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By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
Topic - Martin Rubin
Claudia Roth Pierpont examines Philip Roth's art and 'the art of his life.'
Some autobiographies manage to have just the right title, and this is one of them. It is not surprising that as the only child of two titanic figures, born late in life after they had all but given up hope of ever having children, John Julius Cooper (Viscount Norwich is the title he inherited from his father) seems from his very cradle to have cultivated trying to please.
Most people today think of London's Kensington Palace as the residence of Diana, princess of Wales: the place where those masses of flowers symbolized the extraordinary outpouring of grief in reaction to her untimely death.
The life span of the celebrated portrait painter Philip de Laszlo, who was born Fulop Laub in Budapest in 1869 and died in London in 1937, coincided with the final flowering of the last great royal and imperial courts of Europe. Despite a humble background as the son of a Jewish tailor, de Laszlo's formidable artistic talent, his drive to succeed and an equally strong ability to reinvent himself all combined to get him ennobled by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef.
Alan Bennett is one of Britain's most distinguished dramatists, also one its finest actors, and he has long since acknowledged his homosexuality in a characteristically low-keyed manner, but he is about as far removed as possible from being a drama queen.
Loaded words like bicultural and the even more protean multicultural are bandied about by many writers, but Hanif Kureishi, born and bred in Britain to a Pakistani father and an English mother, exemplifies them. In novels including "The Buddha of Suburbia" and movies such as "My Beautiful Laundrette," he has engaged their multifarious aspects, embracing them, laughing with and at them, showing them from inside and out.
British writer Eva Figes' "Journey to Nowhere" begins innocuously enough with her desire to tell her young granddaughters something of her personal history as a German Jew forced out by the Nazis. Her story is a familiar one, with a few individualistic wrinkles.
Born in 1854 to a distinguished Irish family, prominent in the Protestant Ascendancy, Sir Horace Plunkett had a distinguished political career in his native country, playing a role in its assumption of self-government and eventually serving as a senator in the Senead Eirean of the newly formed Irish Free State in the 1920s.
There has been far too much written in memoirs, fiction and history about the travails of veterans adjusting to civilian life for us to be able to believe, in the words of the grand old song, that everyone could really be feeling gay when Johnny came marching home again. The problems involved in the process are real and probably inevitable, especially when it happened on a huge scale, as it did at the end of both world wars.
It's not often that a reviewer gets to point out just how the apostrophe is placed in the book's title, but for those of us who love punctuation in its proper place, there is no denying that there is a special pleasure in doing so. At first glance, because of Sigmund Freud's special fame, it might be natural to assume that it is his war that is under discussion in these pages. But he was lucky enough to be born in 1856 and so be spared the duty to fight for his beloved native Austro-Hungarian Empire, although patriot that he was, he would doubtless have done so.
This enthralling, vividly written book tells the story of an amazing journey in extraordinary times undertaken by a most uncommon woman. Louisa Catherine Adams was left behind in St. Petersburg, where her husband had for some years been the United States' minister to the Russian Empire, when he went off to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, which made peace with Britain after the War of 1812.
More than a decade since Sir Isaiah Berlin died at age 88 in Oxford, loaded with honors and distinctions academic and other, debate still rages in intellectual circles as to just where he stands as a thinker.
Although it is now nearly a full century since the R.M.S. Titanic sank into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, its story shows no signs of losing its power.
How many people today remember that there was once a Jewish man Sidney Frumpkin, born in Brooklyn in 1903, who, as Sidney Franklin, became one of the most famous matadors in the world?
Paris has always occupied a very special place in Americans' hearts, and so it is not surprising that they took its shocking occupation by Nazi forces in June 1940 very hard. As is so often the case, this feeling was encapsulated in a popular song, "The Last Time I Saw Paris," which Oscar Hammerstein II felt impelled to write in response to the catastrophe that had befallen what had once been known as the "City of Light."