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.
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.