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Malcom Gladwell, the wonderfully sideways contributor to The New Yorker, appears in Ann Arbor for a talk and signing of his most recent book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Although Gladwell admits he is “the furthest thing from an intuitive decision maker,” that didn’t stop him from writing a book on the mind’s ability to do “complex analysis at warp speed,” writes Metro Times book reviewer John Dicker. Read Dicker’s review at www.metrotimes.com.
At 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 9, at Borders, 612 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-668-7652.
ARCHITECTURE IRONIES: In the early 1930s, architect Philip Johnson, who died Tuesday, Jan. 22, at age 98, aligned his politics with Great Depression populist and anti-Semite Father Charles Coughlin of Royal Oak’s Shrine of the Little Flower. According to biograper Franz Schulze, Johnson was actively involved in the National Union for Social Justice (NUSJ), Coughlin’s political party that ran North Dakota Congressman William Lemke unsuccessfully for president in 1936. After the collapse of the NUSJ, Johnson engaged himself with fascist ideologies, press, eugenics and even Nazi ritual, traveling to Nuremberg in 1938. Later, with the help of Coughlin, he published starry-eyed articles in Coughlin’s Social Justice magazine on Hitler’s Germany.
Fifty years later, Johnson returned to Detroit where he and partner John Burgee designed One Detroit Center (now Comerica Tower) in downtown Detroit, in 1992.
Despite his homosexuality, Johnson connected ironically well with the Catholic Coughlin, joining the ranks of other Detroit architectural paradoxes, including Jewish architect Albert Kahn’s career working for Detroit’s most famous anti-Semite, Henry Ford. —Carleton S. Gholz
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