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Featured Reviews

A Republic, If You Can Keep It (2019) - Neil McGill Gorsuch  (Grade:A-)
Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes (1990) - Laurence H. Tribe  (Grade:F)
As Nature Made Him : The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl (2000) - John Colapinto  (Grade:A+)
The Roots of Heaven (1956) - Romain Gary  (Grade:A+)
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Compass marker 05/17/22:


On May 17, 1954, in Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and, as such, violate the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees all citizens "equal protection of the laws."


THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE opened on May 17, 1792.


James "Cool Papa" Bell (1903-91) was born in Starkville, MS on May 17, 1903. Satchel Paige said of Bell that he was so fast that he could flick the light switch in their hotel room and be in bed before the light went out.


Andy Kaufman died on May 16, 1984. Jim Carrey starred as Kaufman in the Milos Forman biopic Man in the Moon.


L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) was born in Chittenango, NY on May 15, 1856. Read Orrin's review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1899)


The state of Israel was born on May 14, 1948.


George Lucas (1944) was born in Modesto, CA on May 14, 1944. Visit the official Star Wars site.


Arlington National Cemetery opened on May 13, 1864, on land previously owned by Robert E. Lee. Stephen spent many days with The Old Guard honoring and burying America's fallen soldiers. Read Gardens of Stone by Nicholas Proffitt, or see the movie (if you listen carefully you can hear Stephen singing cadence during the Vietnam war scene montage.)


Farley Mowatt (1921-), author of the nature classic Never Cry Wolf, was born in Belleville, ONT on May 12, 1921. Here's an interesting article from Salon about his alleged embellishments of his tales.


Edward Lear , illustrator and author of nonsense verse, was born in Halloway, England on May 12, 1812.


Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (1925-) was born in St. Louis, MO on May 12, 1925. Three time MVP, he hit 358 homeruns and appeared in 14 World Series. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.


Camilo Jose Cela (1916-) was born in Spain on May 11, 1916. Read Orrin's review of The Family of Pacual Duarte (1942)(Grade: A-)


Richard McKenna (1913-64) was born in Mountain Home, ID on May 9, 1913. Read Orrin's review of The Sand Pebbles (1962)


Richard Adams was born in Newbury, GB on May 9, 1920. His excellent fantasy Watership Down (1972) made Joe Doggett's Suggested Summer Reading List for Students.


James M Barry (1860-1937), author of the children's classic Peter Pan: the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, was born in Angus, Scotland on May 9, 1860.


Abolitionist John Brown was born in Torrington, CT on May 9, 1800. In October 1859 he led an abortive revolt to free the slaves, taking over the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, VA. Robert E. Lee was sent out to subdue him and Brown was subsequently tried and, after a passionate final speech, was hanged.


Happy Birthday to Jenna Walter (May 8)


Romain Gary (1914-80) was born in Vilnius, Lithuania on May 8, 1914. Read Orrin's review of The Roots of Heaven (1956) (Grade: A+)


Harry S Truman (1884-1972), our most overrated president, was born in Lamar, MO on May 8, 1884. Read Orrin's review of Truman (1992)(David McCullough 1933-) (Grade: B)


Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) was born in Vienna, Austria on May 8, 1899. Read Orrin's review of The Road to Serfdom (1944)(Grade: A+)




Reader comments and suggestions are welcome after each review, or send email to Orrin.

The Brothers Judd - The Adventure of Great Literature



If two New Hampshire men aren't a match for the Devil, we might as well give the country back to the Indians.
-Stephen Vincent Benet (1898-1943), The Devil and Daniel Webster