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Rearranging the World

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New York Times correspondent Michael S. Schimidt and Wall Street Journal reporter Sam Dagher weigh in on the Iraq the U.S. is leaving after 9 years of occupation. Then we’ll take a look at the life and work of the famous writers and friends, Dorothy Thompson and Rebecca West. David Margolick tells the story behind one of the defining images of the civil rights movement—a photograph of a black student and a jeering white student in front of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Plus, our language maven Patricia T. O’Conner explains the origins of holiday words and phrases.

Iraq After the Withdrawal

New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt and Sam Dagher, Wall Street Journal reporter in Iraq, discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq this month, the state of the country nine years after the invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein, sectarian violence, and their thoughts about the future of Iraq.

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The Lives and Times of Dorothy Thompson and Rebecca West

Susan Hertog discusses Dangerous Ambition: Dorothy Thompson and Rebecca West New Women in Search of Love and Power, which chronicles these two women writers who achieved unprecedented fame and influence at tremendous personal cost. American Dorothy Thompson was the first female head of a European news bureau, a columnist and commentator with a tremendous following. Rebecca West, an Englishwoman, was a journalist, literary critic, novelist, and historian. They were drawn to ambitious men.

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Two Women of Little Rock

David Margolick tells the story of Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan Massery, two women whose names might not be well known, but whose image surely is. The famed photo taken of them in September 1957 shows Elizabeth, a black high school girl, dressed in white, walking in front of Little Rock Central High School, while Hazel, a white girl standing directly behind her, face twisted in hate, screams racial epithets. In Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock Margolick tells the story behind the photograph, which captures an epic moment in the civil rights movement.

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Patricia T. O'Conner on the Language of the Holidays

Our word maven Patricia T. O'Conner talks about the many euphemisms we have for death—pushing up daisies, bought the farm, kicked the bucket—and she answers questions about 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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