Last King of the Sports Page: The Life and Career of Jim Murray (Sports and American Culture)

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About Ted Geltner. A complete blog tour schedule is also available here. Our campaign to educate administrators, faculty, readers, and potential supporters taught us a lot about university presses as well. Here are some reasons we need university presses. University presses preserve and disseminate knowledge.

They publish books and journals that are read by other scholars and by general readers. These books are held in libraries and archives so other scholars can access them and build on the understandings they contain. Many are taught in classrooms where they help preserve and shape our culture. Without the work of scholars engaged in this project, African American literary studies in the academy simply would not exist.

University presses are defenders of free speech, academic freedom, and spirited discussion. A vibrant, healthy democracy thrives on debate and the free exchange of ideas. Readers and scholars of all political persuasions have supported the University of Missouri Press because they know that its catalog is diverse and its books are an essential part of the public sphere. University presses serve a readership outside the university. University presses are committed first to scholarship, but they reach out to a wider audience as well.

Certainly, the UMP does this, for example, with series that focus on the American Military Experience or Sports and American Culture , but they also publish local history, memoirs, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Blue Highways Revisited , Edgar I. University presses have a special role in land-grant institutions. The Missouri Biography Series , edited by William Foley, publishes biographies of important and famous Missourians—everyone from baseball great Stan Musial to the notorious political boss Tom Pendergast. University presses play an essential role in developing and evaluating faculty.

This process is absolutely essential not only to make sure that the Press is publishing the best books possible, but also to help universities nationwide evaluate faculty. If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, university presses are the uncelebrated record-keepers of world history and culture. Just as the journalism business has always been extremely competitive, from the days of the first penny newspapers to the present, university presses vie with each other to find path-breaking works of scholarship and books that do a double duty, educating the lay reader while contributing to scholarly discourse.

University press books are not usually bestsellers. These books do not have midnight launches at chain stores where tens of thousands of teenagers show up in costume, and they are rarely optioned by Hollywood, but they do stay on shelves for years, get taught in our schools, and change the way we think. The celebration of University Press Week is especially apt in , as we honor the role of university presses in our culture and offer thanksgiving with cheers for the resurgence of the University of Missouri Press.

Thursday, November 8, 25 presses kick off University Press Week with a blog tour. This tour will highlight the value of university presses and the contributions they make to scholarship and our society. Bloggers include authors, book review editors, university press staff members, interns, booksellers, and university press advocates--including Bruce J.

See a complete University Press Week blog tour schedule here. For more information, visit www. Ailor III. Have you seen the lead book review in Reader's Digest? It's Blue Highways Revisited! Edgar I. Ailor III began his photography career on a high school yearbook staff. With a camera always nearby, he honed his skills through several decades of practicing otolaryngology.

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Ailor IV. What inspired you to consider making Blue Highways Revisited as opposed to only sticking with your photography business? The thought of getting in a van or even a car and traveling the back roads of America for three months was just so incredible that I decided then that someday I'd make that trip. In , I was just three-plus years into my otolaryngology practice, and I had a wife in medical school and two precious children, ages eight and five, so that thought had to be put on hold for a few decades.

I've been an avid photographer since high school; and in the five years before retiring from medicine, I knew my second career would be photography. Susie, my wife and most enthusiastic supporter, encouraged me to retire soon enough to be able to hike up those mountains and along those streams--before I was too old to do it. So on the last day of February , after 27 years of practice, I saw my last private practice patient and started Ailor Fine Art Photography the next day. Sometime in that first year, the seed that Heat-Moon's book planted in my cerebrum began to sprout.

The thought, once again, of traveling the back roads of America was now a possibility. Several things are most memorable from that conversation. Heat-Moon had originally planned to photograph the route in , but he said he had trouble switching back and forth from left brain to write and right brain to photography.

He ended up photographing mainly the characters he interviewed--the wonderful portraitures we see in his book. He also told me that the most common question from his readers was, "When are you going to take the trip again to see how things have changed? Years later he would confide in me that he didn't expect anyone, including me and my son, to retrace the entire 13, miles and put it into book form. To combine the pure joy of photography with the several decades-old dream of retracing Blue Highways seemed to me to be the ultimate.

