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Leaderless on the left
"She was a victim of both the forces of history and the forces of destiny," said King. "She had been tracked down by the zeitgeist - the spirit of the times." The reality was somewhat different. Parks was no victim. The zeitgeist did not track her down; she embodied it. She had a long history of anti-racist activism and had often been thrown off buses for resisting segregation. Far from being a meek lady in need of a foot massage she was a keen supporter of Malcolm X, who never fully embraced King's strategy of non-violence.
US right targets anti-war mother
Pro-war commentators characterised her as a "nut" who was being manipulated by the left. The internet gossip Matt Drudge inaccurately claimed that Cindy Sheehan "dramatically changed her account" of one meeting she had with Mr Bush. That claim was then picked up by Fox News and repeated on Slate's website by the columnist Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens accused Ms Sheehan of "spouting piffle" and lambasted her protest as "dreary, sentimental nonsense".
Pardon for maid executed in 1945
Lena Baker, the only woman executed in Georgia's electric chair, was sentenced to death by an all-white, all-male jury after a trial that lasted just one day. In August 1944 Baker told the court that 67-year-old EB Knight, a man she had been hired to care for, had held her against her will in a grist mill and threatened to shoot her if she tried to leave.
Ballad of John and Yoko hits all the wrong notes with critics
A new Broadway musical about John Lennon has been panned by everyone - apart from his widow, Yoko Ono, who was closely involved in the production.
Pressure grows on Chicago's Teflon mayor
Another candidate also performed well in an interview for the post of equipment dispatcher in the city. Once again there was a snag. On the day of the interview he was dead.
Airlines lose lifevests to fit fat flyers
Americans have put on so much weight that airlines have removed phones, magazines and even lifevests from aircraft to compensate.
DA out to snatch Hillary Clinton's Senate seat
In what promises to be one of the most closely watched electoral battles of next year, Ms Pirro, 54, a district attorney from suburban Westchester, kicked off her campaign in Manhattan yesterday.
Bereaved mother camps outside Bush ranch
Now, 16 months later, Cindy Sheehan, 48, is camped outside George Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, demanding to see the president. "I want to ask him why did my son die? What was this noble cause you talk about? And if the cause is so noble, when are you going to send your daughters over there and let somebody else's son come home?"
J'accuse
In his landmark book, Democracy in America, the 19th-century French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville commented on the fever pitch to which American polemics can often ascend. In a chapter entitled Why American Writers and Speakers Are Often Bombastic, he wrote: "I have often noticed that the Americans whose language when talking business is clear and dry ... easily turn bombastic when they attempt a poetic style ... Writers for their part almost always pander to this propensity ... they inflate their imaginations and swell them out beyond bounds, so that they achieve gigantism, missing real grandeur."
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Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
book review
'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
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