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  • Lance Mannion
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I just have to quibble about this:

plump, pretty brunette

plump and pretty brunette

not plump BUT pretty brunette

The combination is not exceptional. Though I expect you are right that situation was a spoils of war moment.

Ronzoni Rigatoni

Insofar as anyone getting every point correct re Iraq, you should check out the Billmon archives, happily linked at Sadly No! Two years ago the man wrote as if he were already here now. He made no errors. Was right every time.

Tom W.

Love how you wrangled it around to Bill Mauldin - a total fave of mine. Has me thinkin' now - will never sleep. Damn you Lance Mannion!

velvet goldmine

I'm studying ancient and classical Greece as well. It's fascinating the different approaches Herodotus and Thucydides took in framing history, given that they were more or less contemporaries. Sort of like Hunter S. Thompson vs. Edward Gibbon.

I'm tackling the plays right now, though. I went to the library the other day for a heaping armolad of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, and the 19-year-old staffer commented, "Some of these are really good." I was on my way home before it occured to me to wonder which of them had failed to meet her standards.


Thanks for the Bill Mauldin tribute. Really a great American story, even the messy parts. When I was a kid my uncle owned a copy of Up Front and I read it repeatedly. Years later, I found the exact same edition at a library book sale and was over the moon. I thumbed through it right away to find his classic cartoon of a cavalry man about to put his steed--a Jeep with a flat--out of its misery.

Think how much greater Herodotus would be if he'd included cartoons.


Tom W.,

Are you trying to tell me I should feel bad for giving you a bunch of Bill Mauldin cartoons to look at? I refuse! In fact, here are some more. A few more here too.


Point taken. Just have to decide which of your suggested edits to go with.


I'm betting it was Sophocles. He's a real snooze.


You're right about the Billmon.


Some of Herodotus' descriptive passages are perfect verbal cartoons.

Mike Schilling

The reason that the pundits who were so spectacularly wrong about the war in Iraq should still be treated as wise men and women on the subject of the war while those who were right should be shut out of the discussion is that the those who were right were right in the wrong way while those who were wrong were wrong in the right way.

The ones who've been around long enough were also wrong about Gorbachev. I suppose consistency is a virtue.


I saw a performance of Aeschylus' "The Persians" in Washington DC last year, and wished every member of Congress and the Administration had been forced to be there:


There seems to be a spate of classical works at the moment. There are also biographies of Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus that I want to read. I read Herodotus (in translation, I hasten to add) a while back and he was indeed fascinating.


for that first sentence, readit "spate of works about classical history." And new translations. Of course, we have all the classical works we're gonna get.


"Of course, we have all the classical works we're gonna get."

Not quite true. There's new discoveries made on a regular basis. It's true that we're probably not going to get too many more major works, but it's not inconcievable.


Don't completely discount the "belly-full-of-lobster" aspect in your rush to write on what factors into the "real" issue. It has long been a factor as well...And I am no historian, but did the U.S. Civil War have soldiers paid subsistence wages guarding private, well-paid and comforted "contractors"? That doesn't help any matters of morale and so on, especially to hear how Halliburton has some amazing profits this year.


Re the Confederates:

It didn't help that at the same time the Union had the dubious distinction of being led by the idiot George McClellan. Somehow he never understood the notion that a general was supposed to fight! He talked about it a lot, though. : )

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