The Fine Print: My Life as a Deskman

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Trump and the Civil War: No, slavery was not fading away


Why did we need the Civil War? Couldn’t we just have worked things out amicably without the need for all that carnage?

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The Two Americas


Donald Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again” has found deep resonance among millions of followers who believe that our nation has somehow lost its way. The question is what country is he talking about?

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As Always, US Adores a Good Sex Scandal


Amid the hand-wringing over the gutter-level sexual exchanges between Trump and Cruz, it doesn’t hurt to remember that it has been ever thus in American politics.

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A More Perfect Union


The Framers far exceeded the convention’s mandate; they devised an entirely new system of government.

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The Fight to Ban ‘Birth of a Nation’


In 1915, black journalist Monroe Trotter tried to get D.W. Griffith’s troubling film banned in Boston, igniting a furious debate over racism, censorship, and free expression. 

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Eichmann, Anything but an Ordinary Man


In her magnum opus on the career of the 'architect of the Holocaust,' German scholar Bettina Stangneth provides a revealing portrait a man who was far from being a dutiful clerk.

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Humanizing the Towering Biblical Figure of King David


Pulitzer-winning author Geraldine Brooks breathes new life into the idolized, elusive monarch in 'The Secret Chord.'

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Bernard Bailyn Makes an Art of the Writing of History


He’s collected every award a historian can win, and yet he confronts his subject with a keen and humble awareness of how much we can never know about our past.

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Holocaust Horrors Haunt the Films ‘Ida’ And ‘The German Doctor


Both Ida and The German Doctor take place long after World War II, but the rancid legacy of the Nazis continues to stain the lives of survivors good and bad.

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While Jewish DPs Languished, Nazi Criminals Gained Refuge in the U.S.


Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Eric Lichtblau’s ‘The Nazis Next Door’ explores how America became a safe haven for Nazis through CIA recruitment 

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Henry Hudson, Henny Youngman, and a Hippie Walk Into A Bar Or How The Catskills Cradled More Than Comedy


A new history portrays a region crucial to American history, where explorers rub shoulders with gangsters, artists, stand-up comedians, and peace freaks. 

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‘Generation War’ Lets World War II Germans Off Too Easily


Millions of Germans eagerly watched a three-part TV epic about World War II, searching, it would seem, for a palatable version of their history.

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Mark Rothko - From Jewish Schoolboy to Jaded Art Star


The enigmatic artist has not made it easy for biographers to appraise his life; Annie Cohen-Solal is the latest to try in 'Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel.' 

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The One-Man Show That Was Orson Welles


In command on both sides of a movie camera, Welles could act better than any director and direct better than any actor. In fact, he did everything better than most moviemakers.

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Lawrence of Arabia Became Popular as the Dashing Antithesis of War in the Trenches


T.E. Lawrence led the Arab Revolt Against the Turks and Found Fame as the Antithesis of the faceless World War I combatants dying by the thousands in Europes’s trenches.

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