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Strategy and History

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New York Times correspondents Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker describe how the country’s counterterrorism strategies have adapted over the last 10 years. Then, the latest installment of our summer Underappreciated literature series is about William Dean Howell’s A Hazard of New Fortunes. We’ll take a look at the life of Ethan Allen beyond his exploits during the American Revolution. Plus Patricia T. O’Conner takes your calls on the intricacies of the English language.

America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

Eric Schmitt, terrorism correspondent, and Thom Shanker, Pentagon correspondent, both of The New York Times, talk about the Pentagon's revolutionary new strategy to fight al Qaeda, and how it’s shaping the United States’ efforts to fight terrorism in the Middle East and at home. In Counter Strike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda, Schmitt and Shanker tell why the strategy to defeat al Qaeda through force wasn’t working, and how successful new counterterrorism strategies are being developed and adopted.

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Underappreciated: William Dean Howells’ A Hazard of New Fortunes

For our latest Underappreciated segment, Phillip Lopate discusses William Dean Howells’ 1890 novel A Hazard of New Fortunes, set in New York City in the late 19th century. The novel describes political tensions, social inequality, and urban landscapes all of which are still visible in present day New York, if slightly transformed. The novel follows Basil March and his family as they adjust after a move from Boston, and as he co-founds a magazine named “Every Other Week.”

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Ethan Allen

Willard Sterne Randall tells about the life of the largely unexamined Founding Father Ethan Allen. His new biography, Ethan Allen: His Life and Times, chronicles Allen’s upward struggle from precocious adolescent to commander of the largest American paramilitary force on the eve of the Revolution. The book also examines his time as British prisoner-of-war and his role in gaining Vermont statehood.

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Word Maven Patricia T. O'Conner on Failed Neologisms

Our word maven Patricia T. O'Conner talks about failed neologisms—new words that never made it into the dictionary. She’ll also tackle your questions about the English language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of her book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is now out in paperback, along with Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

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Guest Picks: Phillip Lopate

Find out what Phillip Lopate has been reading and watching recently.

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