Magazine September 30, 2019, Issue

Letters

(Pixabay)

Literary Frontiers 

Sarah Schutte’s spirited defense of Louisa May Alcott (“A Woman for All Ages,” September 9) reminded me of another underappreciated American novelist who could do with more reading. At the age of eight, Ralph Owen Moody’s tubercular father, looking for a drier climate, moved his family from New Hampshire to a small plot of land in Colorado. The autobiographical novel Little Britches, told through Ralph’s childhood eyes but in his adult voice, is a touching memoir that reads like fiction but is a true story of the American West. Mother read many of his novels to us children, and when I in turn began to read them to my two boys, I was struck by how much of the humble philosophical views of Ralph’s father have stayed with me through the years. New to my adult understanding was the irony between the child’s adoration of the father and the later author’s understanding of his weaknesses, which I hope you will further explore by giving the author the read he deserves.

Dan Martin
Via email 

Wake Island Superheroes 

Thank you to David French for highlighting Wake Island, along with the Alamo, in “Superhero Movies” (September 9). The Battle of Wake Island, the Alamo of the Pacific, is mostly overlooked today — though it was rightly celebrated after the outbreak of World War II, for Americans’ repulsing and then delaying of the Japanese. My father fought on Wake Island, and he and his fellow defenders were the superheroes of their day.

Richard Nonn
Northridge, Calif.

Kate Smith Canceled 

Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America,” as John Podhoretz notes (“Irving Berlin,” September 9). But nobody sang it like Kate Smith, a special inspiration during World War II. No matter. Kate Smith has been smeared as racist because she sang a ditty in 1931 that is now seen as racist, a ditty sung also by Paul Robeson. Her statue in Philadelphia has been removed, and the New York Yankees no longer play her “God Bless America” at Yankee Stadium. A sorrowful commentary on today’s America. 

Donald Nawi
Scarsdale, N.Y. 

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

The Gun Issue

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Most Popular

Media

Mark Zuckerberg’s On the Right Track

In comments earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued that social-media companies should strive to avoid regulating the views of users. “I don’t think Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with CNBC. “I think that’s kind ... Read More
Media

Mark Zuckerberg’s On the Right Track

In comments earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued that social-media companies should strive to avoid regulating the views of users. “I don’t think Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with CNBC. “I think that’s kind ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More
U.S.

Toward Justice — and Order — in Minneapolis

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died shortly after being physically restrained by four Minneapolis police officers on Monday. His arrest on suspicion of a non-violent crime (passing a counterfeit $20 bill) was caught on a cellphone video and at least two store surveillance videos. From the videos that are ... Read More
U.S.

Toward Justice — and Order — in Minneapolis

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died shortly after being physically restrained by four Minneapolis police officers on Monday. His arrest on suspicion of a non-violent crime (passing a counterfeit $20 bill) was caught on a cellphone video and at least two store surveillance videos. From the videos that are ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Five Thoughts on the George Floyd Story

After a night of riots, looting, and arson in Minneapolis to protest the police killing of George Floyd, five thoughts spring to mind: One: It is always hazardous to draw sweeping conclusions about society from individual criminal cases. Every individual case involves individual facts, and those facts often ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Five Thoughts on the George Floyd Story

After a night of riots, looting, and arson in Minneapolis to protest the police killing of George Floyd, five thoughts spring to mind: One: It is always hazardous to draw sweeping conclusions about society from individual criminal cases. Every individual case involves individual facts, and those facts often ... Read More