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150 years later, war’s lesson still unlearned

There is an untold story of lies and deception, of paid substitutes and the little known use of child soldiers.
 Civil War Stories
By LEW KINGSBURY  |  June 07, 2013
RISD_Museum-ArtistRebel_lis

Two shows highlight the RISD Museum's new direction

It's been a year-and-a-half since John Smith took over as director of the RISD Museum. But it's only now that his vision for the place is becoming reality.  
A dandy list  
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 15, 2013
Barylick_KillerShow_list

The Station fire: 10 years after

It's been 10 years since fire tore through a roadhouse in West Warwick — killing 100, injuring 200 more, and singeing thousands of New Englanders whose mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends died inside The Station or never quite figured out h
Four writers on the tragedy that disfigured Rhode Island
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 15, 2013
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Even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

Style aside, the 1960s — the era that spawned sex, drugs, and rock and roll — are still with us.

By PETER KADZIS  |  December 14, 2012
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Review: A Royal Affair

Chances are a movie about 18th-century Danish history might not be a grabber. But this one could have been, had director Nikolaj Arcel cut the length by about 15 minutes, injected some zest into the narrative, and perhaps done some recasting.

By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 16, 2012
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Shots seen 'round the world

"Kennedy to Kent State: Images of a Generation," the Worcester Art Museum's riveting survey of iconic news photos from the election of John F. Kennedy to the resignation of Richard Nixon, is one of the most depressing shows I've ever seen.

By GREG COOK  |  November 09, 2012


Bull-Horn_list

RISD carves up history’s silent witnesses

Dale Broholm was touring the Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg a few years ago when his friend, a former historian with the National Parks Service, described a landscape project that involved clearing trees.
Wood Shop
By PHILIP EIL  |  September 07, 2012
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Patrick Conley’s fiery turn as historian laureate

Patrick Conley stands in a hallway lined with framed New York Times and Providence Journal articles about his campaign to lure high-end businesses to Providence's industrial waterfront.
Man About Town
By PHILIP EIL  |  August 31, 2012
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Lemmy and Motörhead are still raising hell

At 66 years old, Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister is still at it, playing the game and loving every minute, having fun while so many of his contemporaries act dour and aloof.
An Ace, in Spades
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  August 03, 2012
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Bloody Andrew Jackson’s revisionist history

If Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson were a chapter in a history book, it would be a comical pop-up section showing arrows and tomahawks flying, fists and flags waving, audible gunfire, political rallies, lots of speech balloons with bad language, and a pu
Anarchy in the US
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 20, 2012
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Batman — From the comic to the chthonic

Behind the cowl.
Wayne's World
By NICK JOHNSTON  |  July 20, 2012


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Listening to WFNX 1983-2012

WLYN-FM, a 3000-watt station in Lynn, develops a reputation for breaking new acts and playing New Wave — if you can hear it, though most listeners in Boston can't.
Celebrating the live and times of 101.7 FM, Boston's only true alternative radio station
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  July 20, 2012
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Finding out what makes the Meat Puppets tick with a new oral history

As half-assed a form as it can be, the rock-band oral history is a folk form nonetheless, with a great claim to authenticity.
They Ain't Heavy, They're the Kirkwood Brothers
By JAMES PARKER  |  June 01, 2012
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A cautionary tale from 18th-century France

Though there's no hard evidence that Marie Antoinette actually uttered "Let them eat cake," she remains a larger-than-life symbol of ruling-class decadence and a culture of gaping wealth disparity.
Honoring the masses
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 18, 2012
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The Grand Opening

Three rainouts delayed the very first Opening Day at the new Fenway Park, and the sinking of the Titanic initially dimmed enthusiasm.
Excerpted from Fenway Park: The Centennial (St. Martin’s Press, 2012)
By SAUL WISNIA  |  March 30, 2012
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Reel-to-reel: A long-lost Malcolm X speech recovered

