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Robert E. Lee and the Fashionable Urge to Hide from History

Robert E. Lee and the Fashionable Urge to Hide from History

Youthful encounter

“Who’s that man on the horse?” I asked my father at the age of about sev­en. “That’s Robert E. Lee,” my Dad said.

“Who was he?” … “He led the South in the Civ­il War.”

He gave me a book for young peo­ple which I still have. Illus­trat­ed Minute Biogra­phies: 150 Fas­ci­nat­ing Life-sto­ries of Famous Peo­ple, from the Dawn of Civ­i­liza­tion to the Present Day, Dra­ma­tized with Por­traits and Scenes from Their Lives, by Willam A. DeWitt. It’s still avail­able and inex­pen­sive. It’s far out of date now, but still a fine read for the young.…

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Memories: Goldwater and Kennedy: 20 and 55 Years On

Memories: Goldwater and Kennedy: 20 and 55 Years On

A Goldwater Inscription

22 Novem­ber 2018— A pho­tog­ra­ph­er friend sends along praise of Bar­ry Gold­wa­ter (1909-1998). The Sen­a­tor was not­ed por­tray­er of his beloved South­west: “I am read­ing an issue of Ari­zona High­ways devot­ed to his work. The only thing he was more pas­sion­ate about than pol­i­tics was his pho­tog­ra­phy. And he was a great cam­era­man.” Praise of one pho­tog­ra­ph­er for anoth­er is high rec­om­men­da­tion.

His note remind­ed me of Peo­ple and Places, Goldwater’s fine book of pho­tographs, from canyons to Hopi. The depth of feel­ing for Arizona’s native peo­ples and nat­ur­al vis­tas in those pho­tos belies the pic­ture his ene­mies tried to paint of Gold­wa­ter when he ran for Pres­i­dent in 1964.…

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Churchill: Scattershot Snipe and the Answers to It

Churchill: Scattershot Snipe and the Answers to It

My broth­er Andrew Roberts, author of the new and vital Churchill: Walk­ing with Des­tiny, pass­es along a read­er snipe which nails rick­ety new planks on the creepy ship Churchill Snipes. Incred­i­ble as it may seem, the writer man­ages to cre­ate a few we’ve nev­er heard before. They will be added to my “Assault on Churchill: A Reader’s Guide.” As will anoth­er far­ra­go by a loopy astro­naut, about which you’ve prob­a­bly already heard.

Snipe synopsis

Snipe 1) “Why doesn’t Andrew Roberts spell out Churchill’s mis­takes? They were not all that inno­cent.”

Whole sem­i­nars could be devot­ed to whether Churchill’s mistakes—in fact exhaus­tive­ly cat­a­logued by Roberts—were inno­cent and well intend­ed, or mali­cious­ly cal­cu­lat­ed.…

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