Happy 80th Birthday, Pelé

By David Hirshey Eight by Eight October, 2020 Greatness takes a physical toll on all those who achieve it. So it is a testament to Pelé’s courage and indomitable will that this month he will mark eight decades on the world stage after years of being battered by the...

The Most Hated Lawyer in America

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair March 1992 It’s a quiet Sunday morning in the nearly deserted Greenwich Village town house of attorney William Kunstler. In the stillness, the answering machine clicks on and there’s a quiet woman’s voice speaking, calmly, patiently...

Full Tilt Bozo

By John Eskow Rolling Stone August 23, 1979 There is a deceptive air of chaos at the Mork & Mindy rehearsal. Robin Williams grabs his crotch and stomps around the room, mocking himself in a street-kid growl: “I gotcha shazbot, right here, buddy. Yeah, here’s...

… Thomas Pynchon on the Run …

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc April 1984 Picture this: your dinner guest is Thomas Pynchon, the writer much of scholarly America considers our best living novelist. He is also a tantalizingly shadowy figure; a generation of fervent readers has fantasized meeting him,...

The Ballad of Willie Nelson

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair November 1991 The night before I left for South Texas to join Willie Nelson as he went back on the road again to sing for the I.R.S., I had dinner with a woman from L.A. who’d known him. She told me a fascinating story about Willie Nelson,...

“The Rest is Silence”

By Brad Darrach People July 24, 1989 An old man died in his sleep one day last week, and it was as if a continent had sunk into the sea. A wave of feeling rose and moved outward, and when it was gone the world seemed different and smaller than it had been before....

Yogi

By Alex Belth SI.com September 23, 2015 Yogi. It’s hard not to smile when you hear his name. You might think of his goofy mug, with the crooked smile that looked as if it had been ripped from the funny pages. Then there’s the oddly-shaped wrestler’s body—squat torso,...

Against Normalization: The Lesson of the “Munich Post”

By Ron Rosenbaum LARB February 5, 2017 TRUMP/HITLER?   [This article was first published just weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration.]    The Trump-Hitler comparison. Is there any comparison? Between the way the campaigns of Donald Trump and Adolf...

The Death of a Reporter Who Knew Too Much

By Jon Bradshaw New York September 6, 1976 Don Bolles wanted to be the best reporter in Arizona. That was all he wanted. It had always been enough for him. By all accounts he was an old-fashioned man, steeped in such Calvinist beliefs as industry, thrift, and piety....

Hitler Continued

By Ron Rosenbaum LARB June 10, 2014 RON ROSENBAUM’S 1998 book, Explaining Hitler, is a critique of “Hitler studies,” the term coined by Don DeLillo, and it remains for me a key experience in my life-long reading about the Third Reich. In the book Rosenbaum assessed...

The Story of T

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine March 29, 1970 “A street guy like T is a different kind of person. Everything for a guy like that, for, a member, is different. They’re in that private world of their own and that’s all they want to know. They’re in it...

The Father, The Director, and the Holy Terror

By Brad Darrach Life September 1990 Fifty-three. For the average successful American male, it’s definitely not the prime of life. Your body has launched a paunch, your children are taller than you are, you’re dabbling furtively in your wile’s wrinkle cream and...