front cover of A Gallery of Harlem Portraits
A Gallery of Harlem Portraits
Melvin B. Tolson, Edited & Afterword by Robert M. Farnsworth
University of Missouri Press, 1979
A Gallery of Harlem Portraits is Melvin B. Tolson's first book-length collection of poems. It was written in the 1930s when Tolson was immersed in the writings of the Harlem Renaissance, the subject of his master's thesis at Columbia University, and will provide scholars and critics a rich insight into how Tolson's literary picture of Harlem evolved. Modeled on Edgar Lee Master's Spoon River Anthology and showing the influence of Browning and Whitman, it is rooted in the Harlem Renaissance in its fascination with Harlem's cultural and ethnic diversity and its use of musical forms. Robert M. Farnsworth's afterword elucidates these and other literary influences.

Tolson eventually attempted to incorporate the technical achievements of T.S. Eliot and the New Criticism into a complex modern poetry which would accurately represent the extraordinary tensions, paradoxes, and sophistication, both highbrow and lowbrow, of modern Harlem. As a consequence his position in literary history is problematical. The publication of this earliest of his manuscripts will help clarify Tolson's achievement and surprise many of his readers with its readily accessible, warmly human poetic portraiture.
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Gender Play in Mark Twain
Cross-Dressing and Transgression
Linda A. Morris
University of Missouri Press, 2007

  Huckleberry Finn dressing as a girl is a famously comic scene in Mark Twain’s novel but hardly out of character—for the author, that is. Twain “troubled gender” in much of his otherwise traditional fiction, depicting children whose sexual identities are switched at birth, tomboys, same-sex married couples, and even a male French painter who impersonates his own fictive sister and becomes engaged to another man.

            This book explores Mark Twain’s extensive use of cross-dressing across his career by exposing the substantial cast of characters who masqueraded as members of the opposite sex or who otherwise defied gender expectations. Linda Morris grounds her study in an understanding of the era’s theatrical cross-dressing and changing mores and even events in the Clemens household. She examines and interprets Twain’s exploration of characters who transgress gendered conventions while tracing the degree to which themes of gender disruption interact with other themes, such as his critique of race, his concern with death in his classic “boys’ books,” and his career-long preoccupation with twins and twinning.

Approaching familiar texts in surprising new ways, Morris reexamines the relationship between Huck and Jim; discusses racial and gender crossing in Pudd’nhead Wilson; and sheds new light on Twain’s difficulty in depicting the most famous cross-dresser in history, Joan of Arc. She also considers a number of his later “transvestite tales” that feature transgressive figures such as Hellfire Hotchkiss, who is hampered by her “misplaced sex.”

            Morris challenges views of Twain that see his work as reinforcing traditional notions of gender along sharply divided lines. She shows that Twain depicts cross-dressing sometimes as comic or absurd, other times as darkly tragic—but that even at his most playful, he contests traditional Victorian notions about the fixity of gender roles.

            Analyzing such characteristics of Twain’s fiction as his fascination with details of clothing and the ever-present element of play, Morris shows us his understanding that gender, like race, is a social construction—and above all a performance. Gender Play in Mark Twain: Cross-Dressing and Transgression broadens our understanding of the writer as it lends rich insight into his works.

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General Lewis B. Hershey and Conscientious Objection during World War II
Nicholas A. Krehbiel
University of Missouri Press, 2012
During World War II, the United States drafted 10.1 million men to serve in the military. Of that number, 52,000 were conscientious objectors, and 12,000 objected to noncombatant military service. Those 12,000 men served the country in Civilian Public Service, the program initiated by General Lewis Blaine Hershey, the director of Selective Service from 1941 to1970. Despite his success with this program, much of Hershey’s work on behalf of conscientious objectors has been overlooked due to his later role in the draft during the Vietnam War.

Seeking to correct these omissions in history, Nicholas A. Krehbiel provides the most comprehensive and well-rounded examination to date of General Hershey’s work as the developer and protector of alternative service programs for conscientious objectors. Hershey, whose Selective Service career spanned three major wars and six presidential administrations, came from a background with a tolerance for pacifism. He served in the National Guard and later served in both World War I and the interwar army. A lifelong military professional, he believed in the concept of the citizen soldier—the civilian who responded to the duty of service when called upon. Yet embedded in that idea was his intrinsic belief in the American right to religious freedom and his notion that religious minorities must be protected.

What to do with conscientious objectors has puzzled the United States throughout its history, and prior to World War II, there was no unified system for conscientious objectors. The Selective Service Act of 1917 only allowed conscientious objection from specific peace sects, and it had no provisions for public service. In action, this translated to poor treatment of conscientious objectors in military prisons and camps during World War I. In response to demands by the Historic Peace Churches (the Brethren, Mennonites, and the Society of Friends) and other pacifist groups, the government altered language in the Selective Service Act of 1940, stating that conscientious objectors should be assigned to noncombatant service in the military but, if opposed to that, would be assigned to “work of national importance under civilian direction.”

Under the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and with the cooperation of the Historic Peace Churches, Hershey helped to develop Civilian Public Service in 1941, a program that placed conscientious objectors in soil conservation and forestry work camps, with the option of moving into detached services as farm laborers, scientific test subjects, and caregivers, janitors, and cooks at mental hospitals. Although the Civilian Public Service program only lasted until 1947, alternative service was required for all conscientious objectors until the end of the draft in 1973.

