History: February 2008 Archives

Black history put in modern perspective

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Stanford law professor Richard Thompson Ford takes on a hot-button topic during Black History Month. The press release in his new book, The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 388 pages, $26), poses the question: "What do Katrina victims waiting for federal disaster relief, millionaire rappers buying vintage champagne, Ivy League professors waiting for taxis, and ghetto hustlers trying to find steady work have in common? All have claimed to victims of racism."

The Race Card

Here's a review from the Associated Press:

President's Day hair check

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Which president in history had the best hair? Certainly John F. Kennedy had good hair. Ronald Reagan and BIll Clinton, too. There are others throughout history, but who am I to judge what was in style from before I was born?

The aforementioned former presidents were all handsome as well, which does not always go hand-in-hand with good hair.

Why does any of this matter, you ask? It shouldn't matter, but appearance can make or break a candidate, and Ben Shapiro examines this subject in his book, Project President: Bad Hair & Botox on the Road to the White House (Thomas Nelson, 304 pages, $22.99).

Project President

Here's what Shapiro concludes about the father of our country: "Today's media would have savaged Washington. [He] would have faced scrutiny over his lavish spending habits, questionable military tactics, gold-digging and his cold austerity, though he would have gained points for keeping his hair."

Shapiro even got Tim Gunn, the fashion guru of Bravo's "Project Runway," to blurb the book: "I'm constantly citing the power of dress. It's semiology: our clothes send a message about how we want to be perceived, and where is this more powerful and evident than in elected offices. In Project President, Ben Shapiro captures presidential semiotics with a potent narrative and deft analysis. It's simultaneously fascinating and hilarious!"

Though Shapiro's book is already a little out of date — he scrutinizes some candidates that are no longer running for the presidential nomination — it's still fun reading.

Here's a review from the Associated Press...

All Lincoln All the Time

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In today's print edition of the Sun-Times, we dedicated all our Books space to the subject of Abraham Lincoln. You would think that all that could be written about our nation's 16th president has been written. Not so.

John Barron states in his review of President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman by William Lee Miller that "Lincoln always emerges as the year's freshest most appealing character. Any year." (Click here to read full review)

With that in mind we've seized upon the passion of many of the historians who've written about Honest Abe recently ...

Hearts and flowers through the ages

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Ah, Valentine's Day. The primping, the pressure, the proposals! Today we take a look back through history at some lovers' correspondence, specifically that which dealt in marriage proposals.

Will You Marry Me? Seven Centuries of Love (Touchstone Books, 112 pages, $14.95) was originally published in 1940. Perhaps this newly bound reissue will inspire Internet-age folks to take paper to pen and snail-mail a little romance to their loved ones.

Will You Marry Me?

Here's a smattering of smitten folks' marriage-minded missives...

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the History category from February 2008.

History: November 2007 is the previous archive.

History: March 2008 is the next archive.

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