Andrew's blog

Native Son

It is clear almost from the beginning that Bigger Thomas is doomed, trapped in a downward spiral that will lead to arrest, prison, or death, driven by despair, frustration, poverty, and incomprehension.

Flaubert's Parrot

Julian Barnes astounds. Just what sort of book is this, anyway? A literary biography of 19th century French novelist, radical, and intellectual impresario Gustave Flaubert? A meditation on the uses and misuses of language? A novel of obsession, denial, irritation, and underhanded connivery? A thriller complete with disguises, sleuthing, mysterious meetings, and unknowing targets?

Making world history for free

This spring will mark fifteen years since I built my first web site -- years marked by an avalanche of convulsive technological change. It was the spring of 1994, and I was working at Microsoft as the managing editor of the Microsoft Developer Network, in charge of providing information, software development kits, and useful resources to an audience of a few million developers creating software for Windows.

Bradford Molsen, where are you?

MSFT internet magazine archiveI can play the clip in my head any time I want. The sun shines brightly on a clear, crisp day in November 1961. I am coming in off the playground with my sixth-grade class at Holmes School in Wheaton, Illinois. The boys are horsing around, jockeying for position in line, cutting up. We’ve just come up a slight, grassy incline onto the hard, cracked asphalt.

The creation of hope

Jogging around Green Lake in Seattle early this morning with my friend Mike, and we caught this stunning view of the sunrise. The air was still and calm, temperature just above freezing, the black bare branches of the trees framing the mirrored sky. A few minutes after Mike snapped this photo, we stopped by a dock so that Mike could practice -- with me as his trial audience -- a talk he will be giving soon to a philanthropy conference in another state. With this view behind him, Mike gave me a 4-minute speech.

Egyptian Democracy?

This morning I find myself glued to the radio listening to ongoing coverage of what appears to be a powerful democratic revolution being waged by hundreds of thousands of unarmed protesters on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and other major cities.

A Model of Civility - Jon Stewart

An eloquent and thoughtful discourse from Jon Stewart at the beginning of The Daily Show on Monday. I really loved hearing from Jon that it was possible to call for respect and wisdom from all of us who live in this democracy and share responsibility for the tone of our dialogue -- without needing to blame anybody other than the shooter -- for last week's murderous rampage in Arizona. Sometimes crazy people do crazy things, and you just don't know what might have set someone off.

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