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Note from the Editors

After weeks of nothing in the American news but John F. Kennedy tributes, endless replays of his fateful drive past the grassy knoll and Lee Harvey Oswald meeting his fate, the country has finally moved beyond the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and on to other endeavors; after all, the holidays are upon us. Hanukkah and Thanksgiving had a rare convergence, and though the leftovers aren't even finished, Christmas is already looming. Hard to believe it's December and that 50 years have passed in the blink of an eye. Manuel García, Jr. concludes his look back on the mythical and influential events of the last five decades, ending in the present state of public austerity. You probably didn't realize, while playing Monopoly as a kid, that you were actually learning a valuable lesson in the game of capitalism. Glenn Reed played again recently, and he contemplates the symbolism of the board game's tokens and its metaphor for modern-day life in which the 99% are mere pawns. Yet, back then, even if you hadn't won the inheritance lottery, you could count on (and likely afford) a college education to somewhat level the playing field. Not so today, says Harvey Whitney, Jr., who studies the two-tiered American higher education system, neither end of which is functional. As for the Thanksgiving holiday, Jan Baughman takes a rather unconventional approach, and is just thankful that it is over; from Gilles d'Aymery's perspective, all of the recent holiday trappings overshadowed a worrisome chain of events unfolding in the East China Sea -- have a look through the window at the region as he sees it.

Turning our attention from the U.S. and Asia to other lands, Michael Barker concludes his analysis of two unlikely bedfellows behind the World Wildlife Fund -- a Dutch prince and an Afrikaner capitalist. Britain, and readers world-wide, mourned the loss of author Doris Lessing, and though it's impossible to reduce her life to a coherent entity in a few hundred words, Peter Byrne gives it a go. Jonah Raskin continues his reportage magnifique from France -- we're publishing five installments that transport us from the 19th arrondissement in Paris to the warmth of rural France and Toulouse, to a book festival in frozen Colmar, and his conclusion in Bordeaux. Having completed this pleasurable journey, we close with the poetry of Guido Monte, who remembers Biblical verses, searching for different and new meanings of the words. No Letters to the Editor this time around.

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America: Myths & Realities

Manuel García, Jr.:  Fifty-Year Look Back 1963-2013 (Part II: 1968-2013)

A personal review of American history observed and experienced from 1968 to 2013 -- Part II.   More...


Glenn Reed:  Token Thoughts From A Game Of Monopoly

A recent game of Monopoly reminds of the world's power structure and resulting destruction.   More...


Harvey E. Whitney, Jr.:  The Two Fiefdoms Of Higher Education

The author and adjunct teacher examines the antiquated and dysfunctional two-tiered system of higher education in America.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Thankful That It's Over

A look at the old and new traditions of Thanksgiving, from the mythical to the unconventional.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Gilles d'Aymery:  ADIZ Through The Looking Glass

Forget about the Mall, the health care debacle, and the usual pettiness of our daily politics -- there are some worrisome events taking place in the East China Sea.   More...


Ecology & Environment

Michael Barker:  WWF's Special Founders

An investigation of a few members of the ruling-class who love to save the environment.   More...


In Memoriam

Peter Byrne:  A Note On Doris Lessing, 1919-2013

It would take more than a few hundred words to capture the life of Doris Lessing, but Peter Byrne gives it a try.   More...



Jonah Raskin:  Paris II: A Night In The 19th District

Part II of the author's French travelogue finds him at Eva's bar in the 19th arrondissement in Paris.   More...


Jonah Raskin:  On the Road In Rural France

Part III of this French travelogue takes place in the rugged mountain village of Figeac and on to Rodez, a strange mix of old and new.   More...


Jonah Raskin:  Cold In Colmar — And Mythic, Too

The author freezes in Colmar, where he attends the 24th annual book festival, meeting browsers but few buyers, and the novelist Franck Manuel.   More...


Jonah Raskin:  France Travelogue VI: 1789 And All That

In Part VI of his France travelogue, the author warms up with a French family and the romanticism of the country and culture.   More...


Jonah Raskin:  French Travelogue Conclusion: Happy In Bordeaux

The author concludes his travelogue by examining whether the French are happy, and whether he is as well.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Bible

Guido Monte remembers Biblical verses, searching for different and new meanings of the words.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
URL: http://www.swans.com/library/past_issues/2013/131202.html
Created: December 2, 2013