Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers respond to Neil Swidey’s long-form narrative on an intriguing piece of BSO history and an essay on millennials in the workplace.


I just finished reading Neil Swidey’s account of the saga of Karl Muck, et al. (“The Muck Affair,” November 5). I’m greatly impressed by the minute details he included in his telling of this interesting story. Kudos! I’ve been attending BSO concerts regularly since 1977. Sitting in Symphony Hall will never be the same.

Antonio Cabral / Easton

What an excellent “symphony” Swidey has written! I enjoyed it immensely.


Lucinda Glicksman / Rockledge, Florida

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That was a splendid piece on Karl Muck and the BSO. Bravo! So much I had not known, especially the Providence Journal’s “fake news.” Poor Henry Lee Higginson. A man of honor and civilization, until events took over. Loved who the villains turned out to be! Terrific job to bring it all out, and wonderfully told.

Margo Miller / Boston

Thank you for “The Muck Affair.” It’s gripping — great research and writing. I appreciate how the writer left the parallels to current circumstances to show themselves, rather than asserting them explicitly. It makes the narrative even stronger.

Rebecca Steinitz / Arlington


What a fun article. It included abuse of a public position of trust, stereotyping and fear of immigrants, fake news, and even a national debate about honoring the Star-Spangled Banner to prove loyalty to the country. Thank goodness that was all in the past century!

Peter Forman / Plymouth

This excellent piece reminds us that prejudice against the other is still with us, although we have moved from harboring fear and anger toward Germans during the Great War to Muslims and other immigrants today. As my Moroccan-born mother would have said, Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose — the more things change, the more they stay the same. Let’s hope the next generation remembers we are a nation of immigrants and each new wave has helped to strengthen our great nation.

Edwin Andrews / Malden

Thanks for this diligent probing of Boston’s ethnocentrism, respect for serious musicianship, and gripping storytelling.


Eli Newberger / Lenox

I started reading this during the later innings of the Houston vs. Los Angeles [World Series] seventh game, which ended about midnight. The writing was so compelling I was unable to put it down until about 1 a.m. As a former BSO seasongoer, I found the history, as told, fascinating.

Alan Weiner / Edgartown

Excellent story on so many counts. Last year I co-led a course at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement on the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II. Our research into early 20th-century American history led to some shocking discoveries about our leaders. But who could have expected that those nasty issues from history about treatment of immigrants and citizens would have resurfaced in our own time? This piece does a service for the American people. There is no more important issue in our time. The story has everything: history, music, crime, prejudice, lots of color, and, of course, plenty of romance and sex. Who is going to make the movie?

Jane Weingarten / Cambridge


Emily Heidt makes important points about the ideal ways for employers to support their millennial employees (“Millennials Want Some Employer Love. Is That Too Much to Ask?,” November 5). Yet workers of other ages and generations do not display the expectation and entitlement for all of these benefits, starting with their first interview, that millennials do. If millennials came into the workplace displaying humbleness, respect for their colleagues and leaders, and the patience to earn all the benefits they desire, perhaps they would remain in jobs longer and could fully realize their expectations.

Raquel Rosenblatt / West Roxbury

I read this essay and my jaw dropped. As the parent of two millennials and the manager of several, I was stunned at the writer’s entitled, narrow, and self-focused attitude. She says the “social contract that governed employment for boomers and Gen Xers is gone” without doing her research. That pensions were dropped in the early 1980s when companies found themselves unable to fully fund them was hardly a windfall for boomer workers. She also says millennials “tend to be more driven by purpose than money” as if previous generations never were. Has she ever spoken to an adult who started working in the 1970s after protesting the Vietnam War? Does she realize that the environmental movement was started during this era? What about women’s and civil rights?

Marilyn Tressel / Brookline

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