NAYSAYER TO THE NATTERING NABOBS

SPIRO T. AGNEW, 1918-1996

Once upon a time in the '60s, in the days when the culture wars began, there lived an obscure first-term Governor of Maryland--a sleek-looking silvery man who wore sharkskin suits and had hooded eyes that got very small when he was angry. At such moments he looked like a bullet. His name was Spiro Agnew.

Everyone in America was angry in the spring of 1968. After Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, there were riots in many American cities, including Baltimore. Governor Agnew called in the city's black civil-rights leaders and gave them holy hell. The tongue lashing caught the attention...

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