I was born just two years before Spike Lee's 1992 biopic about Malcolm X and starting in kindergarten, I have faced the question in an almost endless loop: are you named after him?
History Dept.
By MALCOLM BURNLEY  |  February 10, 2012


End Black History Month

It's that time again! Let's roll out the black history materials and talk about African-Americans as if most people really care about them, during the shortest month of the year.
Diverse-city
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  February 03, 2012
Backtalk - Wenders

Interview: Wim Wenders takes 3D one step further

Some are surprised that Wim Wenders, like fellow veteran of the '70s New German Cinema Werner Herzog, has embraced something as newfangled as 3D.
Pina envy
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 20, 2012
Short take flowers of war

Review: The Flowers of War

In 1937 the invading Imperial Japanese Army killed and raped thousands of people in the Chinese city of Nanjing. The atrocity has recently inspired two Chinese films, including Lu Chuan's City of Life and Death and this unimpressive outing from Zhang
Unimpressive outing from Zhang Yimou
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 20, 2012
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The Making of Paul LePage, Part 2

Governor Paul LePage has made plenty of waves in his first year in office, and has many wondering where his sometimes provocative political attitudes come from. In this two part series we ask: who is Paul LePage?
Rise to Power
By COLIN WOODARD  |  January 20, 2012
Young Goethe in Love 2

Review: Young Goethe in Love

In Philipp Stölzl's fanciful portrait of the artist as a young scamp, the future genius (Alexander Fehling) introduces himself as "Goethe with an 'oe'," earning a reputation as a pratfalling screw-up.
Philipp Stölzl's portrait of the artist as a young scamp
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 20, 2012


Short Takes: The Artist

Review: The Artist(1)

The advent of talking pictures sends a screen idol into both a career nosedive and an identity crisis in Michel Hazanavicius's flashback to Hollywood's transitional period of the late '20s.
Michel Hazanavicius's flashback to '20s-era Hollywood
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  December 23, 2011
From the Back of the Room: Review

Review: From the Back of the Room

Chronicling the past 30 years of women in DIY punk, Amy Oden's documentary deconstructs the myth that punk is an ideal world free of gender prejudices.
Amy Oden's documentary about sexism in the punk rock community
By LIZ PELLY  |  December 09, 2011
Short Take: J. Edgar

Review: J. Edgar

Filmmaker Clint Eastwood, famously Republican, portrays right-wing hero J. Edgar Hoover, the late FBI head, as a self-aggrandizing, conniving bully and mama's boy who broke the law whenever he wanted to bring anyone down.
DiCaprio as right-wing hero J. Edgar Hoover
By GERALD PEARY  |  November 11, 2011
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The ugly side of Providence’s 375th birthday

I do not envy the person assigned with reducing 375 years of Providence history to four words.
Histories
By PHILIP EIL  |  October 14, 2011
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Prohibition drinking game!

Leave it to Ken Burns and PBS to crash our romantic Boardwalk Empire fantasies with a scholarly five-and-a-half-hour, sepia-tinted tome about the rip-roaring Twenties.
Play along with the upcoming Ken Burns documentary
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 30, 2011


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Our quirky, compelling senator

Any faithful reader of the Providence Journal is familiar with the talents of G. Wayne Miller — a reporter with a remarkable knack for storytelling.
Profiles
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 30, 2011

Review: Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

The latest action epic from Hong Kong new wave director Tsui Hark ( Once Upon a Time in China ) is a fact-based historical drama set in 689 AD, a period when "all hell was about to break loose," according to the dense narration that opens the film.
Exhilarating action
By BRETT MICHEL  |  September 23, 2011
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Teaching 9/11

"What do you know about 9/11?"
Textbook Tragedy
By THOMAS PAGE MCBEE  |  September 09, 2011
TJI_hurricane_list

Before Irene, the Hurricane of ’38

The winds kicked up near the West African coast and shot across the Atlantic Ocean. Two weeks later, they barreled past Puerto Rico and turned north.
Calamities
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 02, 2011