Oxford mourns the passing of Charles Lockwood, historian and author.
Charles Lockwood, co-author (with his brother John) of The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Twelve Days that Shook the Union, died last week of cancer at 63.
Charles’ specialty was architecture; he wrote one of the most respected books on New York City’s townhouses, Bricks and Brownstone, which is still in print with Rizzoli after forty years.
A native of Washington, D.C., Charles was equally fascinated by that city’s past and by Civil War history. He combined them in The Siege of Washington, a meticulously researched and vibrantly narrated evocation of the early days of the war, when it seemed more than possible that the almost-undefended federal capital would fall to the Confederacy. Charles immersed himself in the primary documents of the period, and his book combines drama and detail, reflective of the passion and precision he brought to everything that he worked on.
August 31, 1948 – March 28, 2012
T.D. Bent is Executive Editor of history titles at Oxford University Press.
The work of artist Charles Kaufman
isn’t restricted by common, everyday thinking. Charles paints any subject he wishes on any surface he desires. Unconventional and bursting with imagination the subject matter of his paintings range from woman and wine bottles to surrealistic toasters in the wild to wacky characters at organ factories.
Charles is fearless in his approach to art. He’ll create his art on discarded soda cans
and carved wood as well as the traditional canvas. It’s as if he as so many ideas of things to paint; they explode on to any surface available.
However don’t be fooled by the playfulness of his subject matter or his choice of rustic materials on to which his art is applied. Charles Kaufman is very serious about his work. He has two published books about his art with a third one soon to be released. On his website he offers an insightful view on how he layers paint on canvas
. He also provides a look at his beginning sketches along side the finished paintings
accompanied by brief explanations of his process.
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When I hear the word chauvinist I think of a person—male—who takes a superior view of the capabilities of his gender. I guess I’m influenced by the 1970s phrase male chauvinist pig that evolved out of the woman’s lib movement.
Dictionaries take a wider perspective and offer examples of chauvinists who think it is their country that is innately superior.
Chauvinist and chauvinism are words that demonstrate the power of the entertainment industry.
Chauvinist is a word that arose because of the over-the-top antics of Nicholas Chauvin.
The story goes that Nicholas Chauvin was a soldier in Napoleon’s army and was mad-crazy enthusiastic about fighting for his country and his leader. He sustained war wounds on 17 different occasions, lost fingers, had his face disfigured and still kept up his rah-rah attitude. Napoleon was so happy to have such a keen supporter that Nicholas Chauvin was given a ceremonial sword and a cash prize.
But eventually Napoleon himself fell out of favor and Nicholas Chauvin’s excessive enthusiasm began to earn him only ridicule.
At least two plays were written in the early 1800s that featured him as an over-zealous wing-nut. Through these plays people in France and then elsewhere began using his name to describe people who had an unreasonable superiority complex about their own social group—with particular emphasis on nationalism and militarism.
His name became so famous through theses plays and the adoption of the term chauvinism that people actually began to believe that he had been a real person.
I say this because in 1993 Gerard de Puymège went looking for authentic military records about Nicholas Chauvin and wrote a book about the fact that the guy had never really existed; he was just a creation of the theatre.
Five days a week Charles Hodgson produces Podictionary – the podcast for word lovers
, Thursday episodes here at OUPblog. He’s also the author of several books including his latest History of Wine Words – An Intoxicating Dictionary of Etymology from the Vineyard, Glass, and Bottle
Elvin Lim is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and author of The Anti-intellectual Presidency, which draws on interviews with more than 40 presidential speechwriters to investigate this relentless qualitative decline, over the course of 200 years, in our presidents’ ability to communicate with the public. He also blogs at www.elvinlim.com. In the article below he reflects on the rehabilitation of liberalism. Read his previous OUPblogs here.
Whatever happens at the polls in two weeks, the pendulum has swung back in Liberalism’s direction. Economically, culturally, and ideologically, liberal answers are regaining legitimacy.
After all, even though the Democratic party nominated a liberal anti-war candidate over a more moderate establishment candidate this year, and the Republicans turned to a maverick with a reputation for bi-partisanship, the Democratic candidate is ahead in practically every battleground state that George Bush won in 2004.
How quickly times have changed. Whereas John Kerry was swiftboated in 2004, Obama (like Reagan) is developing Teflon powers as he continues to ride his surge in the polls despite stories about Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and ACORN. When terrorism was issue number one, people preferred a Republican president; but when the economy becomes issue number one, people prefer a Democratic president.
This is why Sarah Palin’s charge that “‘spreading the wealth‘ sounds a little like socialism” isn’t getting much traction. Spreading the wealth sounds like sharing the wealth, and these days such thoughts aren’t all that unpopular. After all, the Bush administration’s decision to obtain equity stakes in several private banks in return for a liquidity injection isn’t exactly laissez faire.
Culturally, the country appears to have moved on from those culture wars we heard so much about just four years ago. Just this year, the California and Connecticut Supreme Courts’ decisions to legalize same-sex marriage and the lackluster response from the conservative community indicates the shifting cultural tectonics. Abortion isn’t such a hot button issue this year either. Anti-abortion Catholics have endorsed Obama in significant numbers. If anything, McCain’s selection of a running mate who will not make an exception to her pro-life position for rape and incest reveals a campaign completely in illusion about where the country is culturally. McCain’s contempt for the “health” exception for women will seriously damage his chances with women.
We also see the ideological shift in cross-party endorsements for Obama. Breaking a century and a half year old tradition, the Chicago Tribune has endorsed Barack Obama. Christopher Buckley’s defection is both substantially and symbolically powerful, as were the endorsements of Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar. And now Colin Powell has joined the bandwagon, characterizing Obama as a “transformational” leader. The last time we saw such language being used to describe a potential president was during the landslide and realigning elections of 1932 and 1980.
In the days to come, Republicans will push back to insist that this is still a “center-right” country - as Karl Rove and Charles Krauthhammer have done - and they will try to remind Americans that Democratic control of all branches of government may not be a good idea. But if the result of the White House race is still unclear, no one doubts that the Democrats will strengthen their majorities in both the House and the Senate. Average Joe, the median independent voter has moved to the Left of Plumber Joe, the median Republican voter. It may be time to excavate “liberal” and “liberalism” from the dictionary of political incorrectness.
Aug. 9th, 2007 at 9:17 PM
Finally! I have completed the first draft of my WIP and am ready to begin the editing process. Fortunately, I have had many good critiques on the book, so it should be easier for me the second time through than it was for me to finish it the first draft, even though I already know I'm going to be making some pretty significant changes.
That's the GOOD news.
The BAD news is ...well, I'll tell you later.
On another note, just look at the form on this kid! He might be the next Tiger Woods! We took my five-year-old grandson out on the course for the first time last Friday, and he actually did pretty well...golf---well that was okay, but it was more fun to push the gas pedal on the cart and to dump sand in the divots on the fairway.