Friday, August 29, 2008 8/29/09-Fasion in Antiquity

In today's excerpt--fashion in antiquity. Whether discussing the shade of purple used in their clothes, or the makeup they applied to their faces, few societies have been more fashion conscious than ancient Greece and Rome:

"The different shades of purple [that] came in and out of vogue in Rome is recorded incidentally by Plutarch, who related that the determinedly conservative Cato the Younger (95-46 BC), when he saw that an exceedingly vivid scarlet purple was the current vogue, deliberately switched to wearing a darker shade. In discussing contemporary luxury, he related that the variety of purple dyes used for Roman garments had proliferated greatly and that newer, more expensive dyes, as well as processes such as 'double-dyeing', were constantly being developed in the hope of producing richer, more beautiful shades. ...

"Women's hairstyles also changed rapidly in antiquity, especially in Rome. The Augustan poet Ovid commented, 'It is impossible to enumerate all the different styles: each day adds more adornments.' During the Roman Empire, innovations in female coiffures occurred often enough that those who could afford to even had their portraits sculpted with separately-carved wigs, presumably in order to change the wigs when necessary to keep up with the latest styles.

"The Athenian Xenophon, writing in the fourth century BC, reported a conversation between a wealthy young householder and the philosopher Socrates:

" 'Ischomachus then said, 'One time, Socrates, I saw that my wife had covered her face with white lead, so that she would seem to have a paler complexion than she really had, and put on thick rouge, so that her cheeks would seem redder than in reality, and high boots, so that she would seem taller than she naturally was.'

"There are numerous additional references in the literature to women's use of cosmetics, including the white lead (lead carbonate) applied by Ischomachus's wife. Unfortunately, as Pliny reported of the substance, 'it is useful for giving women a fair complexion; but like scum of silver, it is deadly poison.' Many Greek women died unknowingly from lead poisoning after applying this noxious substance. Even more startling, however, is the fact that its use continued in Rome even after its poisonous effects were recognised, an indication of the extreme lengths to which women would go for the sake of beauty.

"Virtually all of today's beauty aids can be paralleled in antiquity: from 'night creams' and 'beauty masks' to depilatory lotions and skin softeners. Ovid provides sample recipes for such treatments, with ingredients ranging from barley and eggs, to more exotic components, including asses' milk, stag's horn, and a substance called halcyonea, made from sea-swallows' nests, that was said to remove facial blemishes. Measures against grey hair and baldness were also common. Suggestions for the former included massaging the scalp with either bear grease or ointments made from worms. Remedies for baldness were equally important for women and men because Roman hair dyes contained follicle-destroying ingredients. Wigs were frequently imported from both Gaul and Germany, as the Romans were particularly attracted to the blond and red hair of the Celts and Germans."

Jeri DeBrohun, "Power Dressing in Ancient Greece and Rome," History Today, February 2001.

Thursday, August 28, 2008 8/28/08-Roman Children

In today's encore excerpt--raising Roman children circa 100 BC, in the era of Julius Caesar's birth:

"Hardness was a Roman ideal. The steel required to hunt out glory or endure disaster was the defining mark of a citizen. It was instilled in him from the moment of his birth. The primary response of Roman parent's to their babies appears to have been less tenderness than shock that anything could be quite so soft and helpless. ... To the Romans, such a condition verged on scandalous. Children were certainly too weak to be idealized, and the highest praise a child could be given was to be compared to an adult.

"A Roman did not become a citizen by right of birth. It was within the power of every father to reject a newborn child, to order unwanted sons, and especially daughters, to be exposed [to die]. Before the infant ... was breastfed, his father would first have had to hold him aloft, signaling that the boy had been accepted as his own and was therefore a Roman.

"The Romans lacked a specific word for 'baby,' reflecting their assumption that a child was never too young to be toughened up. Newborns were swaddled tightly to mold them into the form of adults, their features were kneaded and pummeled, and boys would have their foreskins yanked to make them stretch. Old-fashioned Republican morality and newfangled Greek medicine united to prescribe a savage regime of dieting and cold baths. The result of this harsh upbringing was to contribute further to an already devastating infant mortality rate. It has been estimated that only two out of three children survived their first year, and that under 50 percent went on to reach puberty. The deaths of children were constant factors of family life. Parents were encouraged to respond to such losses with flinty calm. The younger the child, the less emotion would be shown, so that it was commonplace to argue that 'if an infant dies in its cradle, then its death ought not even be mourned.' Yet reserve did not necessarily spell indifference. There is plenty of evidence from tombstones, poetry and private correspondence to suggest the depth of love that Roman parents could feel. The rigors imposed on a child were not the result of willful cruelty. Far from it: the sterner the parents, the more loving they were assumed to be.

"A boy trained his body for warfare, a girl for childbirth, but both were pushed to the point of exhaustion. ... No wonder that Roman children appear to have had little time for play. Far fewer toys have been found dating from the Republic than from the period that followed its collapse, when the pressure to raise good citizens had begun to decline."

Tom Holland, Rubicon, Anchor Books, Copyright 2003 by Tom Holland, 109-111.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 8/27/08-Comedian Albert Brooks

In today's excerpt--comedian Albert Brooks (b. 1947), graduate of Beverly Hills High School and veteran of such films as Broadcast News and Lost in America, was a stand-up comedian in the late 1960s at the vanguard of a new direction in comedy. Where Lenny Bruce and his acolytes had set out to make comedy more socially relevant, Brooks set out to lampoon the narcissism of celebrity and show business itself:

"Brook's comedy didn't seem to be about anything but show business itself--or more to the point, making fun of show business. ...

"For the most part they were lampoons of bad show business acts. Brooks played an animal trainer, for example, whose elephant has gotten sick at the last moment and has to be replaced by a frog; he gamely tries to do his routine with the stand-in, apologizing when the tricks (roll over; grab a peanut) don't come off. He did a parody of the old vaudeville stunt in which a man tries to keep a dozen plates spinning simultaneously on top of poles. Instead of plates, Brooks brought a half-dozen people on stage and tried to keep them all laughing at the same time; whenever the yuks started to die down, he scurried around trying to rev them up again with a new joke. In another bit, Brooks dressed up in a leotard, slippers, and Marcel Marceau whiteface to play the world's worst mime. He starts out by telling a bit of his life story ('My mother was quite domineering. I was afraid to speak ...') and becomes so caught up in the monologue that soon he's puffing a cigar and delivering Vegas zingers ('Take my wife--si vous plait!'). When he finally performs his mime, he provides a running commentary to explain what he's doing ('climbing ze stairs'), before belting out 'Make Someone Happy' for the schmaltzy, Jolson-style big finish.

