In the Media Politics

Beyond Apollo with Norman Mailer

On a brisk December day in 1972, the SS Statendam left New York Harbor with an extraordinary passenger list. Theoretical physicists, science fiction writers, a handful of paying passengers, a reporter from the New York Times, media personalities, and a couple of distinguished literary figures, including Norman Mailer. All were aboard for the ship’s destination, Cape Canaveral, to…

Heritage Politics

Oswald in Minsk

At the end of the cold war, the leadership of the K.G.B., demoralized and seeking favor with the pro-Western reformers then coming to power in post-Soviet states, briefly opened its files on the accused assassin of John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald. The material was so intimate as to be painful to read, showing unequivocally that the K.G.B.…

Politics

What Would Mailer Say?

2012 political conventions: What would Norman Mailer say? What would Norman Mailer have made of Clint Eastwood? I’ve been thinking about that these last few days, as we shift from one national nominating convention to another, as Tampa yields to Charlotte and the great miniseries of presidential politics continues its inexorable passage toward Election Day. Read…

Heritage Politics

Still at War

I a recent article in the Media Monitors Network, Norman Solomon asks “Why Are We Still at War?” He analyzes the pointlessness of fighting a “war on terror,” supporting his assertion with quotations by Joan Didion and Norman Mailer. He writes: It may be profoundly true that we are not red states and blue states,…

Politics

Obama Like JFK

Fred Kaplan, in his article “Forget FDR and Lincoln; Obama Is Most Like JFK” for Slate, argues that “the Kennedy-Obama parallels are, in fact, deeper than they might seem.” Within, he cites — you guessed it — Mailer’s “Superman Comes to the Supermarket”: In the vapid Eisenhower years, he went on, the “life of politics…

Politics

The Edge of Mystery

Matt Bia, a political commentator for the New York Times Magazine, likens Barack Obama with Mailer’s hopes for a President Kennedy in his “Superman Comes to the Supermarket.” Bai begins “The Edge of Mystery” by referencing Mailer, the great political commentator of the twentieth century: Weeks before the election of 1960, Norman Mailer, already an…

In the Media Politics

Frost/Nixon and Mailer

Norman Mailer is mentioned in Allen Barra’s review of the new film by Ron Howard: Frost/Nixon. Berra comments that Mailer, along with Gore Vidal and Philip Roth, attempted to probe the psyche of Nixon in literature. Berra writes: Mailer, not entirely unsympathetic, probably came the closest to pinpointing Nixon’s Rosebud. At the 1968 Republican Convention,…

Politics

NM to JFK

I mean: Wasn’t there anyone around to give you the lecture on Cuba? Don’t you sense the enormity of your mistake – you invade a country without understanding its music. The Village Voice is running an excerpt everyday from their archives, and today’s “An Open Letter to JFK” is by Norman Mailer.