"YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AS DAZZLING AS YOUR SUBJECTS"

Friday, August 30, 2013

SOLIDARITY-TO-BE WINS ITS STRIKE, THIRTY-THREE YEARS AGO

SOLIDARNOŚĆ 
IS BEING BORN 
GDANSK, POLAND 
August 30, 1980 


"LET POLAND BE POLAND" 
Solidarity Poster 
Summer 1981 

The story is here 

More Poland, here 

TIMOTHY JOHNSON -- "DR. TIM" -- IN THE EARLY DAYS IN BOSTON

"HOUSE CALL"


DR. TIMOTHY JOHNSON ANSWERS 
VIEWERS' HEALTH CARE QUESTIONS 
WITH THE AID OF "DIRTY HARRY" 
THE MANNEQUIN 
WCVB-TV, Boston, Massachusett

Published in NEWSWEEK 
October 8, 1973, p. 75 

A retrospective on Dr. Johnson's life and work here 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

NIGHT AND THE COLORS OF THE RIVER

NIGHT LIGHTS 
AND NIGHT COLORS 
ON THE RIVER HAN 


CONRAD SEOUL HOTEL AND THE 
INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CENTER (IFC) 
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

WATCHING THAT FACE: BO XILAI SPEAKS UP IN COURT

FIRST DAY OF THE 
TRIAL OF FORMER 
CCP POLITBURO MEMBER 
BO XILAI 
August 22, 2013 


BO XILAI CHAIRING 
THE LIAONING PROVINCE DELEGATION 
TO THE 16TH PARTY CONGRESS
Beijing, November 2002 

Today was finally the first day of the deposed Politburo member's trial. When I wrote "Watch This Face" three years ago (here), was there anyone who could have imagined these developments? His political life gone, the prospect of legal retribution for "corruption" looming, towered over by two apparently especially chosen extra-tall guards, Bo Xilai, finally given a chance to speak at least semi-publicly (there are dispatches from the court but no live or total video), was indeed speaking up for himself and contesting the prosecution case -- not going softly into the history books -- if he could help it.

It is thought that there will likely be one more day of the trial, and that the outcome is not likely to be in doubt. 

Some background and ongoing coverage, including grab shots from the courtroom, can be found here and here and here and here.   

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

THE LAST DAY OF THE AUGUST 1991 SOVIET COUP

THE RUSSIA DELEGATION 
BRINGS MIKHAIL GORBACHEV 
HOME TO MOSCOW 
THE SOVIET DELEGATION 
IS ACED OUT 




Russia Vice-President ALEKSANDR RUTSKOI 
(center left, with dark hair and moustache) and 
 Russian Prime Minister IVAN SILAYEV 
(center right, with white hair
at the Congress of People's Deputies of 
the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic 
July 1991 

On Wednesday, August 21, 1991, a delegation of Russian leaders including Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi and Prime Minister Ivan Silayev flew to Foros in the Crimea, where Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was said to have been held against his will since Sunday, August 18th.  A delegation of Soviet leaders flew in a separate plane.  Gorbachev rejected them as implicated in the coup against him, and flew back to Moscow with the Russian delegation instead.  His arrival in the early hours of August 22nd definitively ended the coup, but Gorbachev was soon to find he had stepped back into a very different political world. 

More to come in  RUSSIA REDUX 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

LARRY KUDLOW IS SIXTY-SIX

LAWRENCE KUDLOW 
b. August 20, 1947 


Published in the April 27, 1981, issue of 
BUSINESS WEEK, p. 12 
in the Economic Diary for Apr. 6-Apr. 10 
William Wolman, Editor 

Investors, it seems, "do not believe the
[Reagan] Administration's forecast of rapid economic growth and lower inflation. One problem may be the forecast's glaring internal inconsistency.  
     "This inconsistency was admitted frankly today by Lawrence A. Kudlow, chief economist of the Office of Management and Budget...." 

