Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
An exceptional craftsman, he gives readers an aesthetic as well as political experience and has evoked comparisons to H.L. Mencken and William Allen White. A thoughtful essayist who can also be a devastating critic, Greenberg describes himself as "an ideologically unreliable conservative."
Greenberg won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing and was a Pulitzer finalist in 1978 and 1986. Among his many other honors are the 1988 William Allen White Award, the 1988 Arkansas Associated Press Editorial Writing Award, the 1987 H.L. Mencken Award, the 1983 University of Missouri School of Journalism Medal of Honor, the American Society of Newspaper Editors' 1981 Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary, and the 1964 Grenville Clark Editorial Award. He also won two Walker Stone Awards, in 1985 and 1986.
Greenberg has been on the board of the National Conference of Editorial Writers and served as a Pulitzer jurist in 1984 and 1985. He is the author of the critically acclaimed "Resonant Lives: 50 Figures of Consequence" and "Entirely Personal."
Editorial page editor for the Pine Bluff Commercial in Arkansas from 1962 until 1992 – except for a hiatus as a Chicago Daily News editorial writer in 1966-67 – Greenberg lectures nationwide and regularly provides political analysis on Arkansas network television.
How say anything clear about a presidential address to the nation that wasn't?
Man cannot bear too much uncertainty. We like our problems spelled out as clearly as possible, the choices before us arranged neatly, maybe with little boxes beside each to check "For and Against," for nothing seems to frustrate us like being handed an indeterminate sentence and told to persevere. As patience runs out, making a bad decision may come to seem better than making none at all. At least it would end the suspense.
Once again our secretary of state is busy observing American foreign policy rather than shaping it.
Just a few blocks away from Little Rock's snaggle-toothed skyline, its intersecting interstates and rush-hour traffic, an island of respite opens in the middle of downtown. It's an exhibit of photographs taken between 1995 and 2012 in and around sleepy little Wilmot (Pop. 550) down in Ashley County. That's in L.A., or Lower Arkansas, the southernmost part of the state, which is about as Southern as it gets.
The scholar H.W. Fowler described and diagnosed many a linguistic malady in his classic study, "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage," back in that very modern year 1926.
Sometimes all it takes is a single snippet in the news to open a world of insights.
What a surfeit of surreal scenes have been pouring out of little Ferguson, Missouri, these past few weeks -- as if they'd never end. Amazing.
On this Labor Day weekend, like most Americans, I come to praise labor, not indulge in it. Has there ever been a people that speechified more about the joys and satisfactions of work and the work ethic, yet was so enamored of labor-saving devices?
Ebola isn't the only plague in this troubled world.
The on-again, off-again war in Gaza and Israel is on again, with a massive barrage of rockets fired at whatever targets Hamas can hope to reach in the Jewish state -- Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, anything and everything in between. The Israelis then strike back with an air assault that, by all signs, will be followed by their next land invasion of the Gaza Strip, their third of the decade. Or maybe fourth or fifth. It's not easy to keep count.
Lauren Bacall's death at 89 got front-page coverage complete with picture in the New York Times, and it deserved to. Like so many American images and voices in our vast celluloid memory bank, she may have been more familiar than famous -- if the definition of fame has something to do with greatness rather than just exposure. But familiar she definitely was, at least to the generation of American moviegoers who grew up with movies the way their grandchildren now grow up with the Internet.
In one of those faux Ye Old English Tea Shoppes serving tidbits as inauthentic as its spelling and typography, Margaret Thatcher briefly shares her thoughts on our current "wobbly" President.
"I think this is going to take some time," our president warned last Saturday as he took off for a vacation on Martha's Vineyard, maybe because he felt he had to offer some explanation as Iraq collapsed along with his foreign policy in general.
It was just a snippet of conversation overheard in a crowded restaurant: "... and we put the Buddha in the TV room."
There are certain rivals who may differ on the issues, and in style and background and even basic attitude, yet understand and respect one other. For they belong to the same club -- the fraternity of the great.
Only now, after the latest offshoot of al-Qaida has emerged out of the desert in fanatical strength, cut through whatever is left of the Iraqi "army," and allowed to advance in all directions, has the supposed commander in chief of this country's armed forces been heard from. Vaguely.
We sit quietly, maybe a dozen of us, in the little synagogue a couple of blocks off the interstate here in Little Rock, and wait for night to fall -- like Anne Frank and her family in the Secret Annex, not stirring during the day lest they attract attention, waiting for dark.
It made no sense, not from any rational perspective. Even as Gaza was falling in all around it, Hamas kept firing rocket after rocket in the general direction of Israel, no matter how many might hit or miss or go completely astray, as when they fell inside Gaza itself -- as many did.
The innocent American could only read the headlines and shake his head sorrowfully at the continuing carnage in Gaza -- a pillar of fire by night and a cloud of smoke by day. How did this happen again? Simple: Hamas renewed its indiscriminate attacks on Israel through overhead rockets, underground tunnels, words and deeds -- and Israel finally responded in force.