Krehbiel delves into the issues of minority rights versus mandatory military service and presents General Hershey’s pivotal role in the history of conscientious objection and conscription in American history. Archival research from both Historic Peace Churches and the Selective Service makes General Lewis B. Hershey and Conscientious Objection during World War II the definitive book on this subject.
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The General Textile Strike of 1934
From Maine to Alabama
John A. Salmond
University of Missouri Press, 2002
In January 1933, the United Textile Workers of America was in danger of collapse. Its membership was no larger than 15,000; its attempts to organize southern workers had failed disastrously; and it was constantly under attack from rival organizations. Yet, barely eighteen months later, with 300,000 dues-paying members, with newly established or revived branches covering southern cotton textile workers, as well as northern woolen and worsted workers, silk and jacquard weavers, dyers and finishers, even rayon workers, and with locals in 208 cities, towns, and mill villages, the UTW was about to embark on what one historian has termed “the greatest single industrial conflict in the history of American labor.” The General Textile Strike of 1934 is the story of that conflict.
The few historians who have concerned themselves at all with the 1934 textile strike have all concentrated on its southern aspect, presenting it as a southern event, a cotton textile event. No one argues that the South and cotton were not crucial to the strike’s story. It was cotton mill workers’ anger over the broken promises of the National Industrial Recovery Act that had forced a reluctant UTW leadership into supporting a strike vote. No industry leader was more devious in his dealings with the UTW leaders than George Sloan, the chair of the Cotton Code Authority and head of the Cotton Textile Institute. Nevertheless, the 1934 strike was a nationwide one, involving hundreds of thousands of silk, woolen, and rayon workers, all represented by the UTW and mostly living in states outside the South. Moreover, Peter Van Horn and Arthur Besse, head of the Silk and Woolen Code Authorities, respectively, lost little to Sloan in their intransigence toward labor’s demands. And, though the great transfer of the cotton industry from New England to the South was almost complete, there were still little pockets left in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine.
In The General Textile Strike of 1934, John Salmond tells everyone’s story. Looking at the strike from a national and an industrywide perspective, Salmond explains why workers were willing to risk protesting and describes the differences and similarities between southern and northern workers. Setting the strike within a New Deal context and focusing on its impact on the future of labor relations in the industry and on the lives of those who participated in it, The General Textile Strike of 1934 fills an important gap in American labor history.
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The Genesis of Missouri
From Wilderness Outpost to Statehood
William E. Foley
University of Missouri Press, 1989

The story of the blending of diverse cultures in a land rich in resources and beauty is an extraordinary one. In this account, the pioneer hunters, trappers, and traders who roamed the Ozark hills and the boatmen who traded on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers take their place beside the small coterie of St. Louisans whose wealth and influence enabled them to dominate the region politically and economically. Especially appealing for many readers will be the attention Foley gives to common Missourians, to the status of women and blacks, and to Indian-white relations.

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George Caleb Bingham
Missouri's Famed Painter and Forgotten Politician
Paul C. Nagel
University of Missouri Press, 2005
In this fascinating work, Paul Nagel tells the full story of George Caleb Bingham (1811–1879), one of America’s greatest nineteenth-century painters. While Nagel assesses Bingham’s artistic achievements, he also portrays another very important part of the artist’s career—his service as a statesman and political leader in Missouri. Until now, Bingham’s public service has been largely forgotten, overshadowed by his triumph as a great artist. Yet Nagel finds there were times when Bingham yearned more to be a successful politician than to be a distinguished painter.
            Born in Virginia, Bingham moved with his family to Missouri when he was eight years old. He spent his youth in Arrow Rock, Missouri, and returned there as an adult. He also kept art studios in Columbia and St. Louis. In his last years, he served as the first professor of art at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Because of his ties to the state, he was known nationally as “the Missouri artist.” Bingham began his distinguished public service to Missouri as a member of the legislature. During the Civil War, he grew even more politically involved, holding the office of state treasurer, and he remained active throughout the period of Reconstruction. From 1875 to 1877, Bingham served as Missouri’s adjutant general, with most of that time spent in Washington, D. C., where he attempted to settle Missourians’ war claims against the federal government.
            Contrary to the idyllic scenes portrayed in most of his paintings, Bingham’s life ranged from moments of high achievement to times of intense distress and humiliation. His career was often touched by controversy, sorrow, and frustration. Personal letters and other manuscripts reveal Bingham’s life to be quite complicated, and Paul Nagel attempts to uncover the truth in this biography.
            Beautifully illustrated, this book includes a magnificent landscape entitled Horse Thief, which had been missing since Bingham painted it sometime around 1852. Recently discovered by art historian Fred R. Kline, this splendid work will appear in print for the first time. Anyone who has an interest in art, Missouri history, or politics will find this new book extremely valuable.
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George Eliot's Dialogue with John Milton
Anna K. Nardo
University of Missouri Press, 2003
In George Eliot’s Dialogue with John Milton, Anna K. Nardo details how Eliot reimagined Milton’s life and art to write epic novels for an age of unbelief. Nardo demonstrates that Eliot directly engaged Milton’s poetry, prose, and the well-known legends of his life—transposing, reframing, regendering, and thus testing both the stories told about Milton and the stories Milton told.
In Romola and Middlemarch, Eliot’s contemporary audience would immediately have recognized in her heroines’ stories the plight of Milton’s daughters—enlisted as readers for a blind poet and scholar. By evoking the well-known legends of Milton’s life in these novels, Eliot places Milton in dialogue with himself in order to imagine new possibilities. In Romola, a daughter uses what she has learned from one Miltonic father to liberate herself from subjugation to the other, and in Middlemarch, Eliot tests Milton’s fundamental assumptions about gender and knowledge by evoking, then reframing scenes from his life and his epic Paradise Lost.
This strategy for establishing a dialogue with authoritative discourse, which Eliot evolved in midcareer, is complex and elegant. Eliot’s first full-length novel, however, poses a direct challenge to the pastoral assumptions of Milton’s “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso”—a challenge that she extends to the theology of Milton’s epic of a lost pastoral paradise. In Adam Bede, Eliot summons Miltonic patterns into situations that expose their absence, leaving not the denial of these patterns, but their echo. Having separated Milton’s characteristic patterns of choice from his theology, Eliot then began to experiment with transformations of the Miltonic hero. By reimagining the story of the virtuous Lady of Comus, Eliot discovers the possibility for a heroic deliverance for the beleaguered heroine of The Mill on the Floss. In Felix Holt and Daniel Deronda, she first characterizes a male protagonist as a Miltonic hero, and then confronts her female, rather than her male, protagonist with the trials faced by that hero.
In these complex transformations, we see Eliot’s strenuous and lifelong dialogue with Milton—a dialogue that liberated Eliot’s imagination. The author shows that Eliot opens the authoritative discourse by and about Milton to new possibilities envisioned by a towering female intellect. Scholars of both seventeenth-century and nineteenth-century British literature, especially those specializing in Eliot or Milton, as well as theorists engaged in the ongoing debate about intertextuality, will find this book of great interest.
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George F. Kennan and the Origins of Containment, 1944-1946
The Kennan-Lukacs Correspondence
George F. Kennan & Jonh Lukacs
University of Missouri Press, 1997

