Book Review:  “Winners Take All” pinpoints elites’ “helping and hoarding” while abetting unjust status quo
Oct16

Book Review: “Winners Take All” pinpoints elites’ “helping and hoarding” while abetting unjust status quo

Review by Robert R. Thomas The recent successful Genesee County millage for-the-arts vote, which starting in January and for the next ten years will bring in $8.7 million/year of taxpayers’ money to a dozen nonprofit arts organizations, got me thinking about the mingling of private and public monies and how that business/governance hybrid works, especially the accountability factor. For some insight, if not answers, I turned to...

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Book Review:  David Buick’s Marvelous Motor Car by Lawrence Gustin
Oct13

Book Review: David Buick’s Marvelous Motor Car by Lawrence Gustin

by Harold C. Ford Get your name on 40 million cars and you’re bound to find fame and fortune.  Nonetheless, David Dunbar Buick was forgotten first by the company that bears his name, then by the public, and ultimately by historians. Author, Flint native, former Flint Journal reporter and retired Buick assistant public relations director Lawrence Gustin aims to correct this historical oversight with his 2006 book David Buick’s...

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Luminous “JFK:  The Last Speech” essay collection reverberates 55 years after one October day
Sep23

Luminous “JFK: The Last Speech” essay collection reverberates 55 years after one October day

By Robert R. Thomas On Oct, 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave his last public speech, at Amherst College in western Massachusetts.   The occasion of Kennedy’s Convocation Address at Amherst was the ground-breaking ceremony for the Robert Frost Library.  Frost, an avid friend and supporter of JFK, had taught at Amherst for many years and had died the previous January. A month later,  JFK himself would be dead, assassinated in...

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Review:  Connor Coyne’s “Urbantasm: The Dying City” original, dark, magical, and infused with Flint
Jul02

Review: Connor Coyne’s “Urbantasm: The Dying City” original, dark, magical, and infused with Flint

Urbantasm  Book One: The Dying City by Connor Coyne Review by Robert R. Thomas Connor Coyne’s Urbantasm is the most original take on Flint I have read to date. Set in the fictional Rust Belt city of Akawe, Michigan, “an hour’s drive north of Detroit,” Coyne’s allegorical tale is a serial novel of four volumes the author says has taken 22 years to create. Book One: The Dying City will be published in September. The jacket of my...

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Review/Commentary:  “Destiny of the Republic” a timely look at an honorable president
Jan14

Review/Commentary: “Destiny of the Republic” a timely look at an honorable president

“When he (James Garfield) was still a very young man, he had hidden a runaway slave… In Congress, he fought for equal rights for freed slaves. He argued for a resolution that ended the practice of requiring blacks to carry a pass in the nation’s capital, and he delivered a passionate speech for black suffrage…‘Let us not commit ourselves to the absurd and senseless dogma that the color of the skin shall be the basis of suffrage, the...

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Detroit 1967:  a movie, a book, and a searing memory of when the riots hit Flint
Aug24

Detroit 1967: a movie, a book, and a searing memory of when the riots hit Flint

by Harold C. Ford “A riot is the language of the unheard.”  —Martin Luther King “The officer hit him and said, ‘We’re going to kill all of you black-ass nigger pimps and throw you in the river. We’re going to fill up the Detroit River with all you pimps and whores’” –from The Algiers Motel Incident, John Hersey, 1968 1960s Mississippi? No, 1960s Detroit. During the evening/early-morning hours of July 25-26, 1967 law...

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