Today Larry Kudlow is an author, a syndicated columnist, and the host of CNBC's "Kudlow & Company"; his website is here

WHY THE AUGUST COUP? THE UNION TREATY WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN SIGNED TWENTY-TWO YEARS AGO TODAY

DAY THREE OF 
THE 1991 AUGUST COUP 
August 20, 1991 


NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV 
President of Kazakhstan 
Photographed in 1997 
In office in 1991, and still in office today 


From RUSSIA REDUX, Chapter Eight: 

Gorbachev has described the coup plotters "as 'egotistical careerists' who decided to act against him when it became clear that there would be no place for them in the new order."  The new order was to be brought into being by the signing of the Union Treaty on August 20, 1991; it "would have reshaped the Soviet Union as a loose confederation of sovereign states and resulted in a major government shake-up."  So it was not just some abstract concerns about intergovernmental structures which drove the conspirators, according to their patron, but the detailed knowledge about kto kogo -- who was going to do what to whom. 

For Gorbachev was convinced, afterwards, that his conversations with the top republican leaders at Novo-Ogarëvo were bugged, and what they contained was dynamite.  Gorbachev has been releasing this dynamite in pieces.  In an early version he revealed that: 

Yeltsin, Nazarbayev, and I already had an understanding that once the Union Treaty had been signed, and without waiting for the new constitution, we would move toward new organs of power and new elections.  We were thinking in terms of agreeing this [sic] with other republic leaders too.  Thus, new people would have come to the fore. 

Yeltsin of Russia, Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, and Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, had reached an understanding. 

And so some of the "old people," people Gorbachev had appointed,  organized the coup -- the GKChPists, including Vladimir Kryuchkov (the KGB) and Dmitry Yazov (Ministry of Defense) and Boris Pugo (Ministry of the Interior).  

But they did not seize Boris Yeltsin. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

THE 1991 AUGUST COUP, DAY TWO

THE COUP BECOMES PUBLIC 
THE TANKS ENTER MOSCOW 
BORIS YELTSIN STANDS ON ONE 
August 19, 1991 


DMITRY YAZOV 
SOVIET ARMY MARSHAL 
USSR DEFENSE MINISTER, August 1991 

Photographed in 2005, after his membership in the failed GKChP coup attempt led to eighteen months in prison, and after the Presidential (Putin) award of the Order of Merit, November 2004 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

TWENTY-TWO YEARS AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF THE AUGUST COUP IN THE USSR

DAY ONE 
GORBACHEV 
IN FOROS 
August 18, 1991 


BORIS YELTSIN (l.) and  
MIKHAIL GORBACHEV (r.
Shake Hands at Yeltsin's First Inauguration 
as Russia's First President 
July 10, 1991 

Some background to the coup that helped precipitate the breakup of the Soviet Union: 

As of June 12, 1991, Russia had a popularly elected president, for the first time in its history.  As the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, though, Russia was one part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which had its own president, Mikhail Gorbachev, who, however, had not sought, and did not have, a popular mandate.  Gorbachev did attend, and speak at, Yeltsin's inauguration on July 10 (above). 

After the election, Yeltsin set about building up his Moscow as a power base and Russia as a sovereign entity, claiming resources the "Center" had hitherto controlled.  In August he made a tour of Tyumen', a major oil and gas province of Russia.  The day the coup began, Sunday, August 18, he was back in the Moscow region.  Gorbachev was vacationing in Foros.  It was there that the State Committee for the State of Emergency, or coup plotters, did or did not arrest the head of the Soviet state and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  In any event, they announced that Mikhail Sergeyevich (Gorbachev) was ill. 

Day One. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

JIANG ZEMIN TURNS EIGHTY-SEVEN

JIANG ZEMIN 
泽民 
b. August 17, 1926 


JIANG ZEMIN (center, seated

Former President of the People's Republic of China, 
Former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, 
and Former Chair of the Central Military Commission, 
in the front row of the dais at the 18th Party Congress, 
 Beijing, November 2012 

Then Prime Minister WEN JIABAO (right) is standing attentively; then President HU JINTAO (left) is otherwise engaged. 

Gone from his various offices for up to a decade, Jiang Zemin is still apparently a player, having made news recently voicing his support for his (second and current) successor, Xi Jinping. 