"It was inspired nonsense, Brooks's demolition of the entire history of cheesy showbiz. ... At the first American Music Awards, he appeared as a children's songwriter who performs a Vegas-style tribute to his own greatest hits, simplistic ditties like 'Eat Your Beans' and 'Brush Your Teeth.' ...

"Some dubbed it post-funny, or anti-comedy: the joke was how bad the jokes were. Comedians before him, like Carlin and Klein, had poked fun at the slick and foolish and insincere in show business. But Brooks carried it a step further: he was making fun of how show business had infected all of us, creating a world of amateurs and wannabes so desperate for applause that they could barrel through any kind of inanity."

Richard Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge, Bloomsbury, Copyright 2008 by Richard Zoglin, pp. 110-114.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 8/26/08-Black Power

In today's excerpt--in the maelstrom of riots and resistance in the U.S. during the 1960s, Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), coined the phrase "black power." The term captured the frustration of blacks with the lack of results from a nonviolent approach:

"Rejection of nonviolence tended to come of an organic process: heartening civil rights gains would be followed by corrosive disappointment; disillusionment set in, calling for increasingly spectacular acts of militancy. ... Few had lived the process more intimately than ... twenty-four year old Stokely Carmichael. Stokely had grown up watching white people humiliate his idealistic Trinidadian father--and seeing his father, the more he was humiliated, profess ever more faith in the American dream.

"In 1960, Stokely headed South after reading about the Woolworth lunch-counter sit-ins. The next year on the Freedom Rides he was beaten and went to jail for the first of twenty-six times. In 1964, after Lyndon Johnson seated the 'regular' white Mississippi delegation at the Democratic convention instead of the integrated Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Stokely's commitment to ordinary politics ended for good. 'This proves,' he cried, the liberal Democrats are just as racist as Goldwater.' The next year he watched police beat demonstrators outside his Selma hotel-room window. He started screaming. He couldn't stop. He had a nervous breakdown that lasted two days. ...

"The SNCC militants had been testing out a phrase among one another. Americans of African descent were known as 'Negroes.' SNCC militants had begun to call one another 'black,' the word Malcolm X had used: its starkness carried a militant charge. ... They also began telling one another that to call theirs a 'freedom' movement was wishy-washy; what they really needed was power.

"Thus the phrase Stokely Carmichael now debuted--the phrase that signified a civil war within the civil rights movement.

" 'We want black power!'

"Some in the crowd: 'That's right!'

" 'We want black power, and we don't want to be ashamed of it. We have stayed here, and we have begged the president. We have begged the federal government. That's all we been doin'--beggin', beggin'. It's time we stand up and take over. Every courthouse in Mississippi ought to be burned down tomorrow to get rid of the dirt in there!' "

Rick Perlstein, Nixonland, Scribner, Copyright 2008 by Rick Perlstein, pp. 96-99.

Monday, August 25, 2008 8/25/08-Castro and Batista

In today's excerpt--Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973) was the dashing Cuban dictator who protected the monied elite and ignored the needs of the poor--and took bribes and graft totaling a reported $300 million. Fidel Castro (b. 1926) was the Marxist revolutionary who toppled Batista. Given that, it is ironic to note that Batista grew up in stark poverty and Castro came from prosperity and privilege:

"Fulgencio Batista grew up in the shadow of the United Fruit Company. ... The [company town of Banes] was divided into several neighborhoods based on the social status of the residents. North American employees--identified in the company literature as 'first-class Anglo-Saxon employees'--were provided free housing and maid services. There was a less prestigious neighborhood for lower-ranking Cuban managers and technicians, and an even worse neighborhood for workers. It was here that Batista was born of mixed-race (mestizo) parents and raised around the corner from a street called simply Callejon del Negro (the Black Man's Street).

"Batista's father worked for the United Fruit Company cutting sugarcane. It was backbreaking work. ... Batista's father was not employed directly by United Fruit but rather by a contractor hired by the company to organize and pay the work crews. The contractors were often free to exploit the workers by cheating them out of wages. ... By the age of eight, young Fulgencio was forced to abandon his primary-school education and join his father as a cane cutter. ...

"Batista was a beautiful creation. In one of his early forms of employment as a railroad brakeman for the United Fruit Company railway line, he earned the nickname 'El Mulato Lindo'--the pretty mulatto--from his fellow employees. ... Although he took pains to present to the public a masculine image, his looks suggested a Cuban Adonis, with a type of [androgynous] handsomeness that was the envy of both men and women. ...

"Castro cut a dashing figure, tall and strapping, with curly black hair and a traditional, finely manicured Cuban mustache. He had been an exemplary student athlete and had a self-confidence that was attractive to women. He came from a prosperous family (the father owned land in Oriente Province) and married a young woman from a politically connected family. He borrowed money from his father so that he and his wife could honeymoon in New York City. They stayed at least one night at the Waldorf-Astoria....

"[In 1948], although not yet famous across the island, Fidel was well-known at the University of Havana. Since the uprising against the presidency of Gerardo Machado in the early 1930s, the university had been a major source of political agitation and organized dissent. Castro had proved himself a dynamic orator and a future leader to be reckoned with, but he was also, according to some, overly enamored with the trappings of gangsterismo."

T.J. English, Havana Nocturne, Morrow, Copyright 2007, 2008 by T.J. English, pp. 59-61, 69-70.

Friday, August 22, 2008 8/22/08-Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill

In today's excerpt--master showman Buffalo Bill Cody takes opportunism to new heights by hiring Sitting Bull--the very man who had defeated General George Custer at Little Bighorn--to draw crowds to his Wild West Show:

"When fabled bison hunter William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody first staged his Wild West show in 1883, he needed more than heroic cowboys, villainous Indians, teeming horses and roaming buffalo to transform it from a circus into a sensation. He needed star power. And there was one man who guaranteed to provide it: the Sioux chief widely blamed for the uprising that overwhelmed George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn only a decade earlier. 'I am going to try hard to get old Sitting Bull,' Cody said. 'If we can manage to get him our ever lasting fortune is made.'

