Magazine February 10, 2020, Issue

Letters

Zora Neale Hurston at the New York Times book fair, November 1937 (PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

Hometown Pride

A recent item in the Week (December 19) noted, regarding Bass Pro’s acquisition of Cabela’s, that “the jobs in Nebraska were largely transferred to another small town in the heartland,” and in doing so applied the same label to Sidney, Neb., a town of fewer than 10,000, as to Springfield, Mo., a city with a population of well over 150,000. Equating the two is misleading to your readers, and I’d imagine that residents in both places find little in common between their hometowns besides a certain large sporting-goods conglomerate.

Will Schmitt
Via email

A Perfect Description

I wanted to comment on John Miller’s excellent book review/biography of Zora Neale Hurston (“Zora the Explorer,” December 22), which provided context for the life of an author I have always wanted to like but found inaccessible. Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God occupies a prominent spot on many of my friends’ bookshelves, but I could never get past the dialect-driven dialogue. (I have the same difficulty with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.) Miller seems to recognize this is not an uncommon reaction, and his audiobook recommendation is a good one. With regard to his description of the words and thoughts of Hurston: Miller covers a lot of ground in a small amount of room and doesn’t seem to do the disservice of misapplying her quotations or misinterpreting their modern relevance. My favorite quotation, not political but witty and applicable, separates identity politics from individualism: “The white race did not go into a laboratory and invent incandescent light. That was Edison. If you are under the impression that every white man is an Edison, just look around a bit.” That works on a lot of levels and makes me smile at the same time.

Ken Gleason
Via email

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

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Most Popular

Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More