"John Kerry's elite journey," Washington Post, October 4, 2018

There are many reasons to write a memoir. Some authors reveal intimate experiences in the hope that the subtleties of one life will resonate for many. Others seek to tell whopping good insider tales or simply to set the record straight. John Kerry’s memoir tries to do a bit of all three. At about 600 pages, it offers a detailed, blow-by-blow account of Kerry’s life from birth to the present, recounting his path from naval officer to antiwar activist to local politician and finally to Democratic presidential candidate and secretary of state. More here.

"'Strategy' May Be More Useful to Pawns than Kings," NYT Magazine, September 3, 2018

In the late 1960s, the veteran radical Saul Alinsky looked at American society and did not like what he saw. With the antiwar and civil rights movements at critical junctures, many young activists seemed to be forgetting how to build and sustain power, turning instead toward showy street protest and random acts of violence. So Alinsky published, in 1971, his landmark book, “Rules for Radicals” — a guide to “tactics, maneuvers, strategy and principles of action in the making of revolutions.” Using terms that might have been plucked from a military manual, he sought to wrest the high art of strategy away from the “Haves” of the world and give it to the “Have-Nots.” More here.

Updates

“Mail Bombs Rocked American Politics a Century Ago. Here’s What a Historian Thinks That Moment Has to Teach Us," TIME Magazine, October 26, 2018. 

After a week during which 13 packages containing explosive devices were intercepted on their way to prominent figures associated with the Democratic Party, authorities arrested suspect Cesar Sayoc on Friday. Although the apprehension may lead to some answers, authorities have warned that more mail bombs could still be working their way through the postal system, and the questions and anxiety that filled many Americans’ minds this week are unlikely to have abated. Read more here 

"Gage's Book inspires PBS documentary," Yale Daily News, February 13, 2018

New York businessmen in suits and ties swarm the streets to survey the “war zone” unfolding in the nation’s financial center. Where a grand building once stood only rubble remains, and charred hats and shoes that once belonged to members of the business elite line the sidewalk. This is how Public Broadcasting Service’s latest “American Experience” documentary begins. More here.