11 Jul

The Less Than Honorable Solution — Now

Secretary David Shulkin’s announcement that the VA was showing long-overdue compassion in treating  veterans with “bad paper discharges” in mental health emergencies has finally started. Think:  Suicide prevention as the key reason. But realize it’s but a baby step in helping those in crisis without fixing a practice inside...

22 Jun

How the Holy Mackerel Beats the Sacred Cod

So in Boston, one should always to be on the lookout for the choicest seafood. And we found it in the most unusual place. Cod, haddock, hake, scrod [had it once with soup d’jour, both were great], you can find those almost anywhere — except the ubiquitous Dunkin Donuts....

17 Jun

Dining at Jake’s

Before we checked out of Boston’s Parker House hotel [and yes, we had the rolls and Boston Cream pie and toasted Frank Skeffington — in the Last Hurrah bar and Eddie Coyle — who had fictional friends in the Whitey Bolger Irish thug mold — while at the same...

16 Jun

Ready, Ready, Write, Write: Agent Up Front

A British literary agent offered a series of tips of how to entice an agent, what specific steps to take on doing just that, pitfalls to avoid and sometimes it just makes sense for an author to go directly to a publisher without one. Andrew Lownie, a biographer himself...

15 Jun

Candice Millard on Biography

“Writing about someone I know is living seems absolutely terrifying to me,” the recipient of the 2017 Bio award said at the Biographer’s International Organization conference’s luncheon Saturday, May 20, in Boston. Candice Millard said to write biography is climbing inside another’s mind.  “Know your subject better than yourself,”...

07 May

A Cautionary Tale for Journalists

The summer issue of MHQ, The Quarterly Journal of Military History has a cautionary tale for journalists in a time of war.  In this case, it was Thomas Knox, a reporter for the nation’s leading newspaper, the New York Herald defying an order from William Sherman barring any correspondent...

12 Apr

A Cautionary Tale: John Peter Zenger

‘ None be so hardy to tell or publish any false news or tales’   For a special project in history in my senior year at the University of Illinois, I produced a research paper on the colonial American newspaper and its role leading up to the break with...

01 Apr

Fate of a Confederate Spy, Pirate, and Guerrilla

I was delighted to learn from a friend that Civil War Monitor recently reposted my piece on John Yates Beall, who was hanged as a spy and guerrilla in February 1865.  His life’s story, complicated as it is by legend, rumor, mystery and conspiracy theories about Lincoln’s assassination, and...

01 Apr

The Things You Learn

When you go to a conference there are always a few surprises and chances to learn new things, Friday’s Military Reporters and Editors gathering Friday in Arlington, Va., was no different.  Margaux Ewen’s with Reporters Sans Frontieres discussion with John Donnelly of Congressional Quarterly on safety of journalists in...

05 Mar

Toxic Leader Posted Great Achievement

Portrait of Charles Wilkes about the time he commanded The South Seas Exploring Expedition. Nathaniel Philbrick’s “Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery”  should be on every commander’s reading list and also in every business and government schools’ syllabus. The work is every bit as valuable and pertinent today...

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