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Who wrote the Great American Novel? As readers of No Comment know, I award that honor with no hesitation, to Harper Lee of Monroeville, Alabama, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. And yesterday in Montgomery, Harper Lee broke many years of public silence, uttering the most important words spoken in Alabama in many decades.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee is a woman of few words and generally avoids media interviews and public appearances. But the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” broke her silence briefly Monday at a ceremony inducting four new members, including former home-run king Hank Aaron, into the Alabama Academy of Honor. Lee, who lives in Monroeville, is a member of the academy, which honors living Alabamians, and was in the audience for Monday’s ceremony.
At the end of the ceremony, Academy of Honor chairman Tom Carruthers joked with Lee, saying he knew she had something she wanted to say to the crowd.
“Well it’s better to be silent than to be a fool,” Lee said.
The audience burst into laughter and gave Lee a standing ovation.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”