In 1945 the United States saw the Soviet Union as its principal ally. By 1947, it saw the Soviet Union as its principal opponent. How did this happen? Historian John Lukacs has provided an answer to this question through an exchange of letters with George F. Kennan. Their correspondence deals with the antecedents of containment between 1944 and 1946, during most of which time Kennan was at the American embassy in Moscow.

Kennan had strong opinions about America's appropriate role during and after World War II and is perhaps best known as the architect of America's containment policy. Much has been written about Kennan and containment, but relatively little is known about the events that made him compose and send the Long Telegram in 1946 that ultimately became the draft for foreign policy dealing with the Soviets in the following forty years.

These letters show Kennan's fear of the extent to which the United States misunderstood the Soviet regime. Especially in 1944, at the time of the Russians' betrayal of the Warsaw Uprising, it became evident that the Soviets were interested in establishing their rigid domination of Eastern and Central Europe and dividing the continent.

Kennan's letters to Lukacs are thorough and detailed, suggesting that the Truman administration was not in the least premature in opposing the Soviet Union. Indeed, both correspondents suggest that these decisions should have been made earlier. This series of letters will add greatly to our understanding of what preceded containment and the Cold War in 1947.

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George Washington and Slavery
A Documentary Portrayal
Fritz Hirschfeld
University of Missouri Press, 1997

"I never mean (unless some particular circumstance should compel me to it) to possess another slave by purchase; it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by which slavery in this country may be abolished by slow, sure and imperceptible degrees."—George Washington, September 9, 1786

No history of racism in America can be considered complete without taking into account the role that George Washington—the principal founding father—played in helping to mold the racist cast of the new nation. Because General Washington—the universally acknowledged hero of the Revolutionary War—in the postwar period uniquely combined the moral authority, personal prestige, and political power to influence significantly the course and the outcome of the slavery debate, his opinions on the subject of slaves and slavery are of crucial importance to understanding how racism succeeded in becoming an integral and official part of the national fabric during its formative stages.

The successful end of the War for Independence in 1783 brought George Washington face-to-face with a fundamental dilemma: how to reconcile the proclaimed ideals of the revolution with the established institution of slavery. So long as black human beings in America could legally be considered the chattel property of whites, the rhetoric of equality and individual freedom was hollow. Progressive voices urged immediate emancipation as the only way to resolve the contradiction; the Southern slave owners, of course, stood firm for the status quo. Washington was caught squarely in the middle.

As a Virginia plantation proprietor and a lifelong slaveholder, Washington had a substantial private stake in the economic slave system of the South. However, in his role as the acknowledged political leader of the country, his overriding concern was the preservation of the Union. If Washington publicly supported emancipation, he would almost certainly have to set an example and take steps to dispose of his Mount Vernon slaves. If he spoke out on the side of slavery, how could he legitimately and conscientiously expect to uphold and defend the humanistic goals and moral imperatives of the new nation as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? His was a balancing act that became more and more difficult to sustain with the passing years.

Relying primarily on Washington's own words—his correspondence, diaries, and other written records—supplemented by letters, comments, and eyewitness reports of family members, friends, employees, aides, correspondents, colleagues, and visitors to Mount Vernon, together with contemporary newspaper clippings and official documents pertaining to Washington's relationships with African Americans, Fritz Hirschfeld traces Washington's transition from a conventional slaveholder to a lukewarm abolitionist. George Washington and Slavery will be an essential addition to the historiography of eighteenth-century America and of Washington himself.

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George Washington Carver
In His Own Words
Edited by Gary R. Kremer
University of Missouri Press, 1987

George Washington Carver (1864-1943), best known for his work as a scientist and a botanist, was an anomaly in his own time—a black man praised by white America.

This selection of his letters and other writings reveals both the human side of Carver and the forces that shaped his creative genius. They show us a Carver who was both manipulated and manipulative who had inner tensions and anxieties. But perhaps more than anything else, these letters allow us to see Carver's deep love for his fellow man, whether manifested in his efforts to treat polio victims in the 1930s or in his incredibly intense and emotionally charged friendships that lasted a lifetime.

The editor has furnished commentary between letters to set them in context.

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George Washington Carver
In His Own Words, Second Edition
Gary R. Kremer
University of Missouri Press, 2017
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) is best known for developing new uses for agricultural crops and teaching methods of soil improvement to southern farmers. This annotated selection of his letters and other writings from the collections at the Tuskegee Institute and the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri, reveals the forces that shaped his creative genius—including the influence of persistent racism. His letters also show us Carver’s deep love for his fellow man, whether manifested in his efforts to treat polio victims in the 1930s or in his emotionally charged friendships that lasted a lifetime.
 