"It took two years, but Cody finally got his man. In June 1885, Sitting Bull joined the Wild West show for a signing bonus of $125 and $50 a week--20 times more than Indians who served as policemen on reservations earned. Buffalo Bill reckoned his new star would prove to be an irresistible draw. With the Indian wars drawing to a close, and most Plains Indians confined to reservations, Buffalo Bill set the stage for a final conquest of the frontier. Since accompanying an army patrol as a scout shortly after the Battle of Little Bighorn and scalping the Cheyenne warrior Yellow Hair, he was known as the man who took 'the first scalp for Custer.' As the man who now controlled Sitting Bull, he symbolically declared victory in the war for the West and signaled a new era of cooperation with the enemy. Cody excluded the chief from acts in which other Indians made sham attacks on settlers and then got their comeuppance from heroic cowboys. All Sitting Bull had to do was don a war costume, ride a horse into the arena and brave an audience that sometimes jeered and hissed.

"Sitting Bull's mere presence reinforced the reassuring message underlying Cody's Wild West extravaganza, as well as the Western films and novels it inspired, that Americans are generous conquerors who attack only when provoked. At the same time, Cody's vision of the West spoke to the fiercely competitive spirit of an American nation born in blood and defined by conflict on the frontier, where what mattered most was not whether you were right or wrong but whether you prevailed. The lesson of his Wild West was that sharpshooting American cowboys like Buffalo Bill could be as wild as the Indians they fought and match them blow for blow. The real frontier might be vanishing, but by preserving this wild domain imaginatively and reenacting the struggle for supremacy there, he gave millions of Americans the feeling they were up to any challenge."

Stephen G. Hyslop, "How the West Was Spun," American History, October 2008, pp. 26-27.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 8/21/08-Prohibition and Other Virtues

In today's encore excerpt--the U.S. outlaws the manufacture, transport, and sale of alcoholic beverages under the Volstead Act (1920-1933), more commonly called Prohibition. Against expectations, Prohibition resulted in even greater levels of alcohol consumption in America and it was repealed in 1933. The backlash that led to Prohibition extended to other areas as well, including banning highly suggestive language such as "the cat's meow":

"When, at the stroke of New Year 1920, the U.S. formally went 'dry,' most revellers would have only experienced the dull ache of their hangovers. It was only as time went by that the realization sunk in of how profoundly Prohibition had altered American life. It would be 1925 before Variety would note that Times Square--between 34th and 52nd streets--boasted 2,500 speakeasies, where before Prohibition there had been only 300 saloons. In the entire country, in 1925, there were estimated to be three million 'booze joints,' where 'pre-Prohibition cafes numbered 177,000.' In other words, a nation of moderate drinkers was turned into a nation of obsessive alcoholics, paying for criminals to build up an immense black market that would affect the nation's economy for decades (and continues to do so in the drug age). There would be fun, gaiety, abandon, dancing, hot-cha-cha, cheers and laughter, and buzzing joints like the Cotton Club and Texas Guinan's cabarets, but also killings, sickness, fraud, repression and the corruption of states and city halls. ...

"The moral guardians, however, continued their march, moving in, as King Booze leered over the city, on 'suggestive' performances and sexual innuendo. In February 1921, the Music Publisher's Protective Association began a 'housecleaning' campaign aimed at banishing 'all 'blue' and double-meaning lyrics' from the market, [stating] all 'indecent material, or songs that are capable of indecent construction' should be banned. ... Vaudeville shows were to be vigorously cleaned up too, 'the latitude allowed shimmy and jazz dancers' was to be curtailed. ... Current slang, like 'Hot Dog,' 'The Cat's Meow,' 'Cat's Pajamas' and 'Hot Cat,' was also on the proscribed list."

Simon Louvish, Mae West, St. Martin's Press, Copyright 2005 by Simon Louvish, pp. 82-83.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8/20/08-The Greek Olympics

In today's excerpt-the Greek Olympics. For five hectic days and nights every four years from 776 BC until the Christian emperors banned pagan festivals in AD 394-a mind-boggling twelve hundred years-the sensationally popular Olympic games were held in Greece. Each Olympiad was an expression of Hellenic unity, an all-consuming pageant, as spiritually profound for these ancients as a pilgrimage to Varanasi for Hindus or the Muslim hajj:

"[The athletes] appeared one by one-parading like peacocks, entirely unclothed and unadorned, yet dripping from head to toe in perfumed oils that flowed in rivulets from their curled black hair. Competing nude was a time-honored tradition of ancient Greek athletics, ... only barbarians were ashamed to display their bodies....

"Of the eighteen core events in the Olympics program, some are familiar to us today-running, wrestling, boxing, javelin, discus. Others seem more outlandish. The Games began with the chariot race-a deliriously violent affair where up to forty vehicles crowded the track and crashes were guaranteed. ... And one of the favorite audience events was the pankration-a savage all-out brawl, where only eye-gouging was banned. The more brutish participants would snap opponents' fingers, or tear out their intestines; the judges (one coach noted) 'approve of strangling.' The gaps in the program seem just as odd to modern eyes-there were no team sports, no ball sports, no swimming events, no marathon, and nothing resembling an Olympic torch. ... Money permeated every aspect of ancient athletics. All contestants were professionals. ... Corruption charges would regularly disgrace contenders. ... Champions would be treated like demigods around Greece and guaranteed an existence of luxury and ease for the rest of their lives. ...

"Splendid religious rituals were observed; in fact, the ceremonies, including the butchering of one hundred oxen for a grand public feast, took up as much time as the sports. There was sight-seeing to be done: the sanctuary of Olympia was an open-air museum, and visitors rushed between events from temple to temple to view famous masterpieces like the forty-foot-high statue of Zeus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. ...

"And then there were earthly pursuits: The squalid tent-city [at the Olympic site] was the scene of a round-the-clock bacchanal where students would squander their inheritances in lavish drinking parties (symposia) and prostitutes could make a year's wages in five days. There were beauty contests, Homer-reading competitions, eating races. ... Young boys in makeup performed erotic dances. Competing for attention were palm-readers and astrologers."

