Magazine October 5, 2009, Issue

Truth without Bullets

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Novelists don’t always write about what they know, but when something interesting happens to them, it usually winds up in a book. World War II was the most interesting thing that happened to most of the American novelists who served in it, and most of them duly produced novels based on their experiences, nearly all of which are forgotten. (Who now reads Irwin Shaw’s The Young Lions or Gore Vidal’s Williwaw?) The more I read in the literature of the Good War, the more certain I am that it is in memoirs like Donald R. Burgett’s Currahee! and E. B.

Terry TeachoutMr. Teachout is the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal and the critic-at-large of Commentary. Satchmo at the Waldorf, his 2011 play about Louis Armstrong, has been produced off Broadway and throughout America.

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Letters

A reader argues that drug dealers are criminals — and if drugs were legalized, they would still be criminals.

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