With a new chapter on the oral history interviews Dr. Kremer conducted (several years after publication of the first edition) with people who knew Carver personally, and the addition of newly uncovered documents and a bank of impressive photographs of Carver and some of his friends, this second edition of our classic title commemorates the 75th anniversary of Carver’s death on January 5, 2018.
 
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front cover of Germaine De Staël, George Sand, and the Victorian Woman Artist
Germaine De Staël, George Sand, and the Victorian Woman Artist
Linda M. Lewis
University of Missouri Press, 2003
By examining literary portraits of the woman as artist, Linda M. Lewis traces the matrilineal inheritance of four Victorian novelists and poets: George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Geraldine Jewsbury, and Mrs. Humphry Ward. She argues that while the male Romantic artist saw himself as god and hero, the woman of genius lacked a guiding myth until Germaine de Staël and George Sand created one. The protagonists of Staël’s Corinne and Sand’s Consuelo combine attributes of the goddess Athena, the Virgin Mary, Virgil’s Sibyl, and Dante’s Beatrice. Lewis illustrates how the resulting Corinne/Consuelo effect is exhibited in scores of English artist-as-heroine narratives, particularly in the works of these four prominent writers who most consciously and elaborately allude to the French literary matriarchs.
            In her initial chapter, Lewis explains Corinne’s gift as “l’enthousiasme” and Consuelo’s as “la flamme sacrée. Corinne uses her influence as a political Sibyl to enter the debates of the Napoleonic era; Consuelo employs her sacred fire as a divine Sophia to indict injustice throughout Europe. Subsequent chapters examine the public and private voices of the Sibyls and Sophias of Victorian fiction, as well as the degree to which their gift demands service to art, to God, and to humankind. The closing chapter studies the waning influence of Staël and Sand in the fin-de-siècle “New Woman” novel.
The core of Lewis’s book is its treatment of the Victorian author and her feminine aesthetics. In each chapter Lewis uncovers the references to Corinne and Consuelo—subtle or overt, serious or facetious—and reveals the resulting tension when an artist invokes a foremother but avoids merging with the mother whom she emulates. The methodology of this bookincludes myth criticism, feminist commentary, and psychoanalytic theory, but its strength lies in Lewis’s close reading of the intertextuality of ten literary works.
Exploring a connection between French and English literature and providing fresh insight, Germaine de Staël, George Sand, and the Victorian Woman Artist makes a major contribution to our understanding of nineteenth-century feminism.
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German Propaganda and U.S. Neutrality in World War I
Chad R. Fulwider
University of Missouri Press, 2016

In the fading evening light of August 4, 1914, Great Britain’s H.M.S. Telconia set off on a mission to sever the five transatlantic cables linking Germany and the United States. Thus Britain launched its first attack of World War I and simultaneously commenced what became the war’s most decisive battle: the battle for American public opinion.

In this revealing study, Chad Fulwider analyzes the efforts undertaken by German organizations, including the German Foreign Ministry, to keep the United States out of the war. Utilizing archival records, newspapers, and “official” propaganda, the book also assesses the cultural impact of Germany’s political mission within the United States and comments upon the perception of American life in Europe during the early twentieth century.

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German Settlement in Missouri
New Land, Old Ways
Robyn Burnett & Ken Luebbering
University of Missouri Press, 1996

German immigrants came to America for two main reasons: to seek opportunities in the New World, and to avoid political and economic problems in Europe. In German Settlement in Missouri, Robyn Burnett and Ken Luebbering demonstrate the crucial role that the German immigrants and their descendants played in the settlement and development of Missouri's architectural, political, religious, economic, and social landscape. Relying heavily on unpublished memoirs, letters, diaries, and official records, the authors provide important new narratives and firsthand commentary from the immigrants themselves.

Between 1800 and 1919, more than 7 million people came to the United States from German-speaking lands. The German immigrants established towns as they moved up the Missouri River into the frontier, resuming their traditional ways as they settled. As a result, the culture of the frontier changed dramatically. The Germans farmed differently from their American neighbors. They started vineyards and wineries, published German-language newspapers, and entered Missouri politics.

The decades following the Civil War brought the golden age of German culture in the state. The populations of many small towns were entirely German, and traditions from the homeland thrived. German-language schools, publications, and church services were common. As the German businesses in St. Louis and other towns flourished, the immigrants and their descendants prospered. The loyalty of the Missouri Germans was tested in World War I, and the anti-immigrant sentiment during the war and the period of prohibition after it dealt serious blows to their culture. However, German traditions had already found their way into mainstream American life.

Informative and clearly written, German Settlement in Missouri will be of interest to all readers, especially those interested in ethnic history.

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The Ghost in the Little House
A Life of Rose Wilder Lane
William Holtz
University of Missouri Press, 1995
Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time, but William Holtz contends that she may not have been the sole author of the Little House series that bore her name. While Laura’s life did serve as the inspiration for the books, Holtz believes that her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, actually took her mother’s memoirs and refurbished them into the novels that would be read by millions. In this captivating biography, Holtz chronicles Rose’s life from childhood, to travels abroad that began at age seventeen, and finally back home to Missouri in her mid-thirties where she would fine tune her mother’s writing. Holtz does not write to expose Laura as a fraud, but instead The Ghost in the Little House explains that Laura’s books were more of a collaborative effort than anyone knew.
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Gibson's Last Stand
The Rise, Fall, and Near Misses of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1969-1975
Doug Feldmann
University of Missouri Press, 2011
 
