Author Archives: DBD

The Warrior Life: Society and Culture in the Warrior Cats Books

Recently, I have been reading—obsessively, some might say—books from the Warriors series by Erin Hunter ( These books, which feature a group of cats living in the wild, are classified as juvenile fiction (target ages 8–12), but I find nothing … Continue reading

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An Open Letter to Secretary of the Interior Zinke re the Bears Ears National Monument

Dear Secretary Zinke: I have read the text of the Antiquities Act of 1906, and it contains no provision for the review you have undertaken, so I regard the entire process as having questionable legitimacy at best. This review has … Continue reading

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Public Lands: You Can’t “Take Back” What Was Never Yours (Part 1)

We have heard a lot of talk lately from a variety of people, ranging from the Bundys and their cohorts in Oregon to the state legislatures of western states, about “taking back” public lands from the Federal Government. This premise … Continue reading

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In Which I Praise Daniel Pinkwater

Daniel Pinkwater is a genius—admittedly a frequently misused word but, in this case, entirely appropriate. Pinkwater is a prolific author of what are ostensibly children’s books. His books, now numbering around 200, span the range from picture books to chapter … Continue reading

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Edwin Corle: an Appreciation

Edwin Corle (1906–1956) was a moderately successful American author of both fiction and nonfiction. He never wrote a best seller, none of his work entered the academic cannon, and today he is largely forgotten. He is also one of my … Continue reading

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How Radio Free Oz Saved Me from Mormonism

As some of my old friends are aware, I converted my family to Mormonism when I was ten years old, in 1960. I’ll explain the how and why of that some other time, but for the current story, it is … Continue reading

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An Open Letter to Democrats

I am one of those independent voters who are talked about so much in our political news and commentary. I have never been a registered member of either of the two major parties, since neither consistently represents my interests and … Continue reading

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By Train in Italy (and Elsewhere)

During a recent trip, my wife, Marina, and I took an eight-day train excursion around Northern Italy—mainly in Lombardy and the Veneto. Starting in Varese, the nearest station to Marina’s hometown of Arcisate, we traveled to Bergamo, Verona, Vicenza, Padua, … Continue reading

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About the Title…

I once remarked to my wife, on the matter of organizing and shelving books, that “all categories are elastic.” This expression has become a bit of shibboleth with us, and I have adopted it as the title for this blog … Continue reading

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