More Jiang Zemin here 

Friday, August 16, 2013

IN MEMORIAM: ROBERT & ENID FOGEL

ROBERT W. FOGEL 
July 1, 1926-June 11, 2013 
ENID M. FOGEL 
1923-September 2, 2007 


Published in TIME Magazine 
June 17, 1974, p. 98 
on the occasion of the publication of 
TIME ON THE CROSS 
(co-written with Stanley Engerman)  

In 1993, Robert Fogel won, with Douglass North, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.  Enid Fogel is memorialized here and here (with a later photograph of the two of them); there is much more about Robert Fogel here and here and here and here and here and here

Quotation for the day (from the Los Angeles Times): 
"'My main point, of course, was that markets don't guarantee that evil systems will collapse, because sometimes they're very effective, and only political intervention can bring an immoral system to an end,' Fogel told The Times after winning the Nobel.  'That was the lesson: Morality is a higher human goal than just efficiency.'"  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

BORIS YELTSIN IN THE NEWS TODAY II

WHAT ELECTIONS 
CAN BRING 


BORIS YELTSIN VOTING 
IN THE 1991 RUSSIAN 
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 
(the first) 
Moscow, June 12, 1991 

Pausing in casting his ballot to help 
the photographers get their pictures 

Yeltsin won 


Today Boris Yeltsin is the news as a comparison point in a Forbes piece by Melik Kaylan on "Understanding Egypt": 
"The last decade has introduced to the world the novel phenomenon of the genuinely re-elected dictator, the populist who gets successive mandates largely because he controls all information, much of the economy, starves opponents of funds, because he has delivered a measure of stability and because the alternative looks worse. The alternative might be what went before – Boris Yeltsin in Moscow...." 
Well.... 

THE WASHINGTON POST SOLD ITSELF; THE NEW YORK TIMES SOLD THE BOSTON GLOBE

A LOOK BACK AT A 
CELEBRATED EDITOR 
IN HIS GLORY DAYS 


THOMAS WINSHIP 
in his Boston GLOBE office 
the paper's symbol (mascot?) in front of him 
checking out the competition 
The Boston Herald Traveler  

More about Tom Winship here 

The sale of the Globe to principal Red Sox owner John W. Henry, announced August 3, 2013, is discussed here and here.  The sale of the Washington Post to Amazon's Jeffrey Bezos, revealed only two days later, is the subject of this posting

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BORIS YELTSIN IN THE NEWS TODAY

BORIS YELTSIN 
CHECKS IT OUT 


BORIS YELTSIN INSPECTS THE BOOKS 
Sakhalinskaya Oil Platform 
Sea of Okhotsk, off the City of Okha 
Sakhalin Island, Sakhalin Oblast', USSR 
August 1990 

From today's Washington Post obituary of Kongar-ol Ondar, a "master of throat singing" from the Russian republic of Tuva: 

He mesmerized audiences with his ability to produce two or more notes simultaneously — a low, steady drone overlaid with higher-pitched tones that to the unaccustomed ear sounded like a radio gone haywire. 
His talent was so extraordinary that when he sang for Yeltsin in 1994, the Russian leader looked into his mouth in search of a device that could produce such music. 

From Russia Redux, Chapter Six:  Yeltsin "was never kabinetnyi, never one to be desk-bound."  He "liked to be out in the field, seeing things first hand." 

IT ALL STARTED IN THE GDANSK SHIPYARD, THIRTY-THREE YEARS AGO

ONE OF THE 
FIRST FRUITS OF 
THE RISE OF SOLIDARITY 
IN POLAND 


1980 MONUMENT 
TO THE WORKERS 
WHO DIED IN 1970 

Photographed in the summer of 1981 

Construction of this monument was one of the key demands of the Gdansk Lenin Shipyard workers who rose up on August 14, 1980, and gave birth to the movement known as Solidarność (Solidarity).  It was up by December 1980, and said to be built to last, so it could not just be torn down with another turn of the political wheel.  It is still up in 2013.  The shipyard and the shipyard workers have not fared so well -- except, of course, that ultimately they helped "Let Poland Be Poland." 

More of the story here and here

Monday, August 12, 2013

GEORGE SOROS TURNS EIGHTY-THREE

GEORGE SOROS 
b. August 12, 1930 


b. GYÖRGY SCHWARTZ 
in Hungary 

Chair, Soros Fund Management 

Photographed a decade and a half ago 
in Moscow, Russia, 
in a hospital Soros was aiding