During star-pitcher Bob Gibson’s most brilliant season, the turbulent summer of 1968, he started thirty-four games and pitched every inning in twenty-eight of them, shutting out the opponents in almost half of those complete games. After their record-breaking season, Gibson and his teammates were stunned to lose the 1968 World Series to the Detroit Tigers. For the next six years, as Bob Gibson struggled to maintain his pitching excellence at the end of his career, changes in American culture ultimately changed the St. Louis Cardinals and the business and pastime of baseball itself.
Set against the backdrop of American history and popular culture, from the protests of the Vietnam War to the breakup of the Beatles, the story of the Cardinals takes on new meaning as another aspect of the changes happening at that time. In the late 1960s, exorbitant salaries and free agency was threatening to change America’s game forever and negatively impact the smaller-market teams in Major League Baseball. As the Cardinals’ owner August A. Busch Jr. and manager Albert “Red” Schoendienst attempted to reinvent the team, restore its cohesiveness, and bring new blood in to propel the team back to contention for the pennant, Gibson remained the one constant on the team.
In looking back on his career, Gibson mourned the end of the Golden Era of baseball and believed that the changes in the game would be partially blamed on him, as his pitching success caused team owners to believe that cash-paying customers only wanted base hits and home runs. Yet, he contended, the shrinking of the strike zone, the lowering of the mound, and the softening of the traditional rancor between the hitter and pitcher forever changed the role of the pitcher in the game and created a more politically correct version of the sport.
Throughout Gibson’s Last Stand, Doug Feldmann captivates readers with the action of the game, both on and off the field, and interjects interesting and detailed tidbits on players’ backgrounds that often tie them to famous players of the past, current stars, and well-known contemporary places. Feldmann also entwines the teams history with Missouri history: President Truman and the funeral procession for President Eisenhower through St. Louis; Missouri sports legends Dizzy Dean, Mark McGwire, and Stan “the Man” Musial; and legendary announcers Harry Caray and Jack Buck. Additionally, a helpful appendix provides National League East standings from 1969 to 1975.
Bob Gibson remains one of the most unique, complex, and beloved players in Cardinals history. In this story of one of the least examined parts of his career—his final years on the team—Feldmann takes readers into the heart of his complexity and the changes that swirled around him.
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A Gift of Meaning
Bill Tammeus
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Because of the peculiar momentary nature of journalism, not every column can stand the test of time. But many—even those about events nearly gone from the public consciousness--contain lasting truths. A Gift of Meaning is a collection of those lasting truths from Bill Tammeus, a columnist for the Kansas City Star.

Each piece reveals Tammeus's attempt to wrestle eternal meaning from the events and experiences that sweep us along day by day.

I stopped by a homeless shelter the other day to see someone I know. As I waited, I felt rather conspicuous in my suit and tie. In fact, the friendly man at the information desk asked me if I was a pastor. I chuckled.

But as I sat in the lobby waiting to see the man I came to check on, I was struck again by what may be the most difficult of all human tasks: empathy. That is, the challenge of really putting ourselves in the shoes of others.

In the end, A Gift of Meaning is not just a presentation of found meaning, but also a call to readers to stop and think for themselves. This book is an invitation to breathe deeply and seek out the meaning of what the world heaves at us each day. It is an offering of insights that will provide fresh ways of comprehending things readers thought they already understood.

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front cover of Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic after Thirty Years
Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic after Thirty Years
Edited by Annette R. Federico, Foreward by Sandra M. Gilbert
University of Missouri Press, 2009

When it was published in 1979, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imaginationwas hailed as a pathbreaking work of criticism, changing the way future scholars would read Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, the Brontës, George Eliot, and Emily Dickinson. This thirtieth-anniversary collection adds both valuable reassessments and new readings and analyses inspired by Gilbert and Gubar’s approach. It includes work by established and up-and-coming scholars, as well as retrospective accounts of the ways in which The Madwoman in the Attic has influenced teaching, feminist activism, and the lives of women in academia.

These contributions represent both the diversity of today’s feminist criticism and the tremendous expansion of the nineteenth-century canon. The authors take as their subjects specific nineteenth- and twentieth-century women writers, the state of feminist theory and pedagogy, genre studies, film, race, and postcolonialism, with approaches ranging from ecofeminism to psychoanalysis. And although each essay opens Madwoman to a different page, all provocatively circle back—with admiration and respect, objections and challenges, questions and arguments—to Gilbert and Gubar's groundbreaking work.

The essays are as diverse as they are provocative. Susan Fraiman describes how Madwoman opened the canon, politicized critical practice, and challenged compulsory heterosexuality, while Marlene Tromp tells how it elegantly embodied many concerns central to second-wave feminism. Other chapters consider Madwoman’s impact on Milton studies, on cinematic adaptations of Wuthering Heights, and on reassessments of Ann Radcliffe as one of the book’s suppressed foremothers.
In the thirty years since its publication, The Madwoman in the Attic has potently informed literary criticism of women’s writing: its strategic analyses of canonical works and its insights into the interconnections between social environment and human creativity have been absorbed by contemporary critical practices. These essays constitute substantive interventions into established debates and ongoing questions among scholars concerned with defining third-wave feminism, showing that, as a feminist symbol, the raging madwoman still has the power to disrupt conventional ideas about gender, myth, sexuality, and the literary imagination.
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Giving Voters a Voice
The Origins of the Initiative and Referendum in America
Steven L. Piott
University of Missouri Press, 2003
Giving Voters a Voice studies the origins of direct legislation, one of the most important political reforms enacted during the Progressive Era. Steven L. Piott begins with the source of the idea in the United States and proceeds to the earliest efforts aimed at generating a national movement to expand the parameters of popular democracy in the 1890s. He then broadens his examination to include the unique ways in which twenty-two states came to enact legislation allowing for the statewide initiative and referendum between 1898 and 1918. The book’s appendix offers the only comprehensive listing of all the ballot propositions and vote totals for the period.
Most historians of the Progressive Era have concluded that narrow self-interest prevented labor, farmers, and the middle class from working together to achieve important reforms. Giving Voters a Voice demonstrates that middle-class reformers, trade unionists, and farm organizers formed loose political coalitions and directed grass-roots campaigns to gain passage of initiative and referendum statutes because direct legislation offered the best means to correct political, economic, and social abuses. But there was more than just a shared sense of common interest that brought these seemingly oppositional groups together. What really made them willing to speak, lobby, and work together was quite simply the frustration felt by voters who sensed that they had become economically dependent and politically powerless.
Each state in which proponents conducted an active campaign to win adoption of direct legislation is studied in detail. The book analyzes the crucial roles played by individuals who led the movement to empower voters by enabling them to enact or veto legislation directly, and reveals the arguments, the stumbling blocks, and political compromises that are often slighted in generalized overviews. Each state possessed its own political dynamic. Giving Voters a Voice offers the reader a richness of detail and a completeness of coverage not found elsewhere.
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front cover of Global Perspectives on Industrial Transformation in the American South
Global Perspectives on Industrial Transformation in the American South
Edited by Susanna Delfino & Michele Gillespie
University of Missouri Press, 2005
Covering the late colonial age to World War I and beyond, this collection of essays places the economic history of the American South in an international light by establishing useful comparisons with the larger Atlantic and world economy. In an attempt to dispel long-lasting myths about the South, the essays analyze the economic evolution of the South since the slave era. From this perspective, the conception of a backward, wholly agricultural antebellum South occupied only by wealthy planters, poor whites, and contented slaves has finally given way to one of economic and social dynamism as well as regional prosperity.
In a coherent and cohesive progression of subjects, these essays show that the South had been deeply enmeshed in the Atlantic economy since the colonial period and, after the Civil War, retained distinctive needs that caused increasing departure from the course northerners adopted on matters of political economy. This comparative approach also helps explain the motivations behind the political choices made by the South as an eminently export-oriented region.

