I begin this compilation with "taboo" letters on subjects the major media would not touch with a hundred-foot pole. That's our informal censorship. But they are only a sample.
It might be helpful to start with the appendix. Part one gives background information on domestic matters with an emphasis on economics; the second part deals with international issues. The letters are arranged by topic and alphabetically (except for the first topic, "taboo subjects") and chronologically within each topic.
The great majority of the letters are supposed to be limited to 150 words, more or less, as required by the New York Times, which leaves much unsaid. However, there are four op-ed letters that are much longer, and similarly not printed.
Some topics of importance,like climate change, the National Rifle Association (NRA), racism, and LGBT rights, have been omitted or given little attention because New York Times coverage of these topics has not been too defective.
If there is one underlying theme, it is the attack on democracy spearheaded by the Republican Party and abetted by a complaisant rightist Supreme Court. This theme assumes the dominant role of giant corporations and obscenely wealthy individuals. Evidence of this will find some repetition in the letters.
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About the Author
He left New York in 1948 to attend the University of Utah, where he studied with the great political scientist Francis D. Wormuth. From him he learned integrity in the face of mass media conformity and enthusiastic endorsement of our official Cold War policies, according to which, we were God's chosen emissaries.
After graduating, he had a Fulbright scholarship to study in France (1952-1954), which provided the basis for his doctoral dissertation.
He then served two years in the US Army before going for graduate work at Princeton University, where he obtained his PhD in 1963. He taught at the University of Wisconsin, Northern Illinois University, Purdue University-and finally at California State University, Northridge (1968-1998). His particular teaching focus and interests were in classical political philosophy.
His letters to the editor have been printed by the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post-as well as The Nation, In These Times, Newsweek, and TIME magazines.