April 20, 2013 |
We have, when you think about it, always been an argumentative culture and society, even before we became a country. And we've been arguing ever since, for better or worse, and with varying degrees of skill. The nature of argument was part of the focus of the "American Arguments" panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday moderated by L.A. Times editor-at-large Jim Newton, which drew together four history authors whose books explore some of the key formative arguments of American history.
September 8, 2012
Re "Race to unearth a royal mystery," Column One, Sept. 5 At last, we may have some truth about Richard III, who has been maligned for centuries. Let's remember that history is written by the victors - in this case, the Tudors - after Henry VII, whose claim was very tenuous, gained the throne. No one really knows what happened to the little princes in the tower. We do know that their succession to the throne was not valid when it was discovered that Edward IV's wife, Elizabeth Woodville, had been betrothed before marrying Edward, and therefore their marriage and thus their children were not legitimate.
September 15, 2011 |
There's a not-so-subtle agenda underpinning Joe McGinniss' "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," although it's never made explicit until late in the book. "The time has come to strike the tent," McGinniss begins the closing chapter. "[N]o matter how much my book sales might benefit from a Palin presidential campaign in 2012, I sincerely hope that the whole extravaganza, which has been unblushingly underwritten by a mainstream media willing to gamble the nation's future in exchange for the cheap thrill of watching a clown in high heels on a flying trapeze, is nearing the end of its run. " If you're a Palin supporter, this will only give you ammunition to dismiss "The Rogue" as one more piece of liberal propaganda, yet another "lamestream media" smear campaign.
April 11, 2011 |
It started with a stopwatch. Peter Daland, USC's championship-winning former swim coach, was only 8 years old when his parents gave him the timepiece as a gift, but immediately he grasped the possibilities. "I went up to the pool," he says, "and I told the other kids, 'Let's have a workout.' I didn't even know what a workout was. " That day, Daland later realized, a coach was born. In time, Daland would make his mark not at that tiny community pool in Philadelphia but at USC, where from 1958 to 1992 his star-studded teams won nine NCAA championships and produced scores of All-Americans and Olympic medalists.
February 13, 2010 |
History, it's often been observed, is written by victors, which might explain why an especially compelling chapter of the Mexican-American War remains so infrequently told, at least in the U.S. The chapter in question is about the San Patricios, a company of Irish immigrants pressed into service by the U.S. Army. Ideologically opposed to the fight, they switched sides, choosing to stand alongside the Mexican military rather than the forces of their newly adopted homeland. When the conflict ended, the members of the battalion were executed for their desertion.
February 22, 2009 |
Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive From the Warsaw Ghetto Samuel D. Kassow Vintage: 524 pp., $16.95 paper -- Emanuel Ringelblum was an inveterate optimist who, in 1930s Warsaw, believed that Polish Jewry had a future. Neither warnings from colleagues nor pleadings from in-laws persuaded the historian and political activist to leave the country.