Frank Mankiewicz: A Portrait

Frank Mankiewicz

by Frank Mankiewicz

I don’t know when or by whom the portrait of my grandfather for whom I was named was created. Frank Mankiewicz was a good American and spoke good English, but his aspect—at least in the portrait— was fierce and pure German. He glowered; the bald head, the firm and slightly turned- down mouth, and the bushy mustache yielded no hint of humor. It was large, well painted, and handsomely framed when I first saw it in the home of my uncle Joe Mankiewicz. Read more ›

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Posted in Contemporary History

Frederick Douglass: A Life and Times

Frederick Douglass

by James A. Colaiaco

Frederick Douglass

On Monday, July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass, the former slave, made his way to majestic Corinthian Hall, located in downtown Rochester, New York, near the Genesee River. He had been invited to deliver a speech to celebrate the Fourth of July. For the past few weeks, he had labored into the night, gathering his thoughts about the urgent message he wanted to give the nation. Arriving at Corinthian Hall, Douglass, the keynote speaker of the day, walked to his seat and faced his audience. With great dignity and a stern countenance, he surveyed the assemblage of mostly white people. Read more ›

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Posted in Modern History

Bill Veeck and the Chicago White Sox

Bill Veeck and the Chicago White Sox

by Dan Epstein

Excerpt From Chapter 1:  Let’s Do It Again (Bill Veeck)

Bill Veeck buys the Chicago White Sox. Over 29.7 million fans bought tickets to major league ballgames in 1975, the third-highest attendance figure in history, and the season had been capped by an electrifying seven-game World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds—memorably highlighted by Carlton Fisk’s game-winning 12th-inning homer in Game Six-during which a record 75.9 million viewers tuned in for what many were already calling the greatest Fall Classic in history. Read more ›

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Posted in Sports History

Tanaghrisson the Soldiers of the American Revolution

tanaghrissonl; Band of Giants

by Jack Kelly

Excerpts from Chapters 1 & 2

Silence. Rain spat cold on the napes of forty armed Virginians groping through “a Night as dark as Pitch.” They found the camp of their Indian ally Tanaghrisson and his braves. The two groups of men could smell each other: the rancid odor of the greased natives, the fetor of the unwashed white men. Tanaghrisson told their leader that the French raiding party was camped in a nearby hollow. He would take them there. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History, Modern History

Primo Levi: An Author Q&A

Primo Levi

by Sergio Luzzatto

No other Auschwitz survivor has been as literately powerful and historically influential as Primo Levi. Yet Levi was not only a victim or a witness. In the fall of 1943, at the very start of the Italian Resistance, he was a fighter, participating in the first attempts to launch guerrilla warfare against occupying Nazi forces. Those three months have been largely overlooked by Levi’s biographers; indeed, they went strikingly unmentioned by Levi himself. For the rest of his life he barely acknowledged that autumn in the Alps. But an obscure passage in Levi’s The Periodic Table hints that his deportation to Auschwitz was linked directly to an incident from that time: “an ugly secret” that had made him give up the struggle, “extinguishing all will to resist, indeed to live.” Read more ›

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Posted in Modern History