Magazine | December 31, 2013, Issue


Appalachian Immigration

Reading Kevin D. Williamson’s article (“Left Behind,” December 16) reminded me of my experience working with urbanized Appalachians in the Indianapolis neighborhood known as Stringtown back in the early ’60s. I served on (then) Indianapolis mayor Richard Lugar’s Appalachian-affairs council. Mr. Williamson makes several references to those leaving Appalachia and moving to larger cities; my work was at the other end — working with those who had immigrated to, in this case, Indianapolis.           

Appalachian immigrants in Stringtown lived in very run-down single-family homes, and efforts to interest residents in bettering the neighborhood proved challenging, as “home” remained the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee. Only after rather thorough research and some innovative approaches to community organization was real progress made.

Those were exciting years for me and my associates. The article was appreciated.

Norm Marshall

Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Tragedy of the Reservations

Much of Kevin D. Williamson’s description of Appalachia in the December 16 cover story, “Left Behind,” could also be said of the New Mexico Pueblo Indian reservations. There, severe alcoholism and drug abuse, and sexual and physical abuse, are common. Often, more than half of the adults are unemployed, and in many cases unemployable. Industry does not find it attractive to locate in the area, and there is little opportunity in the pueblos or surrounding Anglo communities. People survive on their neighbors and continuous government-handout programs.

Norman Worth

Via e-mail

Churchill Numismatics

Regarding your note in the November 11 issue (The Week) on Winston Churchill now being on the five-pound note: This is not his first time on British currency. In 1965, just after his death, he appeared on a specially minted five-shilling coin. This coin was not meant for general circulation, as the highest-denominated coin in common use then was the half crown. This commemorative “full crown” was almost exactly the same size as a U.S. silver dollar, only slightly thicker. I was a boy then, and my father gave me several of these coins, which I still possess.

Ken Fasig

Kalaheo, Hawaii

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue



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Generation Gaps

A couple of times while writing this review I almost typed “Bill Clinton” instead of “Pat Conroy.” That’s not surprising. The former president and the bestselling novelist who wrote The ...
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Broken Heartland

I was not entirely looking forward to Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, mostly because I worried that the movie, about an old man taking stock of his life on a Plains-state road ...


Politics & Policy


Appalachian Immigration Reading Kevin D. Williamson’s article (“Left Behind,” December 16) reminded me of my experience working with urbanized Appalachians in the Indianapolis neighborhood known as Stringtown back in the early ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Maybe Kim Jong Un’s uncle tried to talk to him about Obamacare over Thanksgiving. ‐ Supporters of Obamacare decided to start saying that the website is now basically working, never ...

The New Inequality

For about 47 minutes the president successfully moved the conversation to income inequality, the very existence of which proves that the fundamental transformation of America into a grey smear of ...
Politics & Policy


PICTURESQUE Rising ambitiously, they set a goal Of smoking out the red, reluctant sun, Which smolders like some just-embarrassed coal. Whatever looks to start has not begun, But still the clouds’ bombastic undersides – All glowing ...
Happy Warrior

Heading South

Whether or not Nelson Mandela was emblematic of the new South Africa, his memorial service certainly was. Thamsanqa Jantjie, the lovable laugh-a-minute sign-language fraud who stood alongside President Obama gesticulating ...

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More