My friend Nick Trefethen, in his book Trefethen’s Index Cards, says that “before computers articles and books went through one or two or three drafts before publication.  Authors had to be skilled at envisioning how copy would look in print that was splattered with corrections and reorderings and insertions.  Nowadays, if the author is finicky,…

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On a happier note, let me try to post a photo of mock trial nationals in Albequerque.  A week has passed since we were there, but I am still thinking about what we did well and what we could do better next year.  This photo shows half a dozen of the Exeter team at dinner…

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A wise man, John Kaminski, once told me that the index is the most important part of the book.  “The index is where most researchers will begin,” he said.  “If they are looking for material on paper money, for example, and find no entry for paper money in your index, they will put your book…

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I have reviewed Robert Caro’s new book on Lyndon Johnson for the Washington Independent Review of Books.  Link to the review is here: http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/bookreview/the-passage-of-power-the-years-of-lyndon-johnson/ I realize that my criticisms of Caro’s footnotes may seem petty.  Ultimately, though, footnotes are what distinguish history from historical fiction, and Caro sometimes does not seem sufficiently concerned about that…

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I am just back this evening from Albequerque, where Phillips Exeter competed for the first time in the national high school mock trial championship.  Essentially every state in the nation was represented, along with a few other places:  Guam, Korea, Australia, etc.  Since each team consists of at least eight, and more often about twelve…

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