| Jan 30, 2008
The military government's tightening grip doesn't give people here much to sing about, and when they do feel the urge to make music, even that can be risky.
The generals who rule Myanmar have spies snooping around for subversives in the most unlikely...
| Jan 5, 2008
The coming year will be chock full of 1968 commemorations. Deservedly so, because that was a pivotal year in which the convulsions of a decade converged and the country slouched over the edge of a precipice.
It was, after all, the year of the Tet...
| Jan 11, 2008
This week, The Times featured yet another story about a drug bust gone bad. Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies detained 32 African American students and one Latino student at Los Angeles Trade Tech College in an attempted undercover raid. The sting...
| Sep 27, 2009
The Wilderness Warrior
Theodore Roosevelt and the
Crusade for America
Harper: 960 pp., $34.99
Reviewing several Roosevelt biographies in 1920, H.L. Mencken reported that he had found more "gush" than "sense." Douglas Brinkley's...
| Oct 11, 2009
As the youngest of four children and the only girl, Jona Frank spent a fair amount of her youth forced to sit and watch her older brothers at hockey games, piano recitals or at church as they served Mass as altar boys. And those observational skills would...
| Nov 8, 2009
Harper: 390 pp., $25.99
"Any way I tell this story is a lie," reads the first line of "Lit" by poet and memoirist Mary Karr. It's an ironic beginning for a writer who rose to fame on "The Liars' Club," a book recounting her...
| Nov 8, 2009
Strange things happen when a book series sells 70 million copies. Fan sites are built, only to crash with onslaughts of visitors. Movies are made, drawing unruly mobs of screaming fans. Entire towns are invaded by giggling, teenage girls.
| Nov 15, 2009
Changing My Mind
The Penguin Press: 306 pp., $26.95
Reviewing Zadie Smith's 2001 debut, "White Teeth," the critic James Wood lumped the blazing hot young British writer with no less than Salman Rushdie, David Foster...
| Dec 4, 2009
Jeremiah Allison sits stone-faced inside the big yellow bus as it winds through a maze of South Los Angeles streets, escorted by police. His jaws clench, his eyes narrow and his mind races to the hard, if not impossible, task ahead.
He is not alone. All...
| Dec 6, 2009
It was born of University of Chicago nerds at the end of McCarthyism, back when cutting-edge comedy meant jokes about your mother-in-law. It fed on the slow Chicago burn of 1960s counterculture, even though the demons of drugs and alcohol took down more...
| Mar 15, 2008
The congregation at New City Church of Los Angeles -- downtown's newest house of worship -- is a microcosm of the burgeoning downtown itself.
The parishioners, who gathered for a recent service improvised in an Italian restaurant near Walt Disney Concert...