New Orleans, Abandonment, Death, Andrew Roberts, T.S. Eliot, Donald Trump


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Love And Death In New Orleans

Charles Pierce | Esquire | 13th August 2015

Ten years after Katrina "there is still a city at the mouth of the Mississippi. Just not the same one". New Orleans "has been reconfigured according to radically different political imperatives — in its schools and its housing and the general relationship of the people to their city and state governments". The memory of the storm is "there in everyone, a dark layer in the archaeology of their lives" (6,200 words)

As My Face Disappeared

Howard Shulman | Narratively | 13th August 2015

A baby disfigured by a bacterial infection is abandoned by his parents to a harrowing childhood of surgery and foster-homes. "I know, given the scores of operations I endured — ultimately perhaps as many as a hundred — that I was tethered for much of my childhood, my hands tied with strips of cloth to my hospital crib so I couldn’t tear at my bandages and stitches". Thirty-eight years later he seeks out his mother to ask why she left (5,900 words)

The Final File

Paul Ford | New Republic | 13th August 2015

Adventures in database research. "This happens to me every few months, the desire to explore a large database. Which is how I found myself in possession of the names of more than 85 million dead Americans — the Social Security Death Master File. I’d asked on Twitter for interesting databases, and someone told me: 'Check this one out! It’s full of corpses!' It’s a strange thing to be in possession of a massive list of dead people" (1,730 words)

Yanks And Limeys: America And Britain In WW2

Andrew Roberts | Literary Review | 14th August 2015

Field Marshal Montgomery "fell out with almost every senior American commander in the whole theatre of war", reports Niall Barr in his new book, Yanks And Limeys. The Combined Chiefs Of Staff meetings echoed to "titanic rows" between General George C. Marshall and General Sir Alan Brooke. Eisenhower was the great conciliator. His "forbearance and good nature" accommodated even Montgomery's "outrageous egotism" (1,120 words)

Shored Against My Ruins

Edgell Rickword | Times Literary Supplement | 12th August 2015

The TLS revisits its 1923 review of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. A dud. "Here is a poet capable of a style more refined than that of any of his generation, parodying without taste or skill. Here is a writer to whom originality is almost an inspiration, borrowing the greater number of his best lines, creating hardly any himself. It seems to us as if the The Waste Land exists in the greater part in the state of notes" (950 words)

Donald Trump And The Alpha-Male Fantasy

Jacob Weisberg | Financial Times | 14th August 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

It is hard to imagine Donald Trump securing the Republican nomination for president, but he has already changed this election, and with it American politics. He is truly not a politician, in the rare sense that he does not care tuppence for his party — and if he is not going to win the election for the Republicans, then he could as easily decide to lose it for them by running as an independent and splitting the right-wing vote (900 words)

Video of the day: Slow Life

What to expect: Mesmerising. Corals and sponges underwater. Time-lapse with high magnification (3'36")

Thought for the day

Start every day with a smile, and get it over with
W.C. Fields

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