Floyd Patterson had an ego the size of a soybean, and, sandwiched between Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali in the great scheme of boxing, he needed one that small. If getting knocked out in the first round by Sonny Liston twice within a 10-month span wasn't enough, Patterson had to sit back and watch Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman -- the undisputed titans of the sport in the 1960s and '70s -- peck at and then whittle away and then eventually eclipse his legacy as a fighter.
Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, a 62-year-old career politician from--and Mike Myers' fans may be permitted a chuckle here--Aurora, Illinois, stands on the second rung of presidential succession, right after the veep. Should, as Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) is attempting to do, President Bush and Vice President Cheney be impeached and removed from office (a liberal lark, perhaps, but serious enough to attract the attention of The Nation's Washington correspondent John Nichols, who reported on it Wednesday), Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert would become President Hastert, and America would enter the Hastert era. First Lady Laura will become First Lady Jean. Crawford will move to Yorkville, Illinois, on the Fox River.
A new book investigates the oft-overlooked subject of children whose parents are serving hard time. TAP sits down with Nell Bernstein, author of All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated (The New Press, 2005). Bernstein is an award-winning journalist whose stories have appeared in The Washington Post, Mother Jones, salon.com, and Newsday. She was a Soros Justice Media Fellow at the Open Society Institute of New York and she wrote the introduction to Juvenile, Joseph Rodriguez's 2004 monograph about jailed youths. She lives in Berkeley, California.
Forget Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor from 2001. Forget Richard Fleischer's Tora! Tora! Tora!, an even better film about the December 7, 1941 attack, from 1970. Forget, even, Fahrenheit 9/11. Forget the us-versus-them schlock, the tacked-on romantic subplots flourishing amidst a backdrop of total war, the mean-spirited finger-pointing.
With Michael Jordan still on the table in the 1984 NBA draft, the Portland Trail Blazers used their first-round pick on Sam Bowie, a 7-foot-1 All-American string bean from Kentucky. Bowie, a walking injury, became a punch line for generations of NBA fans, missing hundreds of games while Air Jordan slowly ascended to greatest-of-all-time status. “We needed a center,” has been the championship-less team's mantra ever since.