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Writing History

September 12, 2008 | Mary Rourke, Times Staff Writer
Tina Allen, whose monumental sculptures of prominent African Americans through history -- including abolitionist Sojourner Truth and author Alex Haley -- fill public spaces across the United States, has died. She was 58. Allen died Tuesday at Northridge Hospital Medical Center of complications from a heart attack, her former husband, Roger Allen, said. She had been a resident of North Hills. Her first major commission, in 1986, set the course for her future. She made a 9-foot bronze sculpture of labor leader A. Philip Randolph, who helped organize a union for sleeping car porters in the 1920s, for a train station in Boston.
October 16, 2011 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
If the Internet boom of the 1990s inspired computer programmers and entrepreneurs bent on changing the world, its bust gave rise to hundreds of writers happy to chronicle it - perhaps, most famously, "And Then We Came to the End" by Joshua Ferris. Much of Paul La Farge's novel "Luminous Airplanes" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 245 pp., $25) takes place in the slow days during which the boom was waning, and our unnamed protagonist is frittering away his days at a dying web company "like the middle of Moby-Dick; no whale in sight, only occasional contact with another passing ship, and nothing to fill the time except digression.
July 16, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Harry Potter didn't even wait until the sun rose to start vanquishing box-office records. The last big-screen adventure of the boy wizard, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2," raked in $42.5 million at midnight screenings in the U.S. and Canada, according to Warner Bros. The previous record was about $30 million, set in 2009 by "The Twilight Saga: New Moon. " Fans eager to see Harry's final battle with the evil Lord Voldemort began lining up early Thursday for the shows.
December 29, 1985 | CHARLES HILLINGER, Times Staff Writer
Just about everything that has happened in tiny Sierra County in Northern California since its discovery in 1849 is recorded in James J. Sinnott's six-volume history. If you ever lived in the sparsely populated, isolated, mountainous county, chances are you are mentioned in Sinnott's historical series, which probably is the most comprehensive history of any California county.
Stefan Hatos, co-creator, writer and producer of the durable game show "Let's Make a Deal," has died at the age of 78. Hatos, who produced a variety of other television shows and had a long history in radio, died March 2 in a Toluca Lake health club of heart problems. He had homes in Beverly Hills and Pebble Beach, Calif. With Monty Hall, who was the show's on-air host for about 4,500 episodes, Hatos created the popular "Let's Make a Deal" for daytime television in 1963.
February 1, 2010
Howard Zinn died last week. Since 1980, his controversial "A People's History of the United States" has sold more than 2 million copies, and it has given Zinn -- a professor, social activist, shipyard worker and World War II bombardier -- his own shot at being more than a footnote in the march of time. Marjorie Miller Marjorie Miller interviewed his colleagues to start history's assessment. Sean Wilentz Princeton University, "The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008" What he did was take all of the guys in white hats and put them in black hats, and vice versa.
November 9, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
JERUSALEM - Historian Benny Morris has a knack for enraging Israelis of every political stripe. Morris' research on the 1948 war for independence challenged long-standing Zionist narratives that said Israel was not responsible for the creation of 750,000 Palestinian refugees. He infuriated right-wing Israelis by documenting secret plans to expel Arabs and accounts of massacres and rapes by Jewish forces. Then a few years ago, he turned his critical eye toward Palestinians, holding them largely responsible for stalled peace talks.
February 14, 1988 | Digby Diehl, Diehl is the president of the Los Angeles Center of P.E.N., International
Nine years ago, Thomas Flanagan's first novel, "The Year of the French" was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and generally praised as an exemplary historical novel. Naturally, readers approach this new novel with heightened expectations. Will Flanagan be able to bring Irish history alive with energy and immediacy again? Can he sustain the charm and lilt of Irish voices throughout a long narrative?
January 30, 1991 | From Times Wire Services
A new education group chaired by former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean today proposed a mandatory national achievement test for all high school seniors attending public and private schools. Educate America, based in Morristown, N.J., made the national exam proposal its first initiative in a campaign to "drive the education policy agenda for the 1990s." Kean, now president of Drew University in Madison, N.J.
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