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Pearl Harbor?

Joe Holley

So I was thinking I might write an obituary on this slow Sunday for "la Dinamitera" (the Dynamite Girl), an 88-year-old heroine of the Spanish Civil War named Rosario Sanchez Mora. But then I remembered an interview with the writer Susan Jacoby on C-Span yesterday.

Jacoby told her interviewer, Nick Gillespie, that the impetus for her new book, "The Age of Unreason," in which she excoriates what she sees as public ignorance, anti-rationalism and anti-intellectualism in American life, was an experience she had in New York City on 9-11. She recalled that a few hours after the attacks on the World Trade Center, she wandered into a Midtown bar and overheard two young men in expensive-looking suits, expensive-looking briefcases at their feet, talking about the day's traumatic events. According to Jacoby, their conversation at the bar went something like this:

"Must be like Pearl Harbor."

"What's Pearl Harbor?"

"That's when Vietnam attacked one of our harbors and started the Vietnam War."

Spanish Civil War? General Franco? Fascists? Spain's Second Republic?

Well, maybe not.

By Joe Holley |  April 27, 2008; 4:31 PM ET  | Category:  Joe Holley
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But you're not writing for them: you're writing for everyone. I'd love to read that obituary.

Posted by: Charlene | April 27, 2008 7:34 PM

Yeah... I'm confused. We don't get a great obit on an interesting woman because two doofuses in NYC didn't know Vietnam from Pearl Harbor?

Posted by: TBG | April 27, 2008 10:20 PM

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