Tony Perrottet, The Naked Olympics, Random House, Copyright 2004 by Tony Perrottet, pp. 6-14.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 8/19/08-Asteroids

In today's excerpt--our friend, the asteroid:

"As Steve Ostro of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has put it, 'Suppose that there was a button you could push and you could light up all the Earth-crossing asteroids larger than about ten meters, there would be over 100 million of these objects in the sky.' In short, you would not see a couple of thousand distant twinkling stars, but millions upon millions of nearer, randomly moving objects--'all of which are capable of colliding with the Earth and all of which are moving on slightly different courses through the sky at different rates. It would be deeply unnerving.' Well, be unnerved because it is there. We just can't see it.

"Altogether it is thought--though it is only really a guess, based on cratering rates on the Moon--that some two thousand asteroids big enough to imperil civilized existence regularly cross our orbit. But even a small asteroid--the size of a house, say--could destroy a city. The number of relative tiddlers in Earth-crossing orbits is almost certainly in the hundreds of thousands and possibly in the millions, and they are nearly impossible to track.

"The first one [crossing near the Earth] wasn't spotted until 1991, and that was after it had already gone by. Named 1991 BA, it was noticed as it sailed past us at a distance of 106,000 miles--in cosmic terms the equivalent of a bullet passing through one's sleeve without touching the arm. Two years later, another, somewhat larger asteroid missed us by just 90,000 miles. ... It, too, was not seen until it had passed and would have arrived without warning. According to Timothy Ferris, writing in the New Yorker, such near misses probably happen two or three times a week and go unnoticed.

"An object a hundred yards across couldn't be picked up by any Earth-based telescope until it was within just a few days of us, and that is only if a telescope happened to be trained on it, which is unlikely because even now the number of people searching for such objects is modest. The arresting analogy that is always made is that the number of people in the world who are actively searching for asteroids is fewer than the staff of a typical McDonald's restaurant. (It is actually somewhat higher now. But not much.)"

Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Broadway, Copyright 2003 by Bill Bryson, pp. 194-195.

Monday, August 18, 2008 8/18/08-Jerusalem and Rome

In today's excerpt--the Roman Emperor Hadrian (76 AD-138 AD), third of the so-called Five Good Emperors, seeks to annihilate radical Judaism:

"The majority of the [Roman] empire's people, of course, were neither rich nor urban: they were peasants, mostly working small plots, barely yielding enough to pay the dues of rent, tax, tithe and interest imposed upon them. They lived, as peasants always have, in fear - fear of flood, drought, disease and disablement; and fear of debt, the bailiff, the tax-collector and the soldiers. Most of the time they grumbled in their villages, but they paid. The principal exception was the Jews. Twice in recent times - between 66 and 73 and between 115 and 118 - the Jews of Palestine and the diaspora had risen against Roman tax collectors, Greek landlords and fellow Jews perceived as traitors. The rebels were sustained by the traditional faith of the common people, a religion of radical messages spread by itinerant preachers - messages about the wickedness of the 'sons of darkness', about the breaking of the 'covenant' between God and his people and about an imminent apocalyptic settling of accounts in which the 'sons of righteousness' would rise up against the rich, cleanse the land of oppressors and restore to the people the fruits of their labor.

"[For Hadrian to achieve his vision of Empire], radical Judaism - like radical Islam in another age - was to be liquidated. Jerusalem, the holy city of the Jews, was re-founded as a Roman colony and re-named Aelia Capitolina in honor of the emperor (whose family name was Aelius) and Rome's patron deity Jupiter. On the Temple Mount, where the Jewish Temple had been destroyed in AD 70, Hadrian inaugurated a new temple for the worship of 'Hadrian-Jupiter'. The practice of circumcision - the single most distinctive marker of semitic identity - was banned on pain of death. ...

"Perhaps Hadrian's expectation was that the oppressed would go meekly to their cultural extinction. Perhaps it was that they would be goaded to fight, but would easily be crushed. In fact, the revolt of Bar-Kokhba between 132 and 136 fully matched in scale, duration and ferocity that of 66 to 73. Bar-Kokhba, 'Son of the Star', a new Jewish messiah, proved himself a brilliant guerrilla commander. He was ably supported by the radical nationalist, Rabbi Akiba. The revolutionaries captured Jerusalem, restored the worship of Yahweh, and issued coins announcing the 'Redemption of Israel'. The countryside around the holy city filled with peasant guerrillas and 'foreign fighters' from the diaspora, rallying to the defense of Judaism and the revolutionary homeland.

"With local Roman forces overwhelmed, the empire was trawled for fresh legions. With these reinforcements Jerusalem was recaptured, but the guerrilla war raged on in the hills of Judaea and the sandy plains of Idumaea for four years. By the end, the Roman army deployed against the Jewish rebels was as large as that with which Trajan had invaded Iraq twenty years before. According to Cassius Dio, fifty fortresses and 1,000 villages had been destroyed, 500,000 people had been killed or enslaved and Palestine had been reduced to a wilderness of wolves and hyenas feeding on corpses."

Neil Faulkner, "Hadrian and the Limits of Empire," History Today, August 2008, pp. 20-21.

Friday, August 15, 2008 8/15/08-Olympians Past

In today's excerpt--Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994), the superstar Olympic athlete who was discovered to have polio at the age of four. In the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games, despite running on a sprained ankle. The fastest woman on earth, Rudolph elevated women's track to a major presence in the United States and was known in America as "The Tennessee Tornado," in Italy as "La Gazzella Nera" (the Black Gazelle), and in France as "La Perle Noire" (The Black Pearl):

"As a child, Wilma was underweight and sickly, and also special and spoiled--not an easy circumstance in the boisterous family of railroad man Ed Rudolph and his wife, Blanche, who together brought home less than $2,500 year and lived without indoor plumbing in a dusty red-framed house at 644 Kellogg Street in the poor and black section of Clarksville [Tennessee]. ... The Rudolphs had twenty-two children between them, although only eight together and rarely more than that number living with them at one time. Wilma was the fifth of the final group of eight. Her siblings, competing for attention in the cacophony of the overstretched household, did not begrudge her the time and care she needed, though they groused that she never had to do the dishes and teased her for being a crybaby.

