Jewish World Review Oct. 29, 2013/ 25 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774
A tale of two cities
By Paul Greenberg
Cardinals Meet Red Sox in World Series. It was headline news in 1946, too. Which wasn't the only similarity between now and then. Because it was the best of times, the worst of times, like a lot of other years in always bubbling and simmering and broiling history, especially the American kind. We didn't come to this
By the post-war year 1946, triumph was already giving way to tragedy. Our Fighting Russian Allies were morphing into the International Communist Conspiracy as an Iron Curtain descended over
Whether prime minister or not at the time, the Rt. Hon.
As usual after a world war, normalcy had begun to stir. A revived and recast "Show Boat," the 1927 hit, would open at the Ziegfeld on the glittering night of
Those dreaded V-2 rockets
The sky wasn't the limit any more -- not for the American economy, either. Wartime price controls were still holding on, but the natives had grown restive and nostalgic for open competition, the free market, and meat you didn't need ration stamps to buy. In the fall, the Democratic majority in the House became a Republican one, and the old economy, like one of
American labor unions, having traded their right to strike for the closed shop during the war years, were unleashed. Strike after strike paralyzed the country. Things were definitely back to normal, aka Creative Destruction. All was a jumble. Welcome to
In the midst of all this, the Red Sox would meet the Cards in the 1946 World Series. That was also the year Tinker to Evers to Chance made baseball's Hall of Fame and the game was dominated by two sluggers: DiMaggio and Williams, art and science.
In the showdown that made headlines in 1946, the Cards introduced their own secret weapon -- the Williams Shift -- in which the whole infield shifted to the right, much like the country's electorate. Third baseman Whitey Kurowski would play just to the right of shortstop
It wouldn't have worked against a less stubborn hitter and American.
So did 1946. That was the year, my friend, that was the year, we thought it would never end. But like all good things, and bad, it did.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way -- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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