I have long been an admirer of the cold war’s great strategist, George Frost Kennan (See blog 1/4/2012). He was the mastermind behind the policy of Russian containment after World War II and among the first to see that the atomic bomb had irrevocably changed the politics of war.
Recently, the sultan of Brunei decreed that the country will return to the harshest form of Islamic Sharia law, a ruling to be imposed upon Christians and Buddhists alike who make up 30% of the country’s population. Besides jailing and flogging, limb amputations will be imposed
Today I’m uncertain about whether or not I’ve done a good thing or a bad thing. A friend has completed his second novel and I have encouraged him to send it out to publishers. His first book was self-published and he seemed happy enough with that launch, so who am I to interfe
I’ve always been a saver. I thank my dad for the habit. When I was about 8 or 9, he marched me — still clutching my birthday money — into Bank of America to open a savings account. Ours was a small town but even so, when I saw the carpeted interior and marble pilla
Twenty years ago, after a 100 days of slaughter, Rwanda’s ethnic war left the country in ruins. So many men had been killed that women made up 70% of the population. The boys who grew up during the struggle watched as their mothers faced enormous hardships to feed their famili
As I read the latest edition of The New Republic which featured remarks about three writers — FranzKafka, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Virginia Woolf — I concluded they all agreed that writing is work. Kafka struggled deep into the night so that he might labor without distr
Silly as it seems, I’ve begun to feel a growing curiosity about the fate of my books. (See blog 1/13/14) I wonder where they go when they are sold. Did the readers enjoy them? Were the books shared with friends or left abandoned in the rain? (See blog 12/6/13) Recently o
Actress Diane Keaton has a new memoir out, “Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty.” In it she goes over her now familiar history: her love affairs with Warren Beatty, Al Pacino and Woody Allen, for example. She talks, too, about aging and about one blog writer’s comment that was