December 2nd, 2006

Chris Keeley

playful and poetic photographs evolve from Surrealism

playful and poetic photographs evolve from Surrealism


In “Evidence,” a collection of images from government agencies, unrelated photographs are placed side by side, transforming the interpretations one might make if each was seen separately.

Grace Jones celebrates her birthday in 1978 at Le Farfalle, also in New York, with, among others, Divine.

Andy Warhol in 1973 at Jimmy’s Disco in New York.
Photography
Review by PHILIP GEFTER

No matter what you think of the paparazzi or the mania fueled by their work, DISCO YEARS (Powerhouse, $65) is more than a guilty pleasure. Ron Galella, best known, perhaps, for the restraining order Jackie O. obtained against him in 1973, has become the standard-bearer of flash-filled shots of first-name-basis stars in the off hours, or, in the case of this book, the wee hours. These candid moments highlight Andy, Bianca, Calvin, Halston, Liza-with-a-z, Truman and their minions primarily in their stratosphere of privileged notoriety at Studio 54, but also in other discos of the late 1970s and early ’80s where the night played out in exuberant excess. Maybe it’s not all pretty, but these celebrities knew how to party. Despite the questionable intentions of a photographer looking for scandal in every social bouquet, this edifying example of paparazzi photography chronicles a cultural moment and those who defined it, yielding a few life lessons in the faces and the behavior of the unsuspecting prey captured so doggedly by the hunter.

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Chris Keeley

people placed bowls of urine inside their homes to create a stench so vile that soldiers would not e

A woman with very small feet was considered a very desirable wife." WANG ZAIBAN, CENTER, WITH WU XIUZHEN, LEFT



people placed bowls of urine inside their homes to create a stench so vile that soldiers would not enter for fear of illness

Living Memories of Bound Feet, War and Chaos in China

LAOSHIDAN, China

AT ages 84 and 83, Wang Zaiban and Wu Xiuzhen are old women, and their feet are historical artifacts. They are among the dwindling number of women in China from the era when bound feet were considered a prerequisite for landing a husband.

No available man, custom held, could resist the picture of vulnerability presented by a young girl tottering atop tiny, pointed feet. But Mrs. Wang and Mrs. Wu have tottered past vulnerability. They have outlived their husbands and also outlived civil war, mass starvation and the disastrous ideological experiments by Mao that almost killed China itself.

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Chris Keeley

Reminder: Jimmy Carter on TV tomorrow

Reminder: Jimmy Carter on TV tomorrow

On C-Span 2 on Sunday, December 3, the former president will be
interviewed on the Book TV December In Depth program from 12 noon to 3
or 3:30 p.m Eastern Time. Inter alia he will be discussing his new book,
"Palestine: Peace or Apartheid." He has published more than 20 books,
one of his signal accomplishments as an ex-president besides his work
through the Carter Center in Atlanta. He will be interviewed at his home
in Plains, Georgia. It is a call-in show and questions can be posed by
phone or by email.
Chris Keeley

William R. Polk on Getting out of Iraq--12/2/06

William R. Polk on Getting out of Iraq--12/2/06

Dear Family and friends, I am told that this website will be seen
directly and will be copied by others so that this piece should be seen
by several hundred thousand people! I thought you might want to see it.
Here it is (questions in bold):


*1. Describe the relevant parts of your background, e.g. connection to
Iraq, experience with insurgencies and your study of insurgencies.

*I visited the Middle East first in 1946 because my older brother George
Polk was then the chief CBS correspondent there. On my way back to
America, I stopped for some weeks in Baghdad. I was to return there many
times over the years. In 1951, as a Fellow of the Rockefeller
Foundation, I lived in and began a serious study of Iraq. That resulted
in a short book for the American Foreign Policy Association called “What
the Arabs Think.” I then went on to Oxford where I studied Arabic and
Turkish. After Oxford, I taught and did my doctorate at Harvard where I
was assistant to the director of the Middle East Studies Center, Sir
Hamilton Gibb. From there, President Kennedy appointed me to the Policy
Planning Council where I was responsible for most of the Islamic world
and took part in a wide range of studies and actions. I was head of the
interdepartmental task that helped to end the Algerian war and was a
member of the crisis management subcommittee that dealt with the Cuban
Missile Crisis. Through my work on Egypt, President Nasser gave me an
opportunity to visit, travel extensively in and meet the senior
officials in Yemen and then Crown Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia afforded
the same opportunity for me to meet with the Yemeni Royalist guerrillas.
During that period, I also visited Viet Nam where former Vice President
Henry Cabot Lodge allowed me free rein to talk with all the American and
Vietnamese officials. Drawing these first-hand experiences together and
reading widely on others, I made an extensive study of guerrilla warfare
on which I lectured at the National War College. After four exciting and
informative years in government, I resigned, partly because of the Viet
Nam war which I opposed and (unpopularly) predicted we would lose, and
became professor of history and founder-director of the Middle East
Studies Center at the University of Chicago.

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