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American history

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The Ford Biography You'll Love to Hate.

Book Critic John Leonard reviews The Fords, by David Horowitz and Peter Collier, the biography of the family that built the automobile empire. The Fords follows Horowitz' and Collier's books on the Rockefellers and Kennedys.


"A Journey Through 1968."

Book critic John Leonard reviews The Year of the Barricades: A Journey Through 1968 by the English journalist and historian David Caute.


Inside Roy Cohn's Skin.

Book Critic John Leonard reviews two new biographies of Roy Cohn, the counsel for the Senate committee conducting the McCarthy trials, and McCarthy's aide and confidante.


New Pilot Picks Up Where "Our World" Left Off.

Television Critic David Bianculli reviews the CBS program "Try to Remember," a pilot for a new series hosted by Charles Kuralt. The program draws on archival footage and explores the events of one week, in this case August 10, 1969, the week of Hurricane Camille, Woodstock and a ticker tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronauts.


"Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture."

Commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews The Real Thing, by Miles Orvell. Corrigan says the book is one of those works that attempts to explain just about everything in terms of one theory. Orwell's theory is that American culture has been driven by the tension between imitation and the desire for authenticity.


Reading "American Nervousness" is Itself Nerve Wracking.

Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews "American Nervousness." It's a new book by Tom Lutz about a turn of the century disease called neurasthenia. Neurasthenia was a term applied to a wide variety of conditions related to just being "stressed out" by 19th century life. Perversely, neurasthenia was taken as a sign of status, that if you suffered from it, it meant you were fashionably sensitive. (It's published by Cornell University Press).


History as the Inspiration for Primetime.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews two new historical shows, one on PBS and the other on ABC. One is a documentary series, "Columbus and the Age of Discovery," and the other a docudrama about the Gulf War, "Heroes of Persian Gulf."


The Fiftieth Anniversary of Pearl Harbor on Television.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews two of the many specials commemorating the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tonight's two hour special on ABC, "Pearl Harbor: Two Hours That Changed the World," and Saturday's special on CBS, called "Remember Pearl Harbor."

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