Entries by Peter Cates

REVIEW POTPOURRI: England in the 20th Century

by Peter Cates England in the 20th Century England in the Twentieth Century, by David Thomson, (1912-1970) is a very fine example of the brilliance in clarity, readability and thorough scholarship to be found quite often among historians from the British Isles. One could open this book anywhere and be drawn into the narrative alone. […]


by Peter Cates Bill Clinton An acquaintance from my years living in Houston, Texas, attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and he told of meeting then-Governor Bill Clinton twice during a two-year period and shared a couple of observations. First, the encounters didn’t last much more than five minutes and this individual was one […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Novelist: John Dos Passos

by Peter Cates John Dos Passos Novelist John Dos Passos (1896-1970) was most famed for U.S.A., a trilogy of 3 novels- The 42nd Parallel, 1919 and The Big Money– all of which were published between 1930 and 1936, years of the “Great” Depression and the resulting misery and turbulence . Dos Passos was a very […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Book: Big Trouble; Conductor: Leopold Stokowski; TV: Death and Other Details

by Peter Cates Big Trouble A 1998 history book, Big Trouble, by Anthony Lukas (1933-1998) is a massive 875 pages of compulsively fascinating reading centered on the 1905 assassination of Idaho Governor Frank Steu­nenberg (1861-1905) who was originally elected via support from organized labor but then declared martial law when one mine was destroyed by […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: A book, a movie, an album

by Peter Cates What It Takes A 1992 book, What It Takes, by the late Richard Ben Cramer (1950-2013) examined the lives of six candidates in the 1988 race for the White House: Republicans Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush (1924-2018) and Democrats Joe Biden, Michael Dukakis, Dick Gephart and Gary Hart. It weighs in […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Movies, TV and Christmas carols

by Peter Cates Killing Them Softly I recently viewed a 2012 movie, Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt as a gangland enforcer, James Gandolfini as a Mafia hitman and Ray Liotta as the host for a mob protected high stakes polka game, with a very good supporting cast. The plot features a businessman in need […]