Quite the World, Isn't It?

The cover: The Admiral and the Ambassador

October 29, 2013

Tags: books

Well, I've been keeping this under wraps for a few weeks as we go through the production part of publishing my forthcoming book, The Admiral and the Ambassador: One Man's Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones. But Chicago Review Press is revamping its website, and it's posted over there so I guess it makes sense to post it here, as well.

As you may recall, I was very pleased with the work CRP's designers did on Detroit: A Biography. They used a photo I suggested and crafted that stunning overlay of title and 90-year-old Detroit skyline, giving it a near-metallic sheen. It really captured the essence of the book, I thought.

And they've done it again here. They used a drawing of John Paul Jones for the top bit, and a photo I found of Ambassador Horace Potter and colleagues over the crushed leaden coffin in which they found Jones's body more than a century after he died. So we have images of both tracks of the book, and presented in a way that I hope will stand out on bookshelves.

I'll let you know when pre-sales are available. As it stands, CRP is looking at a May publication date, which means books should be available mid-April or so. As you might imagine, I'm pretty excited about that. This will be my fourth published book, and I'm already working on the fifth, another history I'm keeping under wraps for now. But it's very enjoyable and professionally rewarding work, and I thank you all for your support. Without readers, these things are just so many trees falling in the forest.
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About me

A third-generation journalist, I was born in Scarborough, Maine, and grew up there and in Wellsville, New York, about two hours south of Buffalo. My first newspaper job came at age 16, writing a high school sports column for the Wellsville Patriot, a weekly (defunct), then covering local news part-time for the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

After attending Fredonia State, where I was editor of The Leader newspaper and news director for WCVF campus radio, I worked in succession for the Jamestown Post-Journal, Rochester Times-Union (defunct), The Detroit News and the Los Angeles Times, where I covered presidential and other political campaigns, books, local news and features, including several Sunday magazine pieces.

An active freelancer, my work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Sierra Magazine, Los Angeles magazine, Orange Coast magazine, New York Times Book Review (books in brief), Buffalo News, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center), Solidarity (United Auto Workers) and elsewhere. I teach or have taught journalism courses at Chapman University and UC Irvine, and speak occasionally at school and college classes about journalism, politics and writing. I've appeared on panels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the Literary Orange festival, moderated panels at the Nieman Conference in Narrative Journalism and the North American Labor History Conference, among others, and been featured on C-SPAN's Book TV.

I'm also a co-founder of The Journalism Shop, a group of journalists (most fellow former Los Angeles Times staffers) available for freelance assignments.

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