It could only have gotten better if Susie could have made the entire trip with me.

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The result of combining the joy of photography and a dream is Blue Highways Revisited. Who are your personal favorite photographers?


My favorite photographer since childhood has been Ansel Adams who set the gold standard for American landscape photography. Adams at age 14 took his first photographs with a Kodak Box Brownie on a family vacation to Yosemite National Park in He introduced America to the vast beauty of our wilderness areas though his photography and helped convince multiple generations that it was worth preserving. A current photographer, equally talented, is Tim Palmer. He is an outstanding and prolific wilderness photographer.

His most recent book, just released, Field Guides to California Rivers , will make it even more difficult to keep driving over every bridge I cross in California. If you could read a book for the first time again, which one would it be?

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Naturally, for me, it would be Blue Highways. Only one other nonfiction book, Undaunted Courage , captured my imagination like Blue Highways. Heat-Moon gives such powerful descriptions that you visualize and often feel the scene--experience the grit--and no one else spins a yarn as well as he since Mark Twain. That explains why a pair of photographers would spend years photographing the journey, cafes, and taverns; spend years tracking down the book characters; and then spend the time to write Revisited some thirty years later. Do you hope to do another book in the future?

Does anyone have a boat they want to loan me? Labels: author , interview , traveling. Louis Cardinals, He is the author of nine books, including El Birdos: The and St. Louis Cardinals, and is our current Author Spotlight! This, ironically, was one of the themes of the book; both Gibson and the Cardinals owner, August Busch Jr. For Busch, he saw the typical player of the mids as one of a new breed — that of greed and ungratefulness.

It truly soured his love for the game, and hastened his retreat from running many of the day-to-day operations of the club. It was a time when ballplayers not only loved and respected the game, but had to watch their money carefully. Likely not!

Therefore, fans were thus treated to a hard-fought World Series, with players on both sides giving everything they had. As a part time scout for the Cincinnati Reds can you explain the process of scouting? As a part-time scout, I assist full-time scouts in covering some of their geographical area. If there is a player in my area that the full-time scout would like for me to see, I do so, fill out a report on the player, and send it in to the club. Who are your favorite major leagues sports teams? My father played for the Cubs and the White Sox in the minor leagues in the late s and early s, and our family was raised mostly Cubs fans on the north side of Chicago my mother is a Cubs fan as well — even though she was raised in Joliet, Illinois — definitely more of a White Sox town, south of Chicago.

Additionally, my father was raised in southern Illinois, which is Cardinals territory and my mother was born in St. What are your hobbies and interest outside of your profession?

Jim Murray

I also like to run, read historical biographies, and hang out with my wonderful wife Angie, and our playful dog Dizzy! As the author of nine books, where do your main ideas and thoughts come from and how do you go about pursuing the research for them? Most of my nine books have dealt with a particular team in a particular baseball season; for example, I have written books on the Cardinals, the Cardinals, and the Cardinals in addition to Gibson's Last Stand , which looks at the team from Part of my reasoning for choosing a particular topic is "selfish," and the other part is "practical.

Where has been one of the most interesting places you have traveled to? Speaking of my dog, Dizzy Diz and Pat are buried in the Bond Cemetery, which is tucked away through some back country roads in a quaint, remote, and peaceful area. Who do you predict to be the winner of the next World Series? I believe some people are writing them off, simply because of the loss of Albert Pujols ; however, with the return of Adam Wainwright to the pitching staff, as well as the development and acquisition of other certain players, I think the Cardinals could be even better this year than their World Series-winning club of a year ago.

He is completing Spoofing the Modern: Satire in the Harlem Renaissance and is our latest author spotlight! The genesis of African American Satire may be found in work I did early in my graduate school career many years ago. I'd planned to study the history of satire when I began my program, and did so enthusiastically.

I simultaneously found my interest in African American literature growing as another generation of scholars—Houston A. Baker, Jr. Bell, Trudier Harris, Arnold Rampersad, Frances Smith Foster, among others—opened up numerous possibilities for studying the tradition from a myriad of critical perspectives. As I studied these two fields, I found it curious that very little information could found on African American satirical literature. A few people had written critically about African American humor, but seldom about satire, much less literary satire.