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.
  • Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be
    April 2008

    Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be

    I cannot remember the occasion, but I will not forget the voice—female, authoritative, and poised—that intoned a dismissal of the so-called yuppies as follows: “They oversee the distribution of toilet paper!”

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  • Mann of the West
    April 2008

    Mann of the West

    An established authority on film, Professor Basinger has updated her monograph on the films of Anthony Mann for good reason. Not only has her original edition of 1979 long been out of print, it has been in much demand.

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  • No No Gambling
    January 2008

    No No Gambling

    Was it a famed pre-Socratic philosopher or was it Mae West who declared that the way down and the way up are the same? Whoever said it first sure got that right.

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  • Why Don’t You Just Shoot Me and Get It Over With?
    November 2007

    Why Don’t You Just Shoot Me and Get It Over With?

    I have no regrets about investing my attention in some of the books of the late Sir Kingsley Amis (1922-95). How could I regret that—and why should I? Lucky Jim (1954) and One Fat Englishman (1963) are two of the funniest novels ever written.

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  • Marching Through Whatever
    July 2007

    Marching Through Whatever

    This Distinguished Professor has not said so explicitly, but I say that current and even emerging and future events have echoed and will echo what his sense of history has said to him, and have justified and will justify his examination of the past and its connections with the present.

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  • Going for the Extra Yardage
    June 2007

    Going for the Extra Yardage

    Hours—or, rather, weeks—spent with the 2006-07 NCAA football bowls may suggest something wrong not only with the priorities of higher education but with the imperial rituals of the nation.

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  • Founders, Keepers
    January 2007

    Founders, Keepers

    There can be no question but that we need to recover a vital connection to the spirit of the Founding Fathers: By identifying that spirit, Wood has made an imposing contribution not only to American history but to the regeneration of the national mythology.

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  • Too Much Monkey Business
    September 2006

    Too Much Monkey Business

    Watching a disaster or beholding a disintegration is inherently destructive, but there is also an element of morbid fascination. Might there be, as well, a redemptive element in tracking the entropic parabola of the great fall of yet another Humpty Dumpty?

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  • August 2006

    Reading Obituaries

    Reading obituaries is part of reading the newspaper and can be oddly rewarding. It’s instructive and even inspiring to read about lives and careers.

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    July 2006


    I do not live in a painting by Magritte or by De Chirico or even by Carmen Cicero—no, really, I don’t, honest, scout’s honor, no kidding—but sometimes I get the creepy sensation that I do.

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  • The Grand Manner
    July 2006

    The Grand Manner

    The culture war takes many forms—or, perhaps, we should say that the war has many fronts, and that the musical conflicts arising from this war are significant ones.

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  • Oscar Buzz

    The Oscar buzz this year is, in large part, about the prospects of Brokeback Mountain, the “gay Western” that has already won four Golden Globe awards and been nominated for eight Academy Awards.

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  • Mind Your Language!
    February 2006

    Mind Your Language!

    One of the fascinations of language, and one of the charms of the English language in particular, is the playful resourcefulness, the lexical richness, and the ambiguous suggestiveness of words themselves.

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  • I Would Prefer Not To . . .
    January 2006

    I Would Prefer Not To . . .

    In these biographically minded days, Professor Delbanco has not called his work a biography of Melville—his subtitle does not say “His Life and Work.”

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  • Roll On, Beethoven
    December 2005

    Roll On, Beethoven

    The fate of the famous in this postmodern and even campy time is problematical. The multicultural agenda is not considerate of the distinguished or of distinctions, and "diversity" imposes quotas on what we may be permitted to admire, to enjoy, or even to know.

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  • Moscow in Malibu
    September 2005

    Moscow in Malibu

    To remind us of the way we actually were, to repair some of the damage broadcast by Hollywood and institutionalized by the Academy, and to take advantage of the Venona files and other new information, Ronald and Allis Radosh have recreated the grounded meaning of Hollywood’s infatuation with left-wing politics.

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  • Twentieth Century Fox
    August 2005

    Twentieth Century Fox

    Rehearsing Nixon’s life as an engagement with film may seem a superficial approach; yet, as Mark Feeney has done the job, the exposition is both ingenious and convincing.

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  • The Lavender Baboon
    May 2005

    The Lavender Baboon

    I first heard about “brain freeze” from an amiable fellow who was vending Italian ices. He pointed out that, if the ices were not consumed carefully, the freeze would penetrate the palate into the brain.

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  • Beautiful Terror
    March 2005

    Beautiful Terror

    The face is familiar, but not the gray hair. To some few, it may be so from Our Gang shorts from the late 30’s and early 40’s, known by the moniker of Mickey Gubitosi.

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  • Susan Sontag, R.I.P.

    Susan Sontag passed away in New York City on the Feast of the Holy Innocents at the age of 71.

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Results: 210 Articles found.