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“As for the ‘died of democracy’ thesis, a good case can be made that, to the contrary, the Confederate government enforced the draft, suppressed dissent, and suspended civil liberties and democratic rights at least as thoroughly as did the Union government. The Confederacy enacted conscription a year before the Union, and raised a larger portion of its troops by drafting than did the North. … If the North had lost the war — which came close to happening on more than one occasion — the same thesis of internal conflict could be advanced to explain northern defeat. … Americans in the war of 1776 were more divided than southerners in the war of 1861, yet the United States won its independence and the Confederacy did not. Apparently we must look elsewhere for an explanation of Confederate failure.”
— Why the Confederacy Lost, 1992

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In a regional vote on September 29, 1951, two entire counties — Lubbock and Parmer — and parts of eleven other counties — Lynn, Lamb, Hockley, Deaf Smith, Floyd, Castro, Bailey, Armstrong, Randall, Potter, and Cochran — voted to form Texas’s first groundwater management district. Significantly, three of the most intensively irrigated counties — Hale, Swisher and Crosby — refused to join. … Ultimately, an area of 8,149 acres square miles, or 5,215,600 acres, would be served by the new district. Texas High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 opened for business in April 1952 and on February 1, 1953, set forth its first regulations covering all full-scale irrigation wells pumping 100,000 gallons per day or more. Compliance was voluntary. In the meantime, land under pump expanded from 650,000 irrigated acres in 1946 to 2,700,000 irrigated acres in 1954. The district regulations did not provide immediate relief. Between 1951 and 1958, the average water level fell twenty-eight more feet. In 1954, at least six farmers who started irrigating in 1953 were back into dryland farming. The general manager of the district concluded that “our conservation program is about twenty-five years or more too late.”
— Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land, John Opie, 1993

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…while looming darkly a kindness of fragrance opens around them…
— e.e.cummings, 95 poems, 1958

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“One of the earliest and most persistent themes was spelled out by Frank Owsley in his book States Rights in the Confederacy, published in 1925. … On the tombstone of the Confederacy, wrote Owsley, should be carved the epitaph ‘Died of State Rights.’ A variant on the states rights thesis focuses on the resistance by many southerners, including some national leaders like Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, to such war measures as conscription, certain taxes, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and martial law. … The persistence during the war of the democratic practices of individualism, dissent, and carping criticism of the government caused historian David Donald, writing in 1960, to amend that inscription on the Confederacy’s tombstone to ‘Died of Democracy.'”
— Why the Confederacy Lost, 1992

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“As they reflected on this matter, numerous southerners and historians came to the conclusion that overwhelming numbers-and-resources were not the cause of northern victory after all. History offered many examples of a society winning a war against greater odds than the Confederacy faced. … In the Civil War the Confederacy waged a strategically defensive war to protect its territory from conquest and preserve its armies from annihilation. To ‘win’ that kind of war, Confederate armies did not have to invade and conquer the North; they needed only to hold out long enough to force the North to the conclusion that the price of conquering the South and annihilating its armies was too high, as Britain had concluded in 1781 and as the United States concluded with respect to Vietnam in 1972. Most southerners thought in 1861 that their resources were more than sufficient to win on these terms. Most outside observers agreed. The military analyst for the Times of London wrote that ‘no war of independence ever terminated unsucessfully except where the disparity of force was far greater than it is in this case.’ … Even after losing the war, many southerners continued to insist that this reasoning remained sound.”
— Why the Confederacy Lost, 1992

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Contemporaries and historians have blamed almost every prominent Confederate general at Gettysburg for mistakes that lost that battle: among them Robert E. Lee himself for mismanagement, overconfidence, and poor judgment; Jeb Stuart for riding off on a raid around the Union army and losing contact with his own army, leaving Lee blind in the enemy’s country; Richard Ewell and Jubal Early for failing to attack Cemetery Hill on the afternoon of July 1st and again for tardiness in attacking on the 2nd; and above all, James Longstreet for lack of cooperation, promptness, and vigor in the assaults of July 2nd and 3rd. It was left to George Pickett to put his finger on the problem with all these explanations. When someone asked Pickett after the war who was responsible for the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg, he scratched his head, and replied: “I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.”
— Why the Confederacy Lost, 1992

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So instead of responding to his question, I asked, “Did you see that article about you in this morning’s paper?” A columnist had just ripped him apart.
It was immediately obvious I had hit a responsive chord. “Oh, Ronnie,” he said, “they’re burying me in this town. I can’t even turn on the television anymore.” … Evidently he’d been looking for someone friendly to talk with all day. He just happened to find someone on the field in the middle of a game.

—Ron Luciano, Strike Two, 1984

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Bleakwood Avenue runs through a barrio about eight miles due east of the Los Angeles Times’s Globe Lobby, a marble art deco entry that features a massive globe, Hugo Ballin’s murals of 1930s life in America, and bronze busts of General Harrison Gray Otis, Harry Chandler, and other members of the family whose name, in Southern California, is synonymous with wealth and power. For Leo Wolinsky, the distance between the newspaper where he would become a keeper of the journalistic flame and the downtrodden east Los Angeles neighborhood where he grew up might as well have been halfway to the moon.
— James O’Shea, The Deal From Hell, 2011

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Doubt and DiMaggio had seldom kept company, but after that season, they were seldom apart. Joe talked to Topping about retirement. “Don’t even think about it,” the owner told him. He wanted Joe to come over for dinner — at his place, 405 Park Avenue. … Anyway, Topping could read the numbers, with tickets, concessions, parking, radio and TV, his World Champion Yankees probably made three million dollars that year — with one .300 hitter, a part-timer named DiMaggio, at .346. Topping wanted Joe to know he wasn’t going to lose a nickel, just because he’d played in only half the games. He could have another hundred-thousand-dollar contract right now — just say the word. Joe wouldn’t say the word.
— Richard Ben Cramer on DiMaggio’s offseason of 1949

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“Solving the problem of existence is easy for Rakitin: ‘If you want to do something useful today, you can, for instance, fight for people’s civil rights or maintain the price of beef at a reasonable level; that would be a simple and more direct way of manifesting your love for mankind than playing with all kinds of philosophical theories.'”
— Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, 1880