Three Sensible Newspaper Items (On Touchy Topics)

By James Fallows

OK, I know, the first part of this headline is in the proud tradition of "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative." But we have so much excitement with the Olympics and so on that I figure we can use a little blanding-down.

From the actual printed newspaper* today:

"Raising Successful Children," in the NYT. Sanity rather than insanity.

"The Gore Vidal You Didn't Know," by Mike Mewshaw in the WaPo. My only glancing in-person encounter with Vidal was via my friend Mewshaw, who saw a lot of Vidal over the years, especially while both were living in Italy. Convincing presentation of what made Vidal attractive and repulsive.

"The British Gift to American Letters," by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, in the NYT. Points that ring so true to me that I wish I'd made them myself. Hmmm, come to think of it....

While I'm at it, a bonus fourth-and-fifth: "oh calm down" essays about perils of the cyber-age, by James Gleick and Daniel Wegner, both in the NYT.
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* Actual printed newspaper: always more enjoyable, especially on weekends; necessary on self-defense grounds during the Olympics, to avoid results-spoilers splashed on newspaper home pages; and feasible on the back porch today, since for some odd reason none of the normal neighborhood leaf-blower crews are at work. Maybe the lairds people that hire them decided to spend this weekend in town.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/08/three-sensible-newspaper-items-on-touchy-topics/260723/