This book shows that the South was not slower to develop with respect to industrialization than either the majority of the northern states, especially in the West, or the countries of Western Europe. In fact, the apparently disappointing performance of the New South’s economy appears to be the result of more pervasive and largely uncontrollable trends that affected the national as well as the international economy. Global Perspectives on Industrial Transformation in the American South makes an important contribution to the economic history of the South and to recent efforts to place American history in a more international context.

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Going Solo
Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century
G. Stuart Smith
University of Missouri Press, 2011
The traditional model of video news reporting has always had two separate roles: reporting and videography. For years, however, small-market news outlets have relied on “one-man bands”—individual reporters who shoot and edit their own video—for stories and footage. Lately, as the journalism landscape has evolved, this controversial practice has grown more and more popular. With the use of video constantly expanding, many large-market TV stations, networks, and newspaper Web sites are relying on one person to carry out a job formerly executed by two. News outlets now call these contributors VJs, digital journalists, backpack journalists, or mobile journalists. But no matter what they are called, there’s no denying the growing significance of solo videojournalists to the media landscape.
            Going Solo: Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century details the controversy, history, and rise of this news genre, but its main objective is to show aspiring videojournalists how to learn the craft. While other textbooks depict the conventional reporter-and-videographer model, Going Solo innovates by teaching readers how to successfully juggle the skills traditionally required of two different people.
            Award-winning journalist G. Stuart Smith begins by describing how and why the media’s use of solo videojournalists is growing, then delves into the controversy over whether one person can cover a story as well as two. He illuminates how, together, the downsizing of the media, downturn in the economy, and growth of video on the Web have led to the rise of the solo videojournalist model. Going Solo profiles TV stations and newspaper Web operations across the country that are using the model and offers helpful advice from VJs in the field. The book presents useful guidelines on how to multitask as a reporter-videographer: conducting interviews, shooting cover video, and writing and editing a good video story. Readers will also learn how to produce non-narrated stories and market themselves in a competitive field.
            Smith, who started his career as a “one-man band,” insightfully covers an area of journalism that, despite its growing market demand, has received little academic attention. Going Solo: Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century is useful for students learning the basics and those already in the field who need to upgrade their skills. By presenting industry know-how and valuable tips, this unique guidebook can help any enterprising videojournalist create a niche for him- or herself in the increasingly fragmented news media market.
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Good-bye to the Mermaids
A Childhood Lost in Hitler's Berlin
Karin Finell
University of Missouri Press, 2006
Good-bye to the Mermaids conveys the horrors of war as seen through the innocent eyes of a child. It is the story of World War II as it affected three generations of middle-class German women: Karin, six years old when the war began, who was taken in by Hitler’s lies; her mother, Astrid, a rebellious artist who occasionally spoke out against the Nazis; and her grandmother Oma, a generous and strong-willed woman who, having spent her own childhood in America, brought a different perspective to the events of the time. It tells of a convoluted world where children were torn between fear and hope, between total incomprehension of events and the need to simply deal with reality.
            In one of the relatively few recollections of the war from a German woman’s perspective, Finell relates what was for her a normal part of growing up: participating in activities of the Hitler Youth, observing Nazi customs at Christmas, and once being close enough to the Führer at a rally to make eye contact with him. She tells of how she first became aware of the yellow star that Jews were forced to wear, and of being asked to identify corpses from a bombed apartment house. She also depicts the lives of people tainted by Hitler’s influence: her half-Jewish relatives who gave in to the strain of trying to remain unnoticed; a favorite aunt who was gassed because she was old and had broken her hip; and a friend of the family who was involved in the abortive putsch against Hitler and hanged as a traitor.
            When American and British forces intensified air raids on Berlin in 1943, Finell observed the stoical valor of women during the bombings, firestorms, and mass evacuations. Not yet a teenager, she witnessed the battle for Berlin and the mass rapes perpetrated by conquering Russian and Mongolian troops. Order was restored after the American and British troops arrived. The Marshall Plan jump-started an economic recovery for West Germany, provoking the Russians to blockade Berlin. From 1948 to 1949 the Americans and British kept Berlin’s residents alive with the airlift. But even though food was flown in, the people of Berlin continued to go hungry. Deprivation forced Berliners to look inward and face their collective guilt as they withstood the threat of Soviet occupation during these postwar years.
            This eloquent and touching story tells how a decent people were perverted by Hitler and how a young girl ultimately came to recognize the father figure Hitler for the monster he was. From a time of innocence, Karin Finell takes readers along a nightmarish journey in which fantasies are clung to, set aside, and at last set free. Good-bye to the Mermaids presents us with the revelation that human beings can survive such times with their souls intact.
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A Government of Laws
Political Theory, Religion, and the American Founding
Ellis Sandoz
University of Missouri Press, 2001

