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A Man of His Word
Barry Bingham, Sr., was one of this country's most influential journalists. Under his half-century of leadership, the Louisville Courier-Journal became one of America's leading newspapers, as attested by six Pulitzer Prizes. In this illuminating oral history, Samuel Thomas weaves together excerpts from more than a dozen interviews with Bingham, along with selections from his writings and comments by his wife, Mary Caperton Bingham.
Barry Bingham's influence was voiced principally through newspaper journalism, but, besides owning the Courier-Journal and its evening companion, the Louisville Times, the family enterprises included WHAS radio and television and Standard Gravure Corporation, which also produced Sunday supplements for dozens of newspapers. Bingham's enterprises laid on the doorsteps of Kentuckians, and brought to them over the airwaves, insightful reporting and examination of state and local matters as well as in-depth coverage of national and world events.
Bingham espoused many causes, including mental health, military preparedness, press freedom, and liberal politics. He championed civil rights, the performing arts, better education, historic preservation, and land conservation.
By training and predilection, Bingham was first and foremost a writer, but he was equally articulate as a conversationalist and public speaker. His recorded interviews, excerpted here, are clear and concise, expressive and informative. From these selections emerges a portrait of a man of extraordinary vision who used his wealth and power for the good of his community, his state, and his nation.
The Life of Southern Journalist Cornelia Battle Lewis, 1893–1956
A longtime columnist for the Raleigh News and Observer, Cornelia Battle Lewis earned a national reputation in the 1920s and 1930s for her courageous advocacy on behalf of women’s rights, African Americans, children, and labor unions. Late in her life, however, after fighting mental illness, Lewis reversed many of her stances and railed against the liberalism she had spent her life advancing. In Battling Nell, Alexander S. Leidholdt tells the compelling and ultimately tragic life story of this groundbreaking journalist against the backdrop of the turbulent post-Reconstruction Jim Crow South and speculates about the cause of her extraordinary transformation. The daughter of North Carolina’s most prominent public health official, Lewis grew up in Raleigh, but her experiences at Smith College in Massachusetts, and later in France during World War I, led her to question the prevailing racial attitudes and gender roles of her native region. In 1920, Lewis began her storied career with the News and Observer. Inspired by H. L. Mencken’s scathing criticism of the South, she soon established herself as the region’s leading female liberal journalist. Her column, “Incidentally,” attacked the Ku Klux Klan, lobbied against the exploitation of mill workers, defended strikers during the notorious communist-organized Gastonia labor violence, mocked religious fundamentalists who fought the teaching of evolution, and decried lynch law. A suffragist and a feminist who saw women’s rights as inextricably linked to human rights, Lewis ran for state legislature in 1928 and was one of the first women in North Carolina to be admitted to the bar. In the 1930s, however, Lewis faced repeated institutionalizations for a debilitating bout of mental illness and sought treatment from Christian Science practitioners, spiritualists, and psychotherapists. As she aged, her views grew increasingly reactionary, and she insisted that she had served as a communist dupe during the Gastonia strike and trials, that communists had infiltrated the University of North Carolina, and that many of her former progressive allies had ties to communism. Finally, many of her opinions completely reversed, and in the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board decision, she served as an influential spokesperson for the South’s massive resistance to public school desegregation. She continued to espouse these conservative beliefs until her death in 1956. In his detailed retelling of Lewis’s fascinating life, Leidholdt chronicles the turbulent history of North Carolina from the 1920s through the 1950s, as industrialization and racial integration began to tear at the region’s conservative fabric. He vividly explains the background and ramifications of Lewis’s many controversial stances and explores the possible reasons for her ideological about-face. Through the extraordinary story of “Battling Nell,” Leidholdt reveals how the complex issues of gender, labor, and race intertwined to influence the convulsive events that shaped the course of early twentieth-century southern history.
This anthology collects the ten winners of the 2012 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, which is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States. First place winner: Eli Saslow,“Life of a Salesman,” published by the Washington Post, is about a Manassas, Va., swimming pool salesman experiencing the unraveling of his decades-long success story. Second place: Kelley Benham, “Never Let Go,” published by the Tampa Bay Times, is her personal account of the months following the birth of her premature daughter. Third place: Anne Hull, “Breaking Free,” published by the Washington Post, traces a teenage girl’s climb out of poverty as she prepares for college. Runner-ups include: John Branch, “The Day a Mountain Moved” (New York Times); Dan Barry, “Donna’s Diner: In the Hard Fall of a Favorite Son, a Reminder of a City’s Scars” (New York Times); Rosalind Bentley, “The Nation’s Poet” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution); Mark Johnson, “I Boy” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel); Monica Rhor, “Homelessness” (Houston Chronicle); Louis Hansen, “The Girl Who Took Down the Gang” (Virginian-Pilot); and Martin Kuz, “Soldiers Recount 60-Second Attack That Left Them Reflecting on Life and Death” (Stars and Stripes).
