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February 19, 2010 | By Kevin Canfield
Shortly after Duquesne University law professor Ken Gormley decided to write a book about the crisis that almost ended Bill Clinton's presidency, a powerful publishing figure offered some advice. "I won't name names, but a very prominent agent said: 'No one's going to care about the Clintons in another year or two, they're passé,' " Gormley said recently over lunch here. "This was in 2000." Later, when it looked as if Hillary Clinton might win the 2008 Democratic nomination, other would-be experts urged Gormley to get his book out. But his publisher decided to stick with the writer's timeline, deeming it too important to be rushed.
February 16, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams
Kenneth Starr, the former special prosecutor who took on President Clinton over the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals, will be leaving his post as dean of Pepperdine University School of Law this spring to become president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the schools announced Monday. Starr has headed the Malibu law school since 2004. During his West Coast tenure, he also represented the supporters of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, during a challenge before the California Supreme Court last year.
December 21, 2009 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Thomas Starr King was not a big man, standing just 5 feet 2 and weighing about 120 pounds. But his admirers say the 19th-century Unitarian minister and California transplant left an outsize legacy in his adopted state. King, whose eloquent oratory is often credited with having helped keep California in the Union during the Civil War, was later honored in bronze as one of the state's two representatives in the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall. The state's other representative there is Father Junipero Serra, the founder of California's missions.
July 28, 2009 | HECTOR TOBAR
The Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial on Hill Street is my favorite neglected corner of the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center. As far as I know, it's the biggest monument to the United States' conquest of California. I go there to feel the history. I stand under the terra-cotta soldiers and read the inscriptions honoring the troops who "helped win the Southwest" and who raised the Stars and Stripes at "the first Independence Day in Los Angeles."
July 8, 2009 | Juliette Funes
Kevin Starr knows firsthand what it was like to live in California in an "Age of Abundance," the subtitle of the latest book in his multivolume series on the history of the state. Growing up in San Francisco in that era "was the definitive time my point of view came together," Starr said. "It was also the time of extraordinary development for California and so, consequently, I participated in that growth and that optimism."
July 8, 2009 | Tim Rutten
With the publication of "Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963," Kevin Starr -- now university professor and professor of history at USC and state librarian of California emeritus -- has completed his transformation from the state's greatest historian to its indispensable one.
May 29, 2009 | Jack Cheevers, Jack Cheevers is an Oakland writer finishing "Act of War," a book about North Korea's capture of the U.S. Navy spy ship Pueblo in 1968.
It's never pleasant watching politicians try to manipulate history. Whether it's an ex-president blocking release of incriminating White House tapes, the Russian government closing a KGB archive to foreign researchers or Japanese officials forcing a school textbook author to excise references to World War II-era atrocities, the public's ability to learn the truth about historic events is hobbled. The imminent removal from the U.S.
April 16, 2009 | Richard Simon
After 78 years of standing in the Capitol, Thomas Starr King is about to be ousted by a better known Californian -- Ronald Reagan. In June, a bronze statue of Reagan will replace that of the relatively obscure King as one of California's two representatives in Washington's version of a national hall of fame. The Reagan likeness will be unveiled in a ceremony attended by former First Lady Nancy Reagan.
April 3, 2009 | Scott Kraft
When the Starr County sheriff was led away in handcuffs for accepting bribes from a bail bondsman back in 1998, the county pinned his star on his chief deputy, Reymundo "Rey" Guerra. It wasn't long before Guerra was restoring the shine to the badge. Unlike his predecessor, Guerra was affable and approachable, a beefy man with a gray-flecked mustache who rarely carried a gun. He and his wife were regulars at the peach-brick Catholic church in tiny Rio Grande City.
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