Stories categorized “US columns”:

The town that loved lynching

Published April 1989.

The Scotsman April 1989 The old sheriff of Montgomery County, Ben Hicks, had an answer for everything. A black man had just been burned alive in front of his office in the courthouse square in the middle of Conroe while a crowd of hundreds of white men, women and children looked on. The sheriff himself […]

Plastic people

Published March 1989.

Mail on Sunday magazine March 1989 This is the story of an American romance, of a man and a woman alone in this crazy world with only their dreams and a standard set of surgical tools to inspire them, and of how they found happiness in their own special way. The man is Dr Harvey […]

Searching for justice

Published February 1989.

Mail on Sunday magazine February 1989 Grundy is a small colourless town in the bleak backwoods of Virginia down by the border with Tennessee, a poor town where most of the men have “black lung” from working down the coal mine and almost everybody is just about everybody else’s cousin. There was a murder here, […]

Return of the King

Published January 1989.

Mail on Sunday magazine January 1989. It was a sleepy Sunday in Kalamazoo. Louise Welling and her grandson had been to church and had just popped into the grocery store to buy a few things for lunch, and they were standing at the checkout, minding their own business, when they saw Elvis Presley. The King […]

Decline and fall of the American empire

Published January 1989.

The Scotsman and the New Zealand Dominion January 2 1989 There are these three businessman – according to a joke that is currently working its way round Washington – one French, one Japanese and one American. They are about to be killed by some kind of terrorist who grants them a last wish. The Frenchman […]

The women who step out of line

Published December 1988.

The Scotsman and the New Zealand Dominion December 19 1988 The courtroom in Washington DC was tense and quiet. On his bench, Judge Herbert B Dixon was stoney-faced. All eyes were on the witness box,  where a frail woman with a handsome face and long brown hair was speaking in a voice which kept sagging […]

And some seed fell on stoned ground

Published December 1988.

The Scotsman and the New Zealand Dominion December 12 1988 In Chouteau County, Montana, up by the Canadian border, life can be pretty hard. This is grain farming country. Farmers have to fight their way through every season, through the summer droughts and huge winter snowfalls, and then they have to hope and pray that […]

The CIA – a low intelligence agency

Published December 1988.

The Scotsman and the New Zealand Dominion December 5 1988 Exactly eight years ago, President Elect Ronald Reagan huddled with his advisers in a little house in Jackson Place just across the road from the White House and planned the brave new world which they were going to create when they took over the reins […]

Disney, Dickens and Drivel Burgers

Published November 1988.

The Scotsman and the New Zealand Dominion November 28 1988 This may not matter, but last week Walt Disney’s empire splashed its latest cartoon film across American cinema screens. It is the apparently innocuous story of an orphaned cat who takes up with a pack of dogs in New York City and is eventually rescued […]

JFK – a quarter of a century of myth

Published November 1988.

The Scotsman and the New Zealand Dominion November 1988 When Jack Kennedy won the Presidential election in November 1960, he barely scraped home – less than 50% of Americans supported him. But three years later, in the traumatic days after his assassination, a strange and rather moving thing happened: millions of Americans who had not […]

Back to top