This anthology collects the twelve winners of the 2013 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest, run by the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. The event is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States. First place winner: Eli Saslow, "Into the Lonely Quiet" (Washington Post), follows the family of a 7-year-old victim of the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, six months after the shooting. Second place: Eric Moskowitz, "Marathon Carjacking" (Boston Globe), is the story of "Danny," who was carjacked by the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombing three days after the bombing. Third place: Mark Johnson, "The Course of Their Lives" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), an account of first-year medical students as they take a human dissection course. Runners-up include Christopher Goffard, "The Manhunt" (Los Angeles Times); Stephanie McCrummen, "Wait--You Described It as a Cloudy Feeling?" (Washington Post); Michael M. Phillips, "The Lobotomy Files" (Wall Street Journal); Aaron Applegate, "Taken Under" (Virginian-Pilot); Meg Kissinger, "A Mother, at Her Wits' End" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel); Michael Kruse, "The Last Voyage of the Bounty" (Tampa Bay Times); Shaun McKinnon, "Alone on the Hill" (Arizona Republic); Mike Newall, "Almost Justice" (Philadelphia Inquirer); and Sarah Schweitzer, "Together, Despite All" (Boston Globe).
This anthology collects the ten winners of the 2014 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest, run by the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. The event is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States. First place winner: Dan Barry, "The Boys in the Bunkhouse," published by The New York Times, exposed thirty years of physical and mental abuse of intellectually disabled men living in an Iowa group home. Second place: Christopher Goffard, "The Favor," published by the Los Angeles Times, describes the plea bargain sentence of the son of a former California assembly speaker, after the son pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and whose prison sentence was later reduced by then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Third place: Stephanie McCrummen, "A Father’s Scars," published by the Washington Post, about a Virginia state senator one year after he was stabbed multiple times by his mentally ill son before the son killed himself. Runners-up include Nathan Bomey, John Gallagher and Mark Stryker, "How Detroit was Reborn" (Detroit Free Press); Monica Hesse, "Love and Fire" (Washington Post); Sarah Schweitzer, "Chasing Bayla" (Boston Globe); Sarah Kleiner Varble, "Then the Walls Closed In" (The Virginian Pilot); Joanne Kimberlin and Janie Bryant, "Dangerous Minds" (The Virginian Pilot); Molly Harbarger, "Fred Nelligan" (The Oregonian); and Mark Johnson, "Murray's Problem" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
Visual Practices in America's Global War on Terror
Since the 9/11 attacks on U.S. soil, American citizenship has been redefined by the visual images associated with the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Rebecca A. Adelman contends that, in viewing images such as security footage of the 9/11 hijackers, film portrayals of the attacks and subsequent wars, memorials commemorating the attacks, and even graphics associated with increased security in airports, American citizens have been recast as militarized spectators, brought together through the production, circulation, and consumption of these visual artifacts. Beyond the Checkpoint reveals that the visual is essential to the prosecution of the GWOT domestically and abroad, and that it functions as a crucial mechanism in the ongoing formation of the U.S. state itself and an essential component of contemporary American citizenship. Tracing the connections between citizenship and spectatorship, and moving beyond the close reading of visual representations, this book focuses on the institutions and actors that create, monitor, and regulate the visual landscape of the GWOT. Adelman looks around and through common images to follow the complex patterns of practice by which institutions and audiences engage them in various contexts. In the process, she proposes a new methodology for studying visual cultures of conflict, and related phenomena like violence, terror, and suffering that are notoriously difficult to represent. Attending to previously unanalyzed dimensions of this conflict, this book illustrates the complexity of GWOT visual culture and the variegated experiences of citizenship that result as Americans navigate this terrain.
The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press
In 1960, Jon Edgar and Louise "Gypsy Lou" Webb founded Loujon Press on Royal Street in New Orleans's French Quarter. The small publishing house quickly became a giant. Heralded by the Village Voice and the New York Times as one of the best of its day, the Outsider, the press's literary review, featured, among others, Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, and Walter Lowenfels. Loujon published books by Henry Miller and two early poetry collections by Bukowski. Bohemian New Orleans traces the development of this courageous imprint and examines its place within the small press revolution of the 1960s. Drawing on correspondence from many who were published in the Outsider, back issues of the Outsider, contemporary reviews, promotional materials, and interviews, Jeff Weddle shows how the press's mandarin insistence on production quality and its eclectic editorial taste made its work nonpareil among peers in the underground. Throughout, Bohemian New Orleans reveals the messy, complex, and vagabond spirit of a lost literary age. Jeff Weddle is assistant professor of library and information studies at the University of Alabama. His work has appeared in Publishing History and Beat Scene. Learn about Director Wayne Ewing's documentary film "The Outsiders of New Orleans: Loujon Press" and watch a trailer at http://www.loujonpress.com/
Books would seem to be one thing, and rough business another—except that the life of Tullio Pironti has brought both together. This mover and shaker in Italian arts and publishing began as a scuffling street kid in Naples, then enjoyed a boxing career that included two trips to the nationals, and only after that entered the book business. Yet in the decades that followed, he ended up working with the likes of the Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfuz and the Maestro of Italian film, Federico Fellini. Not surprisingly, then, Pironti’s memoir won wide attention in his home country, with more than 100 notices. Before anything else, the young Pironti had to survive a war. His memoir begins with a refugee experience, as he and his family are driven out of their homes in downtown Naples by the American bombing of 1942-43. Then after the liberation, Pironti must make his way with his wits and his fists, amid a colorful array of Neapolitan street figures. His recollections of youth provide rare insight into coming of age in a culture so ancient, so full of secrets. Anyone who wants to know the real Italy, and what it’s been through over the last half-century, will find Books & Rough Business a source of endless fascination. On top of that, this autobiography offers the timeless pleasures of watching a wily player work his way from next to nothing to great success, overcoming just about every kind of adversity along the way.