"During the worst years of Wilma's childhood infirmity, they took turns carrying her from room to room. They massaged her polio-crippled left leg four times a day and were part of the troupe accompanying her down to Meharry Medical College in Nashville, the nation's leading training hospital for black physicians, for heat and water therapy on the one day a week that their mother, a maid, did not have to work in the large homes on the white side of town. 'The trips to Nashville, we would always go to the Greyhound bus station and get on this huge, big bus, and it seemed like such a long ride to Nashville because of all the stops in between,' recalled Yvonne Rudolph, her older sister. 'We would go to the hospital, and it seemed like a huge building, so different from anything in Clarksville. Wilma was shy, and sometimes she would just cry because she didn't like it at all. But we kept telling her that it would make her better and she would feel better, and she would not always have to wear the brace. I think that's what really kept her going, because she knew one day she would not have to wear it.'

"As Wilma later described her early childhood, she was depressed and lonely at first, especially when she had to watch her brothers and sisters run off to school while she stayed home, burdened with the dead weight of the heavy braces. She felt rejected, she said, and would close her eyes 'and just drift off into a sinking feeling, going down, down, down.' Soon her loneliness turned to anger. She hated the fact that her peers always teased her. She didn't like any of her supposed friends. She wondered whether living just meant being sick all the time, and told herself it had to be more than that, and she started fighting back, determined to beat the illness."

David Maraniss, Rome 1960, Simon & Schuster, Copyright 2008 by David Maraniss, pp. 207-208.

Thursday, August 14, 2008 8/14/08-Hamilton's Affair

In today's encore excerpt-Alexander Hamilton's affair. Hamilton, one of the greatest of our founding fathers and principal architect of our country's highly innovative and successful financial systems, stumbles in 1791 into a liaison with a young and married prostitute. The affair led to attempted blackmail by the prostitute and her husband, and in turn to a confession by Hamilton that scandalized the new nation:

"In 1797, Alexander Hamilton ... told a flabbergasted public about his extended sexual escapade with twenty-three-year-old Maria Reynolds, who must have been very alluring, [which started when] she arrived unannounced at his redbrick house at 79 South Third Street. He began his famous account thus: 'Sometime in the summer of the year 1791, a woman called at my house in the city of Philadelphia and asked to speak to me in private. I attended her in a room apart from the family.' Reynolds beguiled Hamilton with a doleful tale of a husband, James Reynolds, 'who for a long time treated her very cruelly, [and] lately had left her to live with another woman and in so destitute a condition that, though desirous of returning to her friends, she had not the means.' ...

"The thirty-six year old Hamilton never shrank from a maiden in distress, as Maria Reynolds must have known. He told her ... that she had come at an inopportune moment (i.e., Eliza, his wife, was home). He volunteered to bring 'a small supply of money' to her home at 154 South Fourth Street that evening. ... 'I inquired for Mrs. Reynolds and was shown upstairs, at the head of which she met me and conducted me into a bedroom. I took a bill out of my pocket and gave it to her. Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable.'

"That encounter was the first of many times that Alexander Hamilton slipped furtively through the night to see Reynolds. Once Eliza had gone off to Albany, the coast was clear to bring his mistress home. 'I had frequent meetings with her, most of them at my own house.' ...

"It is baffling that Hamilton, having worked to achieve a spotless reputation as a treasury secretary, did not see that he was now courting danger and would be susceptible to blackmail ... yet he was in the grip of a dark sexual compulsion, and Maria Reynolds knew how to hold him fast in her toils by feigning love. ... There seems little question that she approached Hamilton as part of an extortion racket, delivering an adept performance as a despairing woman."

Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, Penguin Press, Copyright 2004 Ron Chernow, pp. 364- 367.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8/13/08-The Hajj and 500,000 Goats

In today's excerpt-- the Hajj, the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, is the fifth pillar of Islam, a journey to Mecca that must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. It lasts for five days each year, and is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to Allah. During the past few decades, the number of Muslim pilgrims making the Hajj has grown so massive that the logistics have become daunting and the danger of being crushed or killed has increased markedly--in 2006 there were reputedly some 600 casualties among Hajj pilgrims. (Hajji is the honorific title of one who has completed the Hajj.):

"When King Abdulaziz founded Saudi Arabia early in the twentieth century, a busy Hajj season might see fifty thousand pilgrims visiting the kingdom. The jet age, the oil boom, and the growth of middle-class Muslim populations in Asia and elsewhere meant that by the end of the 1990s, a typical number annually was about 2 million. The pilgrims all arrived at the same time of year and all went to the same places, Medina and Mecca, more or less simultaneously. They arrived, too, in a heightened state of spiritual awareness, if not longing or near-rapture. ...

"Each year, all the pilgrims assembled in tent camps on the plain of Arafat, about nine miles from Mecca city; at a prescribed time, known as the Day of Standing, they stood together in an awesome assembly in the desert, beseeching God. That huge gathering was followed by a mass symbolic stoning of the Devil, carried out by hurling pebbles at certain columns several miles from Arafat. Each pilgrim was also expected to purchase and sacrifice a sheep or other animal, as an offering to God. The logistical and sanitary challenges presented by the occupation of an open desert camp of 2 million people, followed by group rock throwing and animal slaughter, can be readily imagined. Hajj after Hajj, a stampede, fire, collapsing bridge or other mishap would claim hundreds of pilgrim lives. Even in the absence of such calamities, the heat of a summer Hajj on Arafat could be too much for many elderly pilgrims. Then, too, there was traffic: 'The largest traffic jam I have ever seen,' recalled Mark Caudill, an American Pilgrim. ...

"King Fahd ... tried to alleviate this traffic-induced suffering. His approach, however, was typical of transportation development approaches popular in the United States: more roads, more parking lots, more tunnels, and more bridges ... [and the Kingdom] built parking lots at Arafat and elsewhere during the mid-1990s, totaling millions of square feet. Above the Arafat plain, to cool off the faithful during the Day of Standing, they installed an overhead water piping system that spewed out thin jets of water above the pilgrims' heads. They dug new connector roads and flyovers, laid down pedestrian walkways, installed water fountains, and put in 14,200 public toilets. They built a modern slaughterhouse that could accommodate 500,000 goats and sheep, plus another that could handle 10,000 camels and cattle."

Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens, Penguin, Copyright 2008 by Steve Coll, pp. 438, 446-447.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 8/12/08-Nixon's Mother

In today's excerpt--Hannah Nixon, mother of Richard Nixon, who was president of the United States from 1969 until his resignation in 1974:

"Nixon called Hannah Nixon a saint. People remembered her as soft-spoken and pious. ... History dotes upon her honesty. But that doesn't quite cover it. For even while instructing her sons that lying was the most unpardonable sin, on one subject she lied often, especially later in life: on the subject of her second son.

"To understand this we must explain the deaths of his brothers. It is a psychobiographical theme in the lives of successful men: the deaths of siblings. The first one to die was the youngest, Arthur, who came down with what might have been tubercular meningitis. Twelve-year-old Richard was given reason to believe that a concussion from a schoolyard rock thrown to Arthur's head that Richard had been unable to prevent had been a contributing factor. Older brothers are supposed to protect younger ones. Richard was convulsed by his failure, and the loss.

"Then, the second brother. Richard hadn't been the favorite son. The golden boy, the one on whom great hopes were pinned, was the oldest, Harold--handsome, well-rounded, graceful. ... Harold became even more the center of the family universe when he came down with tuberculosis. After Hannah set up a second household for him to recuperate in the hot, dry air of Prescott, Arizona, Richard was left behind with two other brothers under the care of their [disciplinarian] father. It was the middle of the Depression. The family almost went bankrupt. Richard was sent to Arizona to help with the boarders Hannah brought in to keep the family afloat. The work was endless, dirty, unrewarding, sepulchral. When Harold died, Hannah once told Ladies' Home Journal, Richard 'sank into a deep, impenetrable silence. ... From that time on it seemed that he was trying to be three sons in one, striving even harder than before to make up to his father and me for our loss.'

"Hannah would come to recast Richard in her mind as an impregnable figure of destiny, bringer of miracles. When he became famous, she began to report that Richard had been born the day of an eclipse (he wasn't), that his ragged and forlorn family had sold land upon which oil was found immediately afterward (they hadn't). The exaggerations she got away with drove home for her son the lesson that a lie unexposed does no harm, that a soul viewed as a saint can also lie. And her swooning (though she withheld praise in his presence) drove home a lesson the politician was predisposed to internalize: that he was a figure of destiny, impregnable."

Rick Perlstein, Nixonland, Scribner, Copyright 2008 by Rick Perlstein, p. 25.

Monday, August 11, 2008 8/11/08-Casting Directors

In today's excerpt--Broadway and television casting directors:

"Most [actors are not stars], and most parts are not star parts, and for a combination of the above reasons, most producers hire casting directors. Casting directors are forced, by the nature of their work, to see everything: on Broadway, off, off-off, etc. Many of them go to the theater five or six times a week. Often, they won't see all of a show, but they'll stay until they've seen all the actors. One of them told me, 'Sometimes I have to see nine things a week, and after seeing nine of them, you'd call them 'things' too.' Basically, the reason for hiring a casting director is kind of strange: most theater people go to theater remarkably little: over the years, the simple act of attending has become too unpleasant for them.

"Alan Shayne is a casting director, at first on Broadway, mostly for television now. ... 'The point about casting directors is that it is possible, if you see everything, to know more about actors than the producer or director. And your taste, if you have it, is constantly being refined. You've seen the same actor eight times when he comes in to audition, and if he's been fine six of those eight, you know the director is wrong when he says, 'He's no good.' The actor is good, and sometimes that can be helpful in assisting the final selection of a cast. But most often, directors want it easy. They'll say, 'Get me X, I've worked with him, he's nice to be around the set, he remembers his lines and he won't make waves.' '

"Shayne maintains an office in the David Susskind complex ... and the room is stuffed with files and pictures of performers. Like most casting directors, Shayne carefully keeps folders on which actors can play which type of roles. Following is a partial listing of types within just one category, 'Character Actors, Male': Jewish, Hungarian, floorwalker, Spanish, English, nebbish, tough prisoners, cops, old doctors, accents, fifties, forties, leads, classical, judges, old judges.

"Shayne also keeps an insane file. Performers are always sending pictures to casting directors, and Shayne, having been an actor, is very sympathetic to what an actor goes through. But sometimes photographs come in that are so horrendous that if you thought about it seriously you'd cry. So, to keep his sanity, Shayne maintains his insane file: a female impersonator with one breast slightly bulging; a girl blowing bubblegum with the bubble so big it totally obscures her face; 15 amateur cheesecake shots of a homely peroxide blonde; a topless dancer from Frisco with a note accompanying the picture saying she can 'shoot, shout, or shit.' "

William Goldman, The Season, Limelight, Copyright 1969 by William Goldman, pp. 210-211.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Delanceyplace 8/8/08-Squandered Wealth

In today's excerpt--Osama Bin Laden, in spite of early and persistent rumors that he was a centimillionaire, lost much of his inheritance shortly after receiving it:

"Of all the myths that would come to swirl around Al Qaeda, none was greater than the fable of Osama Bin Laden's wealth. His followers romanticized every aspect of his leadership, but they particularly exaggerated his personal fortune. The unrestrained, poetic language employed by Islamist propogandists to celebrate Osama's battlefield achievements in Afghanistan soon extended to the subject of his bank account. To some extent, their exaggerations are explained by Osama's fundraising achievements; [which] made him appear wealthier to his comrades in Pakistan than he actually was. Still, the prosaic truth about his personal finances mattered greatly--because of misreporting about Osama's wealth, his adversaries, particularly those in the United States, would repeatedly misunderstand him. ...

"Investigators for the 9/11 Commission, drawing upon classified documents later provided to the Treasury Department by the Bin Laden family and its lawyers, estimated that Osama received a total of about $24 million between 1970 and 1993 or 1994; this figure would have included his annual allowance and dividends, and the $8 million distribution of 1989, but probably not the value of his shareholdings. ... Osama was wealthy, but not grotesquely so; after [his brother] Salem's death he received a particularly large sum of cash, just as Al Qaeda was born; and following his receipt of this cash distribution ... he remained a partner in good standing in the most important Bin Laden [family] businesses. ...

