Letters: Reflections on Larry Craig, 'Great Upheaval'

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Listeners have written in with responses to Scott Simon's essay about Sen. Larry Craig and a conversation with historian Jay Winik about his new book, The Great Upheaval.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: A number of people wrote us about our interview last week with Jay Winik about his new book, "The Great Upheaval."

Amy Kensal(ph) of Shoreline, Washington, took issues with Professor Winik's assertion that America's founders remained true to their ideals, while the French did not. She says while the United States did not witness the bloody executions that occurred in France, the enslavement of millions of African-Americans, not to mention the forced removal of tens of thousands of American Indians from the eastern states, hardly lived up to revolutionary ideals.

Many, many people felt compelled to respond to my recent essay on Senator Larry Craig of Idaho.

Leny Nowak(ph) of Mendocino, California, wrote: Thank you for the grounded and sane critique amid the current storm of over-the-top misplaced hysteria, not to mention police and legal resources regarding this non-event. The heartfelt and eloquent recognition that we are all complex human beings, including every one of us being hypocrites in some level, was sobering and refreshing.

But Don Charles(ph) of Kansas City, Missouri, was unconvinced. I'm one of those people you disapprove of, the one celebrating the exposure of Larry Craig, he wrote. Children access public restrooms and they can see what the consenting adults are doing in there. I saw it a few times as a child, and it always frightened me. And as an adult, I've also had men try to solicit sex from me in a toilet. It's inappropriate and threatening. I dare say, a majority of people agreed with me, and that's why they complained to police about restroom solicitation.

Finally, in our conversation last week with Sophie Milman, we talked about her recording of the classic song, "Fever."

Jim Davis(ph) of Atlanta wrote that I, quote, "rightly praise Ms. Milman's chutzpah for essaying "Fever" in the shadow of Peggy Lee's version." But what most people didn't know, even in the 1950s, that the song was first recorded by Little Willie John in a totally different and, to me, better arrangement.

So a white Southern early teenager raised with the attitudes one might expect from that background, I still couldn't resist the music played on WAOK, a white-owned black-format station that all my friends listen to. Little Willie John's version was, well, maybe, you could listen to it. See for yourself.

Yeah, okay, let's.

(Soundbite of song, "Fever")

LITTLE WILLIE JOHN (Singer): (Singing) You never know how much I love you, never know how much I care. When you put your arms around me. I get a fever that's so hard to bear. You give me fever when you kiss me. Fever when you hold me tight. Fever in the morning. Fever all through the night.

SIMON: We welcome your comments. Come to our Web site, npr.org, and click on Contact Us. And please remember to tell us where you live and how to say your name.

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