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Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) was born in Gustafs, Sweden on December 6, 1898.


Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) was born in New Brunswick, NJ on December 6, 1886. Best remembered for his poem Trees, it seems likely that he is the only poet memorialized by having a Turnpike Rest Area named in his honor.


Walt Disney (1901-66) was born in Chicago, IL on December 5, 1901. Griffin Judd particularly recommends Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).


Calvin Trillin (1935-) was born in Kansas City, MO on December 5, 1935. Brothers Judd recommends his very funny Tummy Trilogy.


Martin Van Buren (1782?1862) was born in Kinderhook, NY on December 5, 1782. He was the first non-Adams not to be reelected President.


George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) was born in New Rumley, OH on December 5, 1839. Read Orrin's review of The Fatal Environment : The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800-1890 (1985)(Richard Slotkin) (Grade: B-)


Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was born in Nottinghamshire, ENG on December 4, 1835. Read Orrin's review of The Way of All Flesh (1903)


Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague on December 4, 1875. The Brothers Judd recommend Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910) (Rainer Maria Rilke 1875-1926)(translated by Stephen Mitchell)


Joseph (Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) Conrad (1857-1924) was born in Berdichev, Poland (now Ukraine) on December 3, 1857. Read Orrin's reviews of Lord Jim (1900)(Grade: B), Heart of Darkness (1902)(Grade: A), & The Secret Agent (1920)(Grade: B)


Nikos Kazantzakis (1885-1957) was born in Iraklion, Crete on December 2, 1885. Read Orrin's review of The Last Temptation of Christ (1960)(Grade: C+)


Rex Stout (1896-1975) was born in Noblesville, IN on December 1, 1896 Read Orrin's review of Fer-de-Lance: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (1934)(Grade: A)


Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910) was born in Florida, MO on November 30, 1835. Read Orrin's review of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) (Grade: A-)


Jacques Barzun (1907-) was born on November 30, 1907. Read Orrin's review of The Culture We Deserve (1989)(Grade : A)


Michael Beschloss (1955-) was born in Chicago, IL on November 30, 1955. Read Orrin's review of Mayday: Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Affair (1986)(Grade: A)


C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was born in Belfast, Ireland on November 29, 1898. Read Orrin's review of The Screwtape Letters (1943) (Grade: A+)


Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time (1962) and Two-Part Invention : The Story of a Marriage (1988), was born November 29, 1918 in New York, N.Y.


William Blake, born in London (1757)


James Agee (1909-55) was born in Knoxville, TN on November 27, 1909. Read Orrin's review of A Death in the Family (1957)(Grade: C)


Bruce Lee (Lee Yuen Kam)(1940-73) was born in San Francisco, CA on November 27, 1940. Brothers Judd recommends the excellent biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)


Gerald Seymour (1941-) was born on November 25, 1941. Read Orrin's review ofArchangel (1982) (Grade: A+)


Harry Stein (1948-) was born in New York, NY on November 25, 1948. Read Orrin's reviews of How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace) (2000)(Grade: A-) and Hoopla (1983)(Grade: B+)


Carlo Collodi (1826-90) was born in Florence, Italy on November 24, 1826. Read Orrin's review of Pinocchio (1940)


William F. Buckley (1925-) was born in New York, NY on November 24, 1925. Read Orrin's review of The Unmaking of a Mayor (1966)(Grade: A+)


Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was born in Manchester, ENG on November 24, 1849. Read Orrin's review of her classic, The Secret Garden (1911)


Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) was born in Hillsborough (now Hillsboro), NH on November 23, 1804. Despite being a favorite son, even Granite Staters acknowledge that he was one of our worst presidents.


George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans](1819-1880) was born in Warwickshire, ENG on November 22, 1819. Read Orrin's review of Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe (1861) (Grade: A)


Coleman Hawkins (1904-69) was born in St. Joseph, MO on November 21, 1904. Glenn Dryfoos (Brothers Judd's Jazz Expert) writes : Coleman Hawkins was the first, and perhaps greatest, tenor saxophonist. World famous by the early 30's, his 1939 recording of "Body and Soul" is universally considered to be one of the finest examples of musical improvisation ever recorded. Check out this recording on the Victor Jazz label.


On November 21, 1620, the Pilgrims aboard Mayflower landed at modern day Provincetown. The ship carried 102 passengers and had been at sea for 65 days. During their passage they crafted one of the seminal political documents in human history, The Mayflower Compact.


Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) (1694-1778) was born in Paris, FR on November 21, 1694. Brothers Judd recommends his great philosophical satire Candide (1759).


James A. Garfield (1831-81) was born in Orange, OH on November 19, 1831.


Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (1926- ) was born in Duncan, OK on November 19, 1926. Read Orrin's review of the once again timely Dictatorships and Double Standards : Rationalism and Reason in Politics (1982)


President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 at the dedication ceremony for the national cemetery that had been built to hold some of the 45,000 casualties from that battle. Read about the battle in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Killer Angels (1974)(Michael Shaara) (Grade: A+) or about the address in the Pulitzer Prize winner Lincoln at Gettysburg : The Words That Remade America (1992)(Garry Wills)


Margaret Atwood (1939-) was born in Ottawa, Canada on November 18, 1939. Read Orrin's review of The Handmaid's Tale (1986)(Grade: C+)


W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911) was born in London, ENG on November 18, 1836. Brothers Judd recommends the recent biopic Topsy Turvy (1999).


Jose Saramago, author of The Stone Raft (1986), was born November 16, 1922


Chinua Achebe (1930-) was born in Ogidi, Nigeria on November 16, 1930. Read Orrin's reviews of Things Fall Apart (1958) (Grade: A+) and No Longer at Ease (1960) (Grade: A)


William E. [Edmund] Barrett (1900-86) was born in New York, NY on November 16, 1900.Read Orrin's review of The Lillies of the Field (1962)


J. G. [James Graham] Ballard (1930-) was born in Shanghai, China on November 15, 1930. Read Orrin's review of Empire of the Sun (1984)


Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was born in Kirkwood, MO on November 15, 1887. In 1952 she won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for her Collected Poems. She was famously a big baseball fan and particularly loved Christy Mathewson.