Page 427. " getting measured for a Dior gown "

Dior is a French company which owns the high-fashion clothing producer Christian Dior Couture as well as the world's largest luxury goods firm. Dior is controlled and chaired by businessman Bernard Arnault. The label's name derives from the designer Christian Dior who launched the couture empire in 1946.

Page 427. " we were slow dancing around the pool to 'Big Girls Don't Cry' by the Four Seasons "

This song, sung by the Four Seasons, was a number one hit on the Billboard top 100 in November 1962.



Page 440. " the Biblical prescription, 'Physician, heal thyself!' "

"Physician, heal thyself!" comes from Luke 4:23:


And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

Page 443. " Never again will her life be free of travail and disappointment in her three blind mice. "

Three Blind Mice is a children's nursery rhyme from around 1805. Some scholars believe that the song is about Queen Mary I of England blinding then executing three protestant bishops.


Three blind mice. Three blind mice. See how they run. See how they run. They all ran after the farmer's wife Who cut off their tails with a carving knife. Did you ever see such a thing in your life As three blind mice?  

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Page 445. " You can't go to Leopoldville now, or to Stanleyville, Coquilhatville, or Elisabethville. The names of all these conquerors have been erased from our map. For that matter you can't even go to the Congo; it's Zaire. "

When Joseph Mobutu took power, he introduced a campaign of African nationalism, eliminating all vestiges of the European colonial past.  Nevertheless, as head of state of Zaire, he was a disaster for his nation.  He embezzled billions of dollars from the national treasury, raped the country of natural resources, built palaces deep in the rainforest, and committed multiple human rights violations against his own people.

Page 448. " he's bringing two great American boxers, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, to the stadium in Kinshasa. "

This historic event took place on October 30, 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire. The Rumble in the Jungle was a fight between George Foreman (at the time, the heavyweight champion) and Muhammad Ali. They each received a fee of $5,000,000.

Ali wasn't expected to win, but he knocked out Foreman in the 8th round, becoming heavyweight champion for the second time in his career.

A documentary about the fight, When We Were Kings, was release in 1996 and won an Oscar.  The trailer for the film is below.  The movie Ali reconstructs the fight.