by Max Brantley
* GAYS IN ARMS: David Koon has an affecting report from two Arkansas military veterans — a gay Vietnam vet and a recently retired lesbian officer — about their lives in the military and what the end of military discrimination means.
* SATCHMO BRINGS IN THE TROOPS: I don't see how you couldn't like our cover story this week, an excerpt from David Margolick's book, "Elizabeth and Hazel," a tour de force reporting project on the stories behind the story of the famous photograph of Elizabeth Eckford's lonely walk to desegregate Central High School in 1957. Much of the book retells the complicated relationship of Eckford and harasser Hazel Massery, a tale of reconciliation now ruptured. Our excerpt is about how Louis Armstrong, until then strictly apolitical, was radicalized by the photo. It was a turning point in opinion and perhaps even a factor in President Eisenhower's ultimate decision to act decisively, Margolick suggests. Don't miss the sidebar about one researcher's unpublished notes of time spent with high-society Little Rock moderates of the day. They were described as "hand-wringers and head-holders," shamed and immobilized by economic fear. Familiar Little Rock names are there and still more in the book.