"[In and around 1995], Osama's experience as a businessman in Sudan was [such that] his grandiose business schemes did not pan out. His mentors took advantage of him. His employees misappropriated tens of thousands of dollars, money he could no longer afford to lose--Jamal Al-Fadl, for example, took Osama for $110,000 in a series of manipulated land and commodity deals. ... As early as 1994 or 1995, 'We had a crisis in Al Qaeda,' recalled L'Hossaine Kherchtou, one of his adherents. 'Osama Bin Laden himslef said to us that he had lost all his money, and he reduced the salary of his people.' He was forced to lay off as many as two thousand workers at his sunflower farm during 1995. It was an extraordinarily fast downturn--Osama had blown through his lump-sum inheritance, his dividends, and his charitable funds in just four or five years, a total of perhaps $15 million or more. In his essays, he denounced the Saudi royal family for corruption and financial malfeasance, but he had managed his own funds with all the prudence of a self-infatuated Hollywood celebrity."

Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens, Penguin, Copyright 2008 by Steve Coll, pp. 347-352, 413.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 8/7/08-The Guillotine

In today's encore excerpt--Dr. Guillotin's invention, the guillotine, which debuted in Paris in 1792 and was still being used for capital punishment in the 1950s. Guillotin's motive was to introduce a more humanitarian form of capital punishment, and his success in that was evident from the very first use of the guillotine when "the crowds, accustomed to bloody bouts with the ax and sword, thundered in disappointment, 'Bring back the block!' " Yet almost immediately, guillotine executions became Paris's favorite form of entertainment, with families bringing picnic lunches and reveling in the carnival atmosphere that surrounded them. Here is a description of France's last public guillotine execution, which occurred in Versailles in 1939 when convicted murderer Eugene Weidmann, a German and thus doubly despised by the French for his crime, was decapitated:

"Weidmann's execution was slated for June 17, and throngs had been pouring in from Paris and elsewhere for days, lending a holiday mood to the town. Permitted to stay open all night, bistros overflowed with customers as elated by the event as fans on the eve of a football match. The guillotine, which had normally done its deed inside the jail, was moved to the street outside, and proprietors of apartments above were cashing in by renting seats in their windows. From his cell Weidmann could hear loudspeakers blaring jazz interspersed with commentaries on his impending demise. ...

"Despite his years of experience, Desfourneaux [the executioner] was slow and jittery. Only after three tries did he manage to squeeze Weidmann's neck into the lunette, and he also fumbled with the lever. The operation lasted twelve seconds--twice the normal time. The crowd, which had been waiting in hushed anticipation, stormed the police barrier as the blade fell. Men shouted anti-German epithets; elegant ladies, avid for souvenirs, rushed to dip their handkerchiefs in the blood; and, for the rest of the day and far into the night, revelers chanted songs and swilled wine. ...

"Perched on rooftops, photographers recorded the tumult, and their pictures quickly appeared in newspapers around the world and became a staple of postcards. The fiasco shocked even the most intransigent proponents of capital punishment, and also cast doubt on the doctrine that public executions deterred crime. Fearing that future outbursts would damage France's image abroad, Premier Edouard Daladier decreed that guillotinings were henceforth to be conducted within prison enclosures."

Stanley Karnow, Paris in the Fifties, Three Rivers Press, Copyright 1997 by Stanley Karnow, pp. 161-162.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 8/6/08-Confucius

In today's excerpt--Confucius (551 - 479 BC), a Chinese thinker and social philosopher whose influence extends to the present, attempts to define goodness. In the Analects, his definition of goodness starts with the "golden rule," but he takes his concept further, famously stating that to be good, one must be "resolute and firm, simple and slow in speech." [Note: Most current historians do not believe that any specific documents can be said to have been written by Confucius]:

"The Master said, 'To be resolute and firm, simple and slow in speech, is to approach true goodness.' (Analect 13.27 [17]). Commentator Wang Su said, 'Gang [resolute] is to be without desire; yi [firm] is to be determined and daring; mu is to be simple; na is to be slow in speech. To be possessed of these four qualities is to approach true goodness.' ...

" 'Simple and slow in speech' becomes almost a refrain in the teachings of Confucius. For instance, in 12.3, he says, 'The person of true goodness is restrained in speech.' Throughout the text he repeatedly cautions his followers not to mistake eloquence for substance, as in 1.3: 'The Master said--artful words and a pleasing countenance have little, indeed, to do with true goodness.' ...

"Commentator Zhu Xi wants to understand why this is so. The answer for him is partly that restraint in speech indicates a general self-restraint, which, in turn, indicates that one's original mind and heart, with its endowed true goodness, has been preserved and not won over by selfish desires. ... For Zhu, words that are not simple but, rather, are 'artful' are evidence of 'adorning oneself on the outside in an effort to please others, a matter of human desire having grown dissolute.' "

Daniel K. Gardner, Zhu Xi's Reading of the Analects, Columbia, Copyright 2003 by Columbia University Press, pp. 75-76.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 8/5/08-The Invention of Interest

In today's excerpt--interest on loans. Though loans have sometimes been portrayed as an evil aberration, they have been a central part of civilization from the beginning of history. Loans, with interest, appear to have originated in Mesopotamia almost as early as cities themselves, perhaps as early as 3200 B.C.E. The ancient word for interest appears to have come from the word for "lamb," and early interest rates were between 20 and 33 percent:

"The idea of repaying more than one borrowed is not self-evident and has often been criticized as unnatural in world history. Aristotle in the fourth century B.C. attacked interest as follows:

" 'The most hated sort [of wealth], and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest.' ...

"The Sumerian word for interest was 'mas,' a term also used to indicate a lamb. While this dual usage may have been a mere coincidence, a logical connection between the two meanings can be established. In the agricultural system of Iraq, in the distant past as well as in modern times, a tenant could graze animals on the fields he rented. As his herd expanded, partly because of the landlord's investment in the land, this increase was taxed and the tenant had to hand over a small number of lambs. Similarly, an advance of silver or barley could be considered the use for which the creditor charged a fee, to be paid when the advance was returned. Interest thus originally resembled a grazing fee, which was due because the growth of a herd, to be paid with lambs.