In A Government of Laws, which includes a new preface, Ellis Sandoz re-evaluates the traditional understanding of the philosophic and intellectual background of the American founding.  Through an exhaustive assessment of Renaissance, medieval, and ancient political philosophy, he shows that the founding fathers were consciously and explicitly seeking to create a political order that would meet the demands of human nature and society.  This rigorous and searching analysis of the sources of political and constitutional theory generates an original and provocative approach to American thought and experience.

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Governor Lady
The Life and Times of Nellie Tayloe Ross
Teva J. Scheer
University of Missouri Press, 2005
Governor Lady is the fascinating story of one of the most famous political women of her generation. Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected governor of Wyoming in 1924—just four years after American women won the vote—and she went on to be nominated for U.S. vice president in 1928, named vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee the same year, and appointed the first female director of the Mint in 1932. Ross launched her career when her husband, William Bradford Ross, the preceding governor, died, leaving her widowed with four sons and no means of supporting them. She was an ironic choice to be such a pioneer in women’s rights, since she claimed her entire life that she had no interest in feminism. Nevertheless, she believed in equal opportunity and advancement in merit irrespective of gender—core feminist values. The dichotomy between Ross’s career and life choices, and her stated priorities of wife and mother, is a critical contradiction, making her an intriguing woman.
Exhaustively researched and powerfully written, Governor Lady chronicles the challenges and barriers that a woman with no job experience, higher education, or training faced on the way to becoming a confident and effective public administrator. In addition to the discrimination and resentment she faced from some of her male associates, she also aroused the enmity of Eleanor Roosevelt, whom she displaced at the DNC.
Born exactly one hundred years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Ross lived to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial, so her long and remarkable life precisely spanned the second U.S. century. She was reared in the Victorian era, when upper- and middle-class women were expected to be domestic, decorative, and submissive, but she died as the women’s movement was creating a multitude of opportunities for young women of the 1970s. Nellie’s story will be of great interest to anyone curious about women’s history and biography. The contemporary American career woman will especially identify with Ross’s struggle to balance her career, family, and active personal life.
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Governors' Mansions of the South
Ann Liberman, Photographs by Alise O'Brien, Foreward by Governor Jeb Bush
University of Missouri Press, 2008
From the Greek Revival architecture found in Mississippi to the Queen Anne style of North Carolina, governors’ mansions in the American South convey a passion for antiquity, as well as a regional elegance. Ann Liberman, author of Governors’ Mansions of the Midwest, spent much of her life in Texas and admires the remarkable architecture of the antebellum South—a respect that she now brings to her newest book.
            Governors’ Mansions of the South is devoted to the eleven states of the old Confederacy, plus Kentucky and West Virginia, and offers a brick-and-mortar reflection of the region’s rich history. It includes the country’s oldest governor’s mansion in continuous use, in Virginia, plus two built as recently as the 1960s, in Louisiana and Georgia. These mansions reflect an architectural cohesiveness found throughout the South, as Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival styles imbue antebellum houses with a classical aura, while others built in the first quarter of the twentieth century reflect the monumental eclectic styles of the Beaux Arts era.
            Liberman provides readers with a room-by-room guided tour of each of the buildings as she comments on their architecture, symbolism, and lore. She places the mansions in historical context, describing how their locations were chosen, how they were designed and decorated, and how they have been preserved, lost, or transformed over the years. While focusing primarily on the buildings themselves, she also highlights those governors and their wives who played significant roles in the mansions’ maintenance or renovation. Alise O’Brien’s accompanying color photographs capture the lavish interiors and furnishings as well as the dignified exteriors and landscapes.
            “Living in the Governor’s Mansion is a remarkable honor,” writes former governor of Florida Jeb Bush in his foreword, “but it is also a constant, humbling reminder that the people who occupy the mansions are, indeed, the public’s servants.” For site visitors or architecture buffs, Governors’ Mansions of the South is an enlightening introduction to these historic executive homes, reminding us that, however opulent, they provide a personal connection between the public and its government—and connect past generations to the present.
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Graham Greene's Fictions
The Virtues of Extremity
Cates Baldridge
University of Missouri Press, 2000

The first critical evaluation of Greene's novels since his death in 1991, Graham Greene's Fictions: The Virtues of Extremity is a reconsideration of the author's major literary achievements, as well as a recasting of his overall worldview. Hitherto, most criticism of Greene's fiction has forced him into the constricting category of the "Catholic novelist," consequently flattening the peaks and valleys of his uncompromising vision of life. Graham Greene's Fictions is Cates Baldridge's response to this critical disservice—an exploration that ignores the conventional preconceptions about Greene's fiction and reveals him to be one of the leading British novelists of the twentieth century.

More than a general assessment, Graham Greene's Fictions offers a fresh interpretation of familiar texts and attempts to discover within Greene's work a structure of thought that has not yet been seen with sufficient clarity. Each chapter focuses on a major aspect of Greene's vision as expressed through his novels. Greene's caustic attitude toward middle-class orthodoxies and his critiques of the three reigning ideologies of his time--Christianity, Marxism, and liberalism—are just two of the areas that Baldridge explores. Although five of Greene's novels are singled out for extensive evaluation—Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter, The Comedians, and The Honorary Consul—what Baldridge attempts is nothing less than a comprehensive re-imagination of "Greeneland's" fictional topography.

