November 25, 1990
There are two prongs to the famous "frontier thesis" which reporter Terry Pristin looks at in her piece on historians of the American West ("Taming of the Wild West Is Rewritten by Scholars," Part A, Nov. 14). On the one hand, the man who came up with this thesis, Frederick Jackson Turner, related American democracy to the "safety valve" function of the frontier. So long as there was lots of land on the other side of the border, and you were willing to destroy any Indian nation that stood in your way, losers in the "settled areas" could move west, get land of their own and become part of the self-supporting, self-governing mainstream.
February 7, 1993
Pristin's thesis on Hollywood nepotism lends powerful testimony to the reasons for new highs in the mediocrity of feature films. It is hardly surprising that the product born from the intense in-breeding of such an undistinguished group should bore the pants off anyone beyond grade-school sensibility. Hooray for Hollywood! LAWRENCE J. PIPPICK Los Angeles
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 1996 |
Frederick Martin Davidson, shackled and downcast, pleaded not guilty Monday to three counts of murder in the fatal shootings Thursday of three engineering professors at San Diego State University. Deputy Dist. Atty. James Pippin announced that the district attorney's office will ask the jury to find that "special circumstances"--lying in wait and committing multiple murders--exist to merit the death penalty. Pippin said Davidson admitted to police that he shot and killed professors Chen Liang, D. Preston Lowery III and Constantinos Lyrintzis just as a session devoted to his rebuttal of their earlier criticisms of his master's thesis was beginning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 1999
The June 11 article about Christy Turner's "Man Corn" thesis that the Anasazi were either cannibalized by the Toltec or were cannibals themselves is bound to disturb or otherwise stir up a lot of people. It should be remembered that this is an academic thesis, and even though such theses purportedly deal with knowledge, they are also dealings in the high-stakes game of "Remember, you heard it here first!" Morality doesn't enter into the interpretation of data, especially when it concerns a dead civilization.
September 14, 2005
MY congratulations on an extremely well-written article ("The Lure of the Outlaw Taco Cart" by Charles Perry, Aug. 31). I have read much regarding street vending (my thesis addressed the predicament of vendors, particularly taco-elote [corn] vending in L.A.) and your article was concise, informative and up to date. RAY DELGADO Downey
May 7, 1989
Peter Hebbethwaite's review of Penny Lernoux's "People of God" was beneath your usual standards. Knowing your preference for "authority" reviewers who are authors or chairs of commissions and universities, I can see why you chose Lernoux's colleague at the Reporter, but I don't know why you persisted in printing the review you received. We find out very little about the book reviewed, much more about the book reviewer. I disagree with much of Lernoux's thesis, but I think she makes a cogent case and the review you ran failed to do it justice.