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War and Politics by Other Means

A Journalist’s Memoir

By Shelby Scates

Publication Year: 2000

Published by: University of Washington Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Quote

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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Obion County

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pp. 3-10

My best friends in those hard times in the 1930s in West Tennessee were John Lee, Jerry, Wolf (pronounced Wuff), Hunter Byrd, and Charles. We played football, baseball, and imaginary war games and fought each other. On Saturdays we went together to the cowboy picture show at the Capitol Theatre, ...

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The Making of a Journalist: Blue Sky, Blue Water

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pp. 11-26

Life on merchant ships in blue water is like a marriage without love. The seaman is intimate with all the sounds, smells, and details of his partner—the vessel, crew, and water—and wed for the length stated in documents signed before the voyage. But the union loses its passion and becomes monotonous. ...

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pp. 27-33

Al politics, to paraphrase former House Speaker Tip O'Neill, was personal when I grew up in the rural South. It was also (Big D) Democratic, the result of Republican-imposed Reconstruction after the Civil War. There was one Republican family in Obion County, Tennessee, where I spent most of my early years, ...

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pp. 34-50

I came to journalism by happenstance, a string of accidents, the most significant being shrapnel from a .30-caliber bullet taken in the face at the end of live ammunition field maneuvers at Hohenfelds, Germany, in October 1955. I survived, although minus one eye, and thus unfit for further duty as an infantry line officer. ...

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pp. 51-66

The nation woke up in the 1950s to a nightmarish hangover. Two centuries of racial injustice toward blacks burst from the recesses of our culture, and the pages of post—Civil War apartheid laws, into the mainstream of American politics. ...

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pp. 67-79

Like salmon determined to swim upstream, no matter the opposing current, it has been the biological impulse of minor league baseball players and wire-service newsmen working the boondocks to "make the majors"—to move up in class in competition and rewards. ...

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pp. 80-91

There was much to expose when I debuted in Olympia for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, nothing like the relatively open payoffs in Louisiana and Oklahoma, but a more subtle, thus more interesting, kind of game between politicians and the special interests. ...

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pp. 92-110

"Wild trip," says my notebook at the end of it, March 6, 1968. Air Force One had just landed at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., disgorging its human cargo, President and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, the chairman and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all four-star generals, ...

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More Happenstance

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pp. 111-122

Up to 1967 everything I knew about the State of Israel and conflict in the Middle East came from Fox and Hearst movie newsreels and two acquaintances of disparate personalities: Gallagher, a man about the University of Washington campus, 1950 to 1I954, told tales of Israel's War of Independence in 1948; ...

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The Six-Day War

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pp. 123-140

It's not sad to say that there never will be another war like the one commencing that bright June morning, a clash without the use of nuclear weapons, open to all newsmen wishing to witness battle firsthand, and one with tactics from the now obsolescent playbooks of George Patton, Heinz Guderian, Erwin Rommel, ...

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The Palestinians: The "War of Attrition"

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pp. 141-159

On May 27, 1970, almost three years since the end of the Six-Day War, I took a taxi from the Intercontinental Hotel on Jebel Amman in Amman, Jordan, across a deep valley to a guarded compound on Jebel Hussein, only a high-powered rifle shot away. This was headquarters for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). ...

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Cambodia and Us

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pp. 160-173

"Have you the Buddha?" asked our guide before we moved across a dry gully in the heavy morning heat and into the noman's land separating guerrillas of the Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF) and regulars of the Vietnamese army—the ant and the elephant of Southeast Asia, warring in the scrub forest of northwestern Cambodia. ...

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pp. 174-189

To escape the journalism of war and politics, I discovered mountaineering, the safest refuge for the romantic, the best place to sate the quest for beauty and the thrill of life a step away from oblivion. It is not "because it's there" that men and women climb a mountain. The reason is not so complicated. ...

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pp. 190-202

The Mississippi River, a willful thing of nature, comes down about 25 miles from its junction with the Ohio below Cairo at Byrd's Point before it ignores the forgotten towns of Columbus and Hickman, Kentucky, on its passage to the Gulf of Mexico. The river made those places on the bluffs of southwestern Kentucky, ...


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pp. 212-227

A Few Words about Sources

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pp. 203-206


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pp. 207-214

Production Notes

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p. 240-240

E-ISBN-13: 9780295802947
E-ISBN-10: 0295802944
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295980096
Print-ISBN-10: 0295980095

Publication Year: 2000