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Secret History

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ENTERTAINMENT
June 25, 2012 | By John Horn
Oliver Stone has every reason to look a little bit gassed. The director behind “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July” and “JFK” has been busily promoting “Savages,” July 6's drug war drama starring Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson. But that's not the only high-profile project waiting in the wings: Stone has been racing to finish “Secret History of America,” the filmmaker's long-delayed documentary series that's due on Showtime in November.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
What is a writer's obligation to the privacy of his or her subjects? It's a tricky question, especially in a culture as confessional this one, where we tweet or post with alarming frequency the mundane details of the day to day. But what about those whose stories were never intended for a public airing, and yet have left behind a kind of testimony anyway? That issue resides at the center of Jeff Griffin's remarkable and disturbing “Lost And” (University of Iowa Press: 160 pp., $20 paper)
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 2013 | By Tracy Brown
This post has been corrected, as indicated below. Denise Kiernan's newest book, “The Girls of Atomic City,” explores  the stories of women who worked and lived in Oak Ridge, Tenn., during World War II. These women - secretaries, statisticians, scientists and mothers - were all recruited by the U.S. government to work on the Manhattan Project, without their knowledge, at what became its largest site. Kiernan - whose work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice and Ms. - focuses on nine specific women and their experiences during this complex moment in history at a top-secret city, following them from arrival until they discover what “the Project” encompassed.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 2013 | By Tracy Brown
This post has been corrected, as indicated below. Denise Kiernan's newest book, “The Girls of Atomic City,” explores  the stories of women who worked and lived in Oak Ridge, Tenn., during World War II. These women - secretaries, statisticians, scientists and mothers - were all recruited by the U.S. government to work on the Manhattan Project, without their knowledge, at what became its largest site. Kiernan - whose work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice and Ms. - focuses on nine specific women and their experiences during this complex moment in history at a top-secret city, following them from arrival until they discover what “the Project” encompassed.
NEWS
April 13, 1989 | RICHARD EDER, Times Book Critic
Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century by Greil Marcus (Harvard University Press: $29.95; 496 pages) On Page 18 of "Lipstick Traces," Greil Marcus announces the theme of the book. He calls it "serpentine." That is, it is long and twisty, it keeps doubling back upon itself and, though he doesn't say so, it tends to swallow its own tail. It is a book--this gnarled, passionate, semiconfessional search for the spark of anarchic revolt through the history of our culture--at war with itself.
BOOKS
September 13, 1992 | RICHARD EDER
Comes now, beating its own drum, Alfred A. Knopf's production of "The Secret History." A first novel by a young writer who has worked on it for eight years, it is both unripe and wizened. Early promotional heat-treatments have done nothing to remedy the first condition, and they almost seem to have advanced the second.
OPINION
January 10, 2013 | By Tom Engelhardt
We got Osama bin Laden - and now we'll be getting him again on cinema screens across the nation, as "Zero Dark Thirty" hits neighborhood multiplexes. Lauded and criticized, that film's the talk of the town. Is it also the first of a new genre? If so, here are my five nominations for other CIA films. Let's start with the CIA's 1953 coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, whose democratically elected government had nationalized the country's oil industry. It couldn't be oilier, involving BP in an earlier incarnation, the CIA, British intelligence, bribery, secretly funded street demonstrations and (lest you think there'd be no torture in the film)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2001 | RICHARD CROMELIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Rock music has always gone hand-in-handcuff with crime, from Chuck Berry's Mann Act bust in the '50s to threats of a Spice Girls reunion in this decade. The list of slaying victims ranges from Marvin Gaye and Bobby Fuller to John Lennon and Sam Cooke. So what sordid cases do they dig up on "Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll," an hourlong would-be expose airing at 10 tonight on Court TV? Guns 'N Roses fires its drummer. Ronnie Spector gets ripped off for royalties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 1996 | JAMES P. PINKERTON, James P. Pinkerton is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University. E-mail: pinkerto@ix.netcom.com
With each passing year, "news" is downloaded into "history." And while nothing is as fleeting as a headline, our collective understanding of the past is also under constant revision. As Samuel Butler, the 19th century English novelist, put it, "God through his omnipotence cannot change the past. Therefore, he created historians."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2002 | Kevin Baker, Special to The Times
Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" begins in the bowels of the Earth, which is appropriate, because he is digging deep -- perhaps deeper than any filmmaker has ever done before -- into the American past. As the movie opens, the Dead Rabbits, a legendary Irish street gang in pre-Civil War New York, is preparing for battle against their "Native American" (i.e., Anglo) rivals. Down in the cellars of the Old Brewery, the Rabbits sharpen blades, sharpen teeth, pick up crude clubs.
