Monthly Archives: September 2018

The View from the Middle Ground

[Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones founded the New York Times in 1851. The quote by Raymond is from the first edition.] During a time when sensationalist journalism was commonplace in media, The Times vowed to avoid such tactics in … Continue reading

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The Proof

The proof that we live in a plutocracy is not that the wealthy get most of the prizes in our society, but that majorities think that is how it should be. (Gary Wills) [Copyright (c) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All … Continue reading

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1987: There’s a certain amount of internecine feuding

[Dear Mother,] There’s a certain amount of internecine feuding going on at my work, nothing directly involving me. Our two computer salespeople, man and woman, do not get along. Her name is D** and he is C**. D** is something … Continue reading

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Decline and Fall? Informed Worry

[Jill Lepore, Harvard professor, has just published “These Truths,” a new history of the United States.] If “These Truths” ends on a note of “Gibbonesque foreboding,” as she put it, she hopes it will take us out of the frenzy … Continue reading

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1987: “God’s Fool”

[Dear Mother,] I’ve read about a third or so of Hamlin Hill’s “Mark Twain: God’s Fool.” It’s about the last ten years of his life, based on materials that were not available or publishable when family members were still living. … Continue reading

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Lost in jazz ecstasy

This flash-back is from The Guardian. I have a vague memory of when Elvis invaded the airways, and my grandmother commenting, “I can’t imagine anyone can find that music pretty.” Photographer Michael Peto and writer Anthony Samson visited the cinemas … Continue reading

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Feast for the Eye

“That bastard. He’s really good.” (Picasso to Françoise Gilot, about Delacroix) “The first merit of painting is to be a feast for the eye.” (Delacroix’s last journal entry, June 1863) (Quotes from Roberta Smith, “At the Met Museum, the Grand … Continue reading

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