Bursting History’s Seams

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The story that American Betrayal brings to light continues to catch on. Sometimes it catches fire immediately; sometimes it lights a fuse. Sometimes the book interupts the coursing brain waves of the fixed consensus, entering the conventional pageantry, the non-conforming intruder. Suddenly, the old lore isn’t sufficient, isn’t making sense, isn’t even comforting anymore. Then along comes something such as 14 hours of “The Roosevelts” on PBS by Ken Burns, and the “court history,”  playing America’s heartstrings with every Pavolovian prompt, is re-engraved on our mass cultural core — even the camera passes right over the faces of Alger Hiss and Harry Hopkins sitting behind the Yalta conference table!

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