Male Soap Opera  

Long after it should be dead at the box office, Kramer vs. Kramer is still thriving. It is not hard to figure out why. Kramer vs. Kramer is a film with a subject to wrench the heart—a failed New York …



Football, Play and Obsession  

Unlike most books by former athletes, Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Peter Gent’s North Dallas Forty is anything but a modest “I was there” piece of writing. Although structured around eight days in the life of Phil Elliott (like Gent, a …



Engaging Norma Rae: A Journal  

Roanoke Rapids, N.C. July 18, 1977 Dear Ann: No matter how long I stay here I’m sure to go on feeling like Rip Van Winkle. Twelve years after Mississippi I’m back in a South I still can’t believe. It’s not …



Memories of the Vietnam War  

Four years after the fall of Saigon, the Vietnam War has become the most important subject in American film. Just why is not clear, but certainly it is a phenomenon that invites suspicion as though, in a period of Jonestown massacres and Gary Gilmore executions, …



The Unions and the Mobs  

John Ford in Grapes of Wrath, Martin Ritt in The Molhv Maguires, Hal Ashby in Bound for Glory have all shown that the union movement can be powerful material for the screen. Yet we do not have in this country …



Brown-Lung Cotton-Mill Blues  

Setting on my front porch swing I’m like a man forgotten Head all filled up with angry thoughts And lungs filled up with cotton Fourteen years ago, the Textile Workers Union began their campaign to organize J. P. Stevens, the …



Politics of Schools  

The Great School Wars: New York City, 1805-1973, by Diane Ravitch. New York: Basic Books. 449 pp. The importance of Diane Ravitch’s The Great School Wars is, I think, best illustrated by turning for a moment to Christopher Jencks’s assessment …



The Farm Workers Fight It Out  

The Teamster actions are disgraceful. They are clearly union-busting. They are engaged in a concerted campaign to wipe out the United Farm Workers. —George Meany Ever since 1968, Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers have had two principal opponents: the growers …







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