Fighting Fire with Fire: Reinvigorating the Language of American Universities

These are the first paragraphs of an article I wrote for the Planning in Higher Education Journal, V 46, N 3, April-June 2018. The entire article can be found here The beliefs and even… Continue reading

What Immigrants Add to the Army

My father’s college roommate, after he returned home from the South Pacific in 1946, was another WWII veteran, a man named Mike Block. No, let me correct that: until he joined the US… Continue reading

‘Unhand Me, Grey-Beard Loon!’

The power of language, of writing: “The Wedding-Guest stood still.” Every semester, I use this example with my writing students. “‘There was a ship,’ quoth” the mariner. And the Wedding-Guest listens to the… Continue reading

Trumpism = Fascism = Death

Aurel Kolnai’s 1938 book The War Against the West contains elements that leave me cold, most certainly, but also elements that bring on an immense chill far beyond mere cold. Among these are the… Continue reading

Black Lives Mattering

Cobble Hill, Brooklyn had gentrified over the 1980s and I took advantage, opening Shakespeare’s Sister, a café and gift store across from the Cobble Hill Cinema in 1994. The neighborhood, now less Italian… Continue reading

The Callowness of Assumed Guilt

The only lights in the room were a desk lamp pointed downward on the long table in front of my chair and an even smaller lamp over someone’s–I couldn’t see his face–notepad. I… Continue reading

Skip a Rope

When my father returned from service in the Pacific in January of 1946 (he had been gone for three years and had seen action on Leyte Island), he found that his mother had… Continue reading

Right Down to the Shoes

It was the shoes. Mine were giving me away. Everyone else at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary today was wearing, well, not leather. I had slipped into my Justin boots because I was going… Continue reading

Only Losers Wrap Themselves in Losers

How connected are you to the Confederacy? I ask this, particularly, of you who wave the battle flag and adore statues and images of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson. Do… Continue reading

Circular Journalism

I spent the summer of 1972 as a nightside copyboy in the third-floor newsroom of the New York Times on West 43rd Street. At the end of the summer, Sammy Solovitz, the legendary head copyboy… Continue reading