Quite the World, Isn't It?

More Detroit gigs: Y'all are going to be sick of me

September 14, 2012

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Well, I'm making steady progress on Jones's Bones: The Search for an American Hero, which is a lot of fun and proving to be more of a challenge than the other books, given the different time frames involved and the endlessly moving parts. But I'm taking a bit of a break in October to go back to Detroit for some talks.

As I posted the other day, the Detroit Public Library has invited me to come in and talk at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 17, about Detroit: A Biography in the main library on Woodward. I'm looking forward to this for a variety of reasons: I did a lot of research in that library, and this will be a public talk so I'm anticipating hearing a lot of other people's stories about their lives and Detroit's evolution. And yes, books will be available for sale and signing.


- Thursday, October 18, 9 a.m. : I'm kicking off the annual North American Labor History Conference at Wayne State University with a talk about Detroit: A Biography. Books will be available there, too, and individual sessions are open to the public, according to the organizers.

- Thursday, October 18, 2:30 p.m.: Same place, I'm one of two former newspaper strikers (Barb Ingalls is the other) who will comment on a presentation by Chris Rhomberg of his The Broken Table: The Detroit Newspaper Strike and the State of American Labor. Jack Lessenberry chairs the session.

- Saturday, October 20, 9 a.m.: I organized and will be part of a panel on "The Legacy of the Ludlow Massacre," which takes me back to my first book, Blood Passion: The Ludlow Massacre and Class War in the American West. With Jonathan Rees and Anthony DeStefanis, and chaired by Rosemary Feurer.

And for you Detroiters, I'll be available in the usual haunts for a cold beer if you want to say hello. :-)

Hope to see some of you at any or all of these events. And if you're part of the Detroit media, please do think about covering the Detroit Public Library talk or the NAHLC gathering.
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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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