James O. Tate

James O. Tate has been writing for Chronicles for 30 years and counting.

Latest by James O. Tate in Chronicles

Results: 210 Articles found.
  • October 2013

    A President at Golf

    The confusions of our day are so many and so inherent that we have no time or attention to spare for empty issues or nonproblems. The remarkable situation of President Barack Obama is one that deserves some restraint in judgment, for we may soon find that certain difficulties are part of the deal, not individual quirks.

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  • Targets Are Where You Find 'Em!
    July 2013

    Targets Are Where You Find 'Em!

    To put this volume in perspective, we have to know that the cartoonist was a young amateur who actually considered making a career of the art, but was then drawn to another mode of expression—one which transcended, perhaps, her cartoons, but also sublated them.

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  • I Get No Kick From Sham Pain
    February 2013

    I Get No Kick From Sham Pain

    “Who reads?” That’s what I’ve heard more than once from an “English professor” who spends a lot of time online.

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  • Caring About the Glock
    September 2012

    Caring About the Glock

    His is not a treatment conceived for a particular audience—above all, it is not a book aimed at those devoted to “guns,” or at members of the National Rifle Association, or at Second Amendment absolutists, even though such people will be interested in, and even rewarded by, his volume. Oddly enough, this book is aimed at other groups, including those fuzzily inclined to be against guns.

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  • Against His Own Nature
    April 2012

    Against His Own Nature

    Formula 1 and sports car racing back in the 50’s and early 60’s, when drivers wore polo shirts and flimsy helmets, and before seat belts and other safety-related developments, is for a host of reasons a most appealing topic, but the more you think of it, the less satisfactory is the present result: this book.

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  • We Are the Whirl
    February 2012

    We Are the Whirl

    Time’s choice for 2011 Person of the Year—the Protester—arouses many a consideration. The first Time-nominated Man of the Year was Charles Lindbergh in 1927, before everyone forgot that, on his flight, he wore a suit and tie.

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  • The Other America
    December 2011

    The Other America

    Violence, coarseness, crises of immigration, collapses of distinctions—these phenomena sound American and raise a question: If our country is so different from Britain, then how is it that we seem to have wound up in such a similarly precarious position, at least in terms of social degeneration and challenged identity?

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  • The Exceeding Asp
    April 2011

    The Exceeding Asp

    Cleopatra is a provocative topic—it was ever thus. And somehow Cleo rings a bell these days, for we live in bizarre times.

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  • A Holy Craft
    January 2011

    A Holy Craft

    The opportunity for a reconsideration, indeed a reconstruction, of literary history is, in the case of William Gilmore Simms’ poetry, both enticing and rewarding. In Matthew Brennan’s analytical volume, we find the basis, fully elaborated, for reengaging with a body of work, the worth of which has only recently been reevaluated.

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  • A Grand Missed Steak
    October 2010

    A Grand Missed Steak

    Professor Stauber is not the first man I ever heard of who has suggested that the American Revolution was a mistake. Sigmund Freud thought that America herself was a mistake and made no distinction about the Revolution, but then he was a Sigmund-come-lately.

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  • The Creaturely Myth
    August 2010

    The Creaturely Myth

    There is—there must be–all the difference in the world between an autobiography and a novel written in the first person. Are we clear? Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Living History, for example, has much in common with Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield or even Great Expectations, with the obvious exceptions that the “truth” seems to be fiction, and the fiction seems to be true. So then, we are not clear.

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  • We Hardly Knew You

    First, you realized that “Holden Caulfield” wasn’t innocent anymore; then, that he was old; then, that he is dead.

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  • March 2010

    Lost in Space

    It’s just so hard (and I’m talking fiendishly difficult) to schedule anything at all when everybody else has a different agenda—there are so many channels, not to mention TiVo and Net­flix and YouTube and all those old DVDs.

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  • January 2010

    The Mass Age Medium and Future Shlock: Making Sense of the 60's

    The 60’s were a mess from which we have never recovered, and I doubt we ever will.

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  • December 2009

    Being and Nothingness

    The financial collapse, which loomed so large more than a year ago as trillions of dollars disappeared and politicians ran for cover, may have suggested a lesson or two.

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  • “Vampire-Loving Barmaid Hits Jackpot”
    August 2009

    “Vampire-Loving Barmaid Hits Jackpot”

    Well, of course you’re reading my compelling exposition because of its lapel-grabbing title, but did you notice that my title is in quotes? Oh, yes indeedy. That’s because I got the title from Motoko Rich’s article in the New York Times of May 20, and I didn’t want to plagiarize, or rather I should say that I didn’t want to get caught plagiarizing.

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  • Once More With Feeling
    July 2009

    Once More With Feeling

    This volume has provoked in this correspondent a number of Yogi Berra moments—it’s been déjà vu all over again, and for more than one reason. Why, then, am I seized with such a pleasant vertigo? Let me count the ways!

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  • Desperado
    November 2008


    The Western setting of this closely focused narrative is a confirmation of the author’s identification with a region, as we know from his Western novels Desert Light and The Homestead and other nonfictional books relating to the West and to the border with Mexico.

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  • August 2008

    Yankee, Go Home

    Sixty years ago an incident lodged in my memory forever as it seems, as I walked with the beautiful redheaded young lady who paused to ask me a question. There above an old outbuilding—I hesitate to call it a barn—there was a weathervane appearing as the silhouette of a rooster.

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  • Blood on the Keys
    June 2008

    Blood on the Keys

    The Technicolor splatter of blood on the keys in the corny movie A Song to Remember (1945) is a vulgar incarnation of a romantic image of obsessed genius. That image has perhaps more authenticity than a few might suppose, for in the shot, the hands on the keyboard actually do belong to an obsessed genius, but one who was not Cornell Wilde pretending to be Frédéric Chopin.

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Results: 210 Articles found.