OPINION
January 10, 2013 | By Tom Engelhardt
We got Osama bin Laden - and now we'll be getting him again on cinema screens across the nation, as "Zero Dark Thirty" hits neighborhood multiplexes. Lauded and criticized, that film's the talk of the town. Is it also the first of a new genre? If so, here are my five nominations for other CIA films. Let's start with the CIA's 1953 coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, whose democratically elected government had nationalized the country's oil industry. It couldn't be oilier, involving BP in an earlier incarnation, the CIA, British intelligence, bribery, secretly funded street demonstrations and (lest you think there'd be no torture in the film)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 25, 2012 | By John Horn
Oliver Stone has every reason to look a little bit gassed. The director behind “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July” and “JFK” has been busily promoting “Savages,” July 6's drug war drama starring Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson. But that's not the only high-profile project waiting in the wings: Stone has been racing to finish “Secret History of America,” the filmmaker's long-delayed documentary series that's due on Showtime in November.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 2011 | By Amy Wallen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"The obvious trouble with pen names … even with the most inspired and impressive ones, was that they somehow failed to convey truly the full extent of one's literary genius," said Romain Gary, the great French filmmaker and novelist, among other things.. Here Gary, a.k.a. Émile Ajar, was referring to his trouble picking out a pseudonym, one that he felt suited him well enough, considering the fame he expected. Literary genius, secret lives, alter egos, publishing qualms, society's attitudes and more are explored by Carmela Ciuraru as impetus and inspiration for pseudonyms in her new book, "Nom de Plume: A (Secret)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 19, 2010 | By David Mermelstein, Special to the Los Angeles Times
At a time when the relationship between African Americans and American Jews seems largely irrelevant to the national conversation, the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation is directing its gaze back at a different era. Not the early 1990s, when tensions between the two communities exploded into riots in Brooklyn's Crown Heights, but to the days more than 30 years prior, when blacks and Jews reached across the divide to embrace commonalities....
ENTERTAINMENT
May 16, 2010 | By Ed Park, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In Don DeLillo's latest novel, the weirdly exciting "Point Omega," a character is "trying to read science fiction but nothing she'd read so far could begin to match ordinary life on this planet ... for sheer unimaginableness." With another writer, you might coax an unsurprising aesthetic from this point of view: Ignore the attractions of extraterrestrials and dystopia — the way we live now is more than ample fodder for the fiction writer's art. The catch, of course, is that DeLillo has written science fiction and written it memorably.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 2009 | Diane Garrett
It's a good thing Frank Bruni is such a talented writer, or "Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater" would be a lot tougher to digest. The outgoing restaurant reviewer for the New York Times writes frankly about gargantuan binges and drastic weight-loss strategies in this alternately rollicking and sobering memoir. A book of comic excesses and culinary appreciation, it ends on a cautiously optimistic note: Bruni mostly has his eating under control, but doesn't take it for granted.
SPORTS
March 30, 2006 | David L. Ulin, Times Staff Writer
SPORTS are tribal. We line up with our team, our school, our city; paint our faces Trojan colors, dye our hair Dodger blue. We immerse ourselves in the history, in the rivalries: Magic against Larry, John Roseboro against Juan Marichal, Al Davis against the world. This is how we place ourselves, how we reckon with our lives. It is what Don DeLillo, in his novel "Underworld" -- which opens with Bobby Thomson's "shot heard 'round the world"-- calls our "secret history," something "that joins [us]
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
What is a writer's obligation to the privacy of his or her subjects? It's a tricky question, especially in a culture as confessional this one, where we tweet or post with alarming frequency the mundane details of the day to day. But what about those whose stories were never intended for a public airing, and yet have left behind a kind of testimony anyway? That issue resides at the center of Jeff Griffin's remarkable and disturbing “Lost And” (University of Iowa Press: 160 pp., $20 paper)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2009 | CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT, ART CRITIC
A profile of Thomas P. Campbell in a recent issue of the New Yorker limns the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new director in what instantly became the standard portrait when news broke that he got the job last September. He's a scholarly and unassuming curator, not known for being adept at the social razzle-dazzle that generates publicity and philanthropy, and therefore a surprising choice to lead a major American art museum. The fact that Campbell's 2002 sleeper exhibition, "Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence," utterly transformed the place of monumental woven imagery in art's history books, all while drawing more than 200,000 wide-eyed visitors to the museum's darkened galleries, hovers in the background as a genuine if picturesque accomplishment for a director's portfolio, more quaint than indispensable.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 2008 | Richard Eder, Eder, a former Times book critic, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.
Author interviews and signing tours have become a chief element in bookselling. If not by their covers, today's books are known by their jacket photos. So it's odd that, for much of publishing history, anonymity was a vastly common practice. In "Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature," John Mullan cites a whole pantheon of illustrious names. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and George Meredith concealed their identities, sometimes with a pseudonym.
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