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Showing posts from April, 2016

Why Americans Love Winston Churchill, the British Leader Who Was Half-American.

The leadership of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965), during World War II made him unforgettable to Americans. This excerpt from “WHEN LIONS ROAR: The Churchills and the Kennedys,” by Thomas Maier (Crown) helps explain why his memory endures.


  Mark Twain, the longtime bard of the Mississippi, introduced Winston Churchill to a crowd of wealthy Americans packed inside New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel ballroom in December 1900—one of those rare meetings of historic figures that occurred so often in Churchill’s life. “I was thrilled by this famous companion of my youth,” Winston recalled of Twain, a literary inspiration. “He was now very old and snow-white, and combined with a noble air a most delightful style of conversation.”  Winston expected to be lionized by Twain but instead had his tail tweaked. The twenty-six-year-old celebrated British war correspondent was on a lecture tour, picking up handsome fees to talk about his bloody adventures and headline-grabbing writ…

Before Superstorm Sandy, A 1998 Warning about Building on Long Island's Fragile Coastline

Back in 1998, this five-part Newsday series warned about the perils of massive building along the Hamptons and Fire Island shorelines - Long Island's fragile environmental jewel. It showed how some owners made millions by speculating on coastline properties. Some were under water but recovered through taxpayer-subsidized sand projects. Then new houses went up again.  The series appeared during the '98 summer and was essentially ignored. (Although New Yorker editor David Remnick left a message saying how much he liked it). When Superstorm Sandy came along in 2012, the warnings were realized. Some 100,000 Long Island homes were damaged or destroyed. The before and after photos  of Fire Island are remarkable.  Not every series has an immediate impact. But I was glad that we did series before the disaster struck -- a real public service. Here's the summary of the series that appeared in the IRE Journal
Shoreline in Peril, 1998 Newsday series: For years, the rich and powerful …