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Trump: Making America (Alexander the) Great again?

Some years ago when I was senior cultural writer for Gannett Inc., I interviewed Donald Trump via email for a story on – wait for it – leadership. Among the questions I asked was why he named the most expensive suite in the Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. after Alexander the Great – a passion and study of mine since childhood. His answer was typically Trumpian: “Because he’s the best, and it’s the best.”

I thought of that as I read Richard Conniff’s piece, “Donald Trump and Other Animals,” in the Week in Review section of the Sunday New York Times. In it, Conniff quotes a passage from his “The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide” that Trump used in the introduction to his book “Trump: Think Like A Billionaire" ...

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My big, fat Greek odyssey, Part II: Hello, Thessaloniki

Our Times Journey group of Alexandrians no sooner got acclimated to Athens than it was time to bid the city – and its mesmerizing views of the Acropolis – a brief farewell and head north to Thessaloniki, about an hour’s flight, or the distance between New York and Washington D.C.

Named for a younger half-sister of Alexander the Great – his father, the crafty, lusty Philip II, having loved much but apparently none too well – Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece but the main one in the misty, highland Macedonian region that was once Philip’s kingdom.

At Athens International Airport, I scored a small, hefty, well-molded head of the Acropolis Museum Alexander in a gift shop, plus a free copy of the “Greece is….Thessaloniki” magazine, with an Andy Warhol Alexander on the cover, so I was pumped. ...

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Trump, locker rooms and the ‘authenticity’ of the moment

When Donald Trump excused his lewd, explosive conversation with Billy Bush from 2005 as “locker room talk,” my ears pricked up and not just because the gender wars he’s engendered have been such excellent fodder for a blog titled “The Games Men Play.”

In my forthcoming novel “The Penalty for Holding” (Less Than Three Press, 2017), about a gay, biracial quarterback’s quest for identity, acceptance, success and love in the NFL, I have a couple of locker room moments in which women are discussed and even confronted in a less than respectful manner. ...

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