Written for both the scholar and the general audience, this innovative study successfully captures the attention of all readers whether it is the first or the fifty-first work of Greene criticism one has read.

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The Grasses of Missouri, Revised Edition
Clair L. Kucera
University of Missouri Press, 1998

Missouri's diverse landscapes, geology, and climate have endowed the state with a rich and varied grass flora. From tallgrass prairies to forested Ozarks to Mississippi lowlands, the state offers an array of grasses that can be classified into six subfamilies of the Poaceae, eighteen tribes, and eighty-seven genera.

Significant changes have been made in grass classification since the first edition of The Grasses of Missouri was published in 1961, resulting in an increased emphasis on phyletic criteria. Recognizing the recent advances in classification and changes in nomenclature, as well as new additions to the flora, this newly revised edition serves as a compilation of the native and naturalized species and subspecific taxa found in Missouri.

Formerly divided into two subfamilies, the Festucoideae and Panicoideae, the state's grass flora is now represented by six subfamilies. While the Panicoideae have remained intact, the traditional Festucoideae are now separated into smaller, more cohesive groupings. Further revisions have resulted in eighteen tribes compared to the twelve identified in the first edition.

Covering more than 275 species and subspecific entities, The Grasses of Missouri is an essential research tool for identifying grasses, complete with working keys, descriptions, line drawings, distributions, a glossary, and a bibliography. The professional and lay person alike will benefit from this indispensable manual.

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Gravity
Selected Letters of Olivia Langdon Clemens
Edited by Barbara E. Snedecor
University of Missouri Press, 2023
In this new volume of letters, readers are invited to meet Olivia Louise Langdon Clemens on her own terms, in her own voice—as complementary partner to her world-famous spouse, Mark Twain, and as enduring friend, mother to four children, world traveler, and much more. The frail woman often portrayed by scholars, biographers, and Twain himself is largely absent in these letters. Instead, Olivia (who Twain affectionately referred to as “Gravity” in their early correspondence) emerges as a resilient and energetic nineteenth-century woman, her family’s source and center of stability, and a well of private and public grace in an ever-changing landscape. Mark Twain’s biography recounted in Olivia’s letters offers new insights, and her captivating voice is certain to engage and enlighten readers.


 
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Groping toward Democracy
African American Social Welfare Reform in St. Louis, 1910-1949
Priscilla A. Dowden-White
University of Missouri Press, 2011
Decades before the 1960s, social reformers began planting the seeds for the Modern Civil Rights era. During the period spanning World Wars I and II, St. Louis, Missouri, was home to a dynamic group of African American social welfare reformers. The city’s history and culture were shaped both by those who would construct it as a southern city and by the heirs of New England abolitionism. Allying with white liberals to promote the era’s new emphasis on “the common good,” black reformers confronted racial segregation and its consequences of inequality and, in doing so, helped to determine the gradual change in public policy that led to a more inclusive social order.

In Groping toward Democracy: African American Social Welfare Reform in St. Louis, 1910–1949, historian Priscilla A. Dowden-White presents an on-the-ground view of local institution building and community organizing campaigns initiated by African American social welfare reformers. Through extensive research, the author places African American social welfare reform efforts within the vanguard of interwar community and neighborhood organization, reaching beyond the “racial uplift” and “behavior” models of the studies preceding hers. She explores one of the era’s chief organizing principles, the “community as a whole” idea, and deliberates on its relationship to segregation and the St. Louis black community’s methods of reform. Groping toward Democracy depicts the dilemmas organizers faced in this segregated time, explaining how they pursued the goal of full, uncontested black citizenship while still seeking to maximize the benefits available to African Americans in segregated institutions. The book’s nuanced mapping of the terrain of social welfare offers an unparalleled view of the progress brought forth by the early-twentieth-century crusade for democracy and equality.

By delving into interrelated developments in health care, education, labor, and city planning, Dowden-White deftly examines St. Louis’s African American interwar history. Her in-depth archival research fills a void in the scholarship of St. Louis’s social development, and her compelling arguments will be of great interest to scholars and teachers of American urban studies and social welfare history.
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Growing Up in a Land Called Honalee
The Sixties in the Lives of American Children
Joel P. Rhodes
University of Missouri Press, 2017
This study examines how the multiple social, cultural, and political changes between John Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961 and the end of American involvement in Vietnam in 1973 manifested themselves in the lives of preadolescent American children.

Because the preadolescent years are, according to the child development researchers, the most formative, Joel P. Rhodes focuses on the cohort born between 1956 and 1970 who have never been quantitatively defined as a generation, but whose preadolescent world was nonetheless quite distinct from that of the “baby boomers.” Rhodes examines how this group understood the historical forces of the 1960s as children, and how they made meaning of these forces based on their developmental age. He is concerned not only with the immediate imprint of the 1960s on their young lives, but with how their perspective on the era influenced them as adults.
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The Growth of the Liberal Soul
David Walsh
University of Missouri Press, 1997

In The Growth of the Liberal Soul, David Walsh confronts a core difficulty of the liberal democratic tradition in explaining and justifying itself. Acknowledging the incompleteness of liberal order as a theoretical explication of its underlying beliefs, Walsh analyzes contemporary debates about the foundations of liberal democratic politics. The widespread abandonment of the search for foundations by John Rawls, Richard Rorty, Michael Oakeshott, and the deconstructionists has been interpreted as signifying the absence of any sustaining inner resources. The result has been the confusion of contemporary liberal democratic self-understanding, which cannot make sense of its own extraordinary historical success nor apparently prevent the evident unraveling of its own moral code. It is this state of crisis from which Walsh's study