"A remarkable aspect of interest rates throughout Mesopotamian history was their constancy when officially stated. From the early second millennium a number of royal decrees exist that always proclaim a 20 percent interest rate for silver loans, and a 33.3 per cent rate for barley loans. The Laws of Eshunna, from the early eighteenth century, state in a concise way: 'Per 1 shekel of silver (180 barleycorns) will accrue an interest of 36 barleycorns (i.e., 20 percent); per 300 silas of grain will accrue an interest of 100 silas (i.e., 33.33 percent).' "

Marc Van De Mieroop, "The Invention of Interest," from The Origins of Value, Edited by William N. Goetzmann and K. Geert Rouwenhorst, Oxford, Copyright 2005 by William N. Goetzmann and K. Geert Rouwenhorst, pp. 23-24.

Monday, August 04, 2008 8/4/08-Beau James

In today's excerpt--the beloved bon vivant James John Walker (1881 - 1946), often known as Jimmy or Beau James, was the outlandish and ultimately disgraced mayor of New York City during the Jazz Age:

"No New York City politician ever reveled in the adulation of its people or endeared himself as much as Jimmy Walker. Whether strutting along Broadway or Fifth Avenue during a parade in a cutaway coat, striped pants, silk top hat, and a gleaming smile, or amusing neighborhood gatherings with off-the-cuff speeches brimming with optimism and wise-cracks, 'Our Jimmy,' as practically all New Yorkers called him, was the personification of New York and its open rebelliousness toward social restraints during the Jazz Age. No politician in memory had ever brightened the city's spirits as Walker did, as he dashed about town to civic ceremonies, neighborhood festivals, and funerals of people he had never met, or broke from the ranks of the St. Patrick's Day Parade to sprint up the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue to kiss the archbishop of New York's ring with a flair that delighted the crowd. ...

"He was a rogue, but a charming one, and in a city where most citizens went to a church or synagogue on a fairly regular basis, he managed to carry on a very public affair with an actress named Betty Compton while he was married without getting pilloried for it either by the public or even his extremely forgiving wife. ...

"If he wasn't at a fight, a ball game, or a civic gathering, Walker was apt to be found at fashionable restaurants like the Casino in Central Park, Rector's, Delmonico's, or Tex Guinan's 300 Club rather than at City Hall, where he spent as little time as he could, usually showing up around noon and leaving before five. When his mayoral opponent in 1929, Fiorella La Guardia, criticized Walker for accepting a raise from $25,000 to $40,000 (the equivalent of more than $100,000), Walker responded, 'That's cheap. Think of what it would cost if I worked full time.' It was a cynical rejoinder, but it was typical Walker and most New Yorkers loved it.

"Eventually, New York's love affair with Walker began to wane. In the face of growing editorial criticism of Walker's travels abroad, his affair with Betty Compton, and his alleged misconduct of city business, ... three separate investigations were begun. ... After testifying before [an investigative] committee that August, Walker abruptly resigned as mayor on September 1, 1932, saying he was doing so to spare himself from 'an un-American, unfair proceeding.'

"Nine days after resigning, Walker left for Paris, both to avoid possible prosecution and to join Betty Compton, whom he would eventually marry. As he boarded the liner Conte Grande, a reporter said to him, 'Everyone is for you, Jim. All the world loves a lover.' 'You are mistaken,' Walker, a master of the pithy quote, replied. 'What the world loves is a winner.' "

Jack Cavanaugh, Tunney, Ballantine, Copyright 2006 by Jack Cavanaugh, pp. 77-79.

Friday, August 01, 2008 8/1/31-Osama in School

In today's excerpt--the Muslim Brotherhood, a precursor to Al Qaeda, had been established in Egypt in 1928 as reaction against British colonial rule. Then Gamal Abdel Nasser succeeded the British as a secular military dictator of Egypt, and the Muslim Brotherhood had continued their struggle against Nasser. At the same time, the ambitious Nasser began a long-term effort to unseat the King of Saudi Arabia by funding an insurgency, among other things. So it was only natural that Saudi Arabia provided some support to the Muslim Brotherhood as a matter of self-defense, though that support was given uneasily, and they had no great enthusiasm for the Brotherhood's brand of fundamentalism. Due in large part to this support, one of the better secondary schools in Saudi Arabia had as one of its teachers a Muslim Brotherhood-influenced teacher--a gym teacher from Syria. In 1972, one of that school's students was ninth-grader Osama bin Laden, who was described by contemporaries as "extraordinarily courteous," "shy," "an honorable student," and "serious":

"Around 1971 or 1972, when Osama was in the eighth or ninth grade, he was invited to join an after-school Islamic study group led by one of Al-Thaghr School's Syrian physical education teachers. In recruiting candidates for his after-school Islamic study group, [the Syrian teacher] appealed to five or six boys, enticing them with promises of extra credit and organized sports. ...

"At first, the study group proceeded as the teacher had promised. 'We'd sit down, read a few verses of the Koran, translate or discuss how it should be interpreted, and many points of view would be offered.' ... Gradually, the teenagers stopped memorizing the Koran and began to read and discuss hadiths, interpretive stories of the life of the Prophet Mohamed, of varied provenance, which are normally studied to help illuminate the ideas imparted by the Koran. Increasingly the Syrian teacher told them 'stories that were really violent,' [a] schoolmate remembered. 'It was mesmerizing.' The schoolmate said he could remember one in particular: It was a story 'about a boy who found God--exactly like us, our age. He wanted to please God and he found that his father was standing in the way. The father was pulling the rug out from under him when he went to pray. ... Finally, the boy shot the father.' ...

"During the next several years, Osama and the others [in the group] openly adopted the styles and convictions of teenage Islamic activists. They let their beards grow, shortened their trouser legs, and declined to iron their shirts (ostensibly to imitate the style of the Prophet's dress), and increasingly, they lectured or debated other students at Al-Thaghr about the urgent need to restore pure Islamic law across the Arab world. ...

"Saud Al-Faisal, a son of the king who would become foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, complained years later that Islamist teachers from Egypt and Syria had 'misused' the hospitality offered them by preaching politics. 'We dealt with them honestly, and they dealt with us underhandedly.' "

Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens, Penguin, Copyright 2008 by Steve Coll, pp. 144-149.