Summer of Miracles

Summer of Miracles

  By Tom Robotham  We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969 – The Eagles In July, 1979, President Carter went on national television to deliver what came to known as his “malaise speech.” At the heart of the address was Carter’s assertion that the country was...
Play Ball

Play Ball

By Tom Robotham  For the past year or so, my life has been marked by a series of unsettling disruptions. It all started last spring when my 15-year-old car, which I loved, finally bit the dust. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that big a deal. But it turned...
Politics in the Classroom

Politics in the Classroom

By Tom Robotham  Recently an old friend shared on Facebook a link to a two-year-old article in The Staten Island Advance—a paper for which I used to work—about a New York City resident who was upset by a vocabulary question on his 11-year-old daughter’s homework...
A Nation in Denial

A Nation in Denial

By Tom Robotham Two years ago, I delivered a talk at the Tidewater Community College Literary Festival called “Scenes from a White Boy’s Life,” in which I reflected on my lifelong efforts to understand “the problem of the color line,” as W.E.B Du Bois put it. I talked...
A Kinder, Gentler Nation

A Kinder, Gentler Nation

When George H.W. Bush died, I watched with mixed feelings as pundits lionized him. I couldn’t help thinking about a book I’d read while W. was president: American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, by Kevin Phillips, a...