Who Made Donald Trump a popular candidate?

One of the many amusements of the 2016 presidential primaries is watching establishment Republicans panic as Donald Trump elbows his way to the nomination and endangers down-ballot races. That establishment should find Trump’s appeal easy to understand, since they prepared his way: the Southern strategy’s appeal to less-educated working class white men, their relentless and … Read more

Review: Welcome to FOB Haiku

In Welcome to FOB Haiku (Middle West Press, 2015), Randy Brown has written some of the best poetry that I know of to come out of our war in Afghanistan. Most poets surely hope that their books of poetry will last, but most books of poetry end up as ephemera headed for the cultural landfill. … Read more

Film Review: 45 Years

45 Years is a very fine and wise film, modest enough in scale to feel like a stage play, with a play’s emphasis on dialog. A comfortably retired couple is a few days away from hosting a big party with their many friends to celebrate 45 years of marriage. What could possibly go wrong? What’s … Read more

Review: Hail, Caesar

Hail Caesar is far more than a parody of or homage to Hollywood, more than a period piece (1951), more than a vehicle for cameo appearances by various stars, and less a series of set pieces than the trailer implies. Forget the tepid New York Times review — this is a good film. There are … Read more

Review: Brooklyn

Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley, is an engaging film, well written and nicely acted, set in the 1950s not as those years were but as we might want them to have been. It is a feel-good confection. While Brooklyn is said to be about the quintessential immigration experience, it seems to be more about the … Read more