A letter I wrote to The New Yorker about Hawaii’s infamous Massie Affair, a sordid episode in American race relations, was printed in the June 27, 2011, issue and is at the bottom of this page.
I wrote the letter because: (a) I had recently read three thought-provoking books about racism in America during the early years of the 20th century and (b) the magazine’s profile of Clarence Darrow overlooked an important and defining episode that checkered the man’s career.
The first book, The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley, deals with Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy Continue reading “Clarence Darrow and Hawaii’s Massie Affair”
In the October 28, 2010, issue of The New York Review of Books, Richard Bernstein reviews Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang.
As a child of the first television generation—I was six when we got ours in 1950—I devoured Laurel and Hardy, The Bowery Boys/East Side Kids, westerns, World War II movies, and especially Charlie Chan.
This was a world before the civil rights movement. But there were stirrings. South Pacific opened in New York in 1949, addressing racial prejudice as a main theme. But contrary to Continue reading “Charlie Chan: Chinaman or Chinese Man”