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Letters

Readers respond to the August Issue

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Heroic Perspectives
in your piece about Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power salute, you failed to show gold medal boxer George Foreman waving the American flag in the ring, which received widespread attention. I hope you will feature that picture—all in the interest of journalistic balance, of course.
James Clifford Sr.
Redwood City, California

TR's Rough Edges
Lewis L. Gould's "Parties to History: Return of the Rough Rider" captures the acrimony between Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft but falls victim to a slight bias toward Roosevelt. Gould contends that "Roosevelt believed that the federal government must do more to supervise large corporations." But, in fact,Taft's administration prosecuted nearly twice as many antitrust cases in four years as Roosevelt's did in eight. And the Taft administration's successful antitrust suit against U.S. Steel galled Roosevelt because it cited as a cause a U.S. Steel acquisition to which Roosevelt had given tacit approval. Though Roosevelt's New Nationalism did presage reforms, which came about later, it also entailed ideas that would frighten civil libertarians today, and which were recognized as dangerous in 1912. Roosevelt's failing was his belief in a government of men like himself more so than in a government of laws.
Chris Parma
New Braunfels, Texas

"Parties to History: The South Secedes Again" omits Henry Wallace's break with the Democratic Party to form the Progressive Party in 1948. Unlike the Dixiecrats, who opposed the party's civil rights platform, Wallace sought to end Jim Crow and, also, improve relations with Russia. Wallace, vice president under Franklin Roosevelt from 1940 to 1944, got over a million votes—making Truman's victory even more astounding.
Jere French
Gulf Breeze, Florida

Diddley Rules
As a young boy in St. Louis in the late 1950s and early 1960s, I loved rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues and soul music. Bo Diddley [Tribute: "Who Do You Love?"], along with Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, were music royalty. But in my mind, Bo Diddley's beat was always the best. I once put 50 cents into a jukebox (at 5 cents a play) and punched his "You Can't Judge a Book" ten times. When I saw him play a couple of years ago at Harrah's Casino (in the appropriately named Voodoo Lounge), he was still as powerful a musician. Americans can be thankful to men like Bo Diddley for giving us some of the best music in the world.
David Cheney
St. Louis, Missouri

Running on the Wall
"Up Against the Wall" brought back memories of our experience as the first people to run a full marathon on top of China's Great Wall. We were told by Chinese authorities that this was an ill-conceived idea and they would not be responsible for us in any way. But on August 5, 1985, we were driven out to Badaling at 4 a.m. to begin our run, which we completed in the afternoon. Later, we received a congratulatory note from Ronald Reagan. This experience was especially rewarding because one of us—Dick—had been diagnosed with cancer and told he had only months to live.
Dick and Janice Molen
Post Falls, Idaho

I cried when I saw the image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, fists raised, at the 1968 Olympics [Indelible Images: "Taking a Stand"]. That year's historic moments rushed back as I recalled the heroes of my generation who sacrificed so that all men could be treated with fairness and dignity. It reminded me that "freedom isn't free," and I thank them.
Catherine Foley
Taylor Lake Village, Texas

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