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2016 Spring War Stories

Angels, Protesters and Patriots: What a Long-Ago Skirmish Says About Love of Country

Lately, I’ve been thinking about an incident that happened in 1965, seven years before I was born. It centered on an antiwar protest in Berkeley, one of the first of countless such protests to come. Though just a blip in the grand scheme of Vietnam era turmoil, it seems to point to something important about […]

The Extremes of Human Experience: Maybe That’s What Attracts Men to War

I registered for the draft when I was 18 and was called up in March 1944, just five years after my parents and I had arrived in the United States as Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. I still hadn’t finished high school and was technically an “enemy alien.” My eyesight was so bad that I […]

All Quiet on the DMZ: The History of the Cold War Didn’t Always Make History

We all have a certain subset of memories burned deep in our forebrains: images so vivid, so invested with emotion that the decades serve to sharpen rather than diminish their resolution. It could be a few mental frames from childhood: a tableau of mother and puppy on a vast expanse of lawn. Or a traumatic […]

Sketching Elijah: Bullet Wounds Got a Sniper Out of the Army—But He Still Wasn’t Free

I’d been sitting there for 30 minutes staring at my Arabic homework when Elijah texted me. What do you think about getting together around 5?SureOK where you wanna meet at?I’m studying at Peet’s on Telegraph if that’s cool with you As usual, I’d chosen a small table close to the wall and sat facing the […]

How a Berkeley Eccentric Beat the Russians—and Then Made Useless, Wondrous Objects

Just like that, Cliff Stoll, goofball Berkeley hippie, had suddenly become Cliff Stoll, Cold Warrior.

Like Fungi in the Bank: Sierra Nevada Forests Invest in Fire-Withstanding Fungi

The Rim Fire, sweeping through the Sierra Nevada in 2013, rendered 257,000 acres of vegetation into ash, razed whole stands of trees, and ranked as the third biggest wildfire in California history. But the conflagration also sparked a discovery, if you happened to be a mycologist running a field experiment in the area. UC Berkeley […]