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King Author

Late author Florence King (1936-2016) was Fredericksburg’s most famous resident and the neighbor I most wanted to meet. I’ve been a fan since 1975 when I found her book Southern Ladies and Gentlemen as tangy as a bowl of perfectly seasoned Hoppin’ John. Her adroitness at simultaneously celebrating and vivisecting herds of sacred cattle left me reeling, and, as a fellow Southerner sharing Virginia roots, she also had me laughing my ass off. That book was followed by Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady which convinced me that this shamelessly rowdy misanthrope was Dixie’s answer to Dorothy Parker. Defining herself as “slightly to the right of Vlad the Impaler,” Miss King (as she preferred to be called) spent over four decades skewering anything and...

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Circling the Facts

The decision of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his City Council to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee and rename Lee Circle is troubling on a number of levels. Erasing evidence of New Orleans’s Confederate sympathy in the Civil War is a betrayal of truth, tantamount to saying it never existed. That slavery is heinous and indefensible is irrefutable fact, but is removing proof of its presence a responsible way of addressing it? I certainly support relegating the rebel flag to museums, but this self-aggrandizing political bandwagon is as shameful as it is ill-conceived. The rewriting of history has proven to be dangerous and irresponsible time and again, especially when it sets precedents. Landrieu’s actions have already spawned criticism of the...

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