ago. In October, a senior Pentagon official and officers of the U.S.
November 21, 1997 |
Francis Ford Coppola writing and directing an adaptation of a John Grisham novel sounds like the creative mismatch of the decade. What's next, Maya Angelou reciting "Humpty Dumpty"? Wynton Marsalis doing an arrangement for "Three Blind Mice"? Of course, when you think of it, Angelou and Marsalis would no doubt elevate our appreciation of those simple verses, and that's exactly what Coppola does with "John Grisham's The Rainmaker."
January 13, 1991 |
A wonderful and terrible book was published on Jan. 7. It is a reporter's notebook on the war in Afghanistan by a young Soviet journalist named Artyom Borovik, foreign editor of the weekly magazine Ogonok. Like Michael Herr's "Dispatches," with which it has been compared, Borovik's book is an account of the horrors of war on the front line. Like "Dispatches," like any good war reporting, it can change the way the reader thinks about war.
October 17, 2010 |
An art movie made on a blockbuster scale, Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" is a cult film for the ages, an imperfect classic whose force and stature have only grown with time. Released in summer 1979, having premiered a few months earlier in an unfinished version at the Cannes Film Festival, it was a monumental work of momentous import: Hollywood's much-trumpeted attempt to close the book on the national nightmare of the Vietnam War and in retrospect, a tombstone that marked the end of American cinema's 1970s golden age. FOR THE RECORD: "Apocalypse Now": In the Oct. 17 Calendar section, the Second Look column about two new DVD packages for the film "Apocalypse Now" described "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse," included in the three-disc set, as "Eleanor Coppola's valuable behind-the-scenes documentary.
November 18, 1998 |
A crusty editor once said that a newspaper can't go wrong with stories about murder or pets. That might explain the many feature reports early in the Clinton administration about Socks, the first family's pet cat, and the many stories a year ago about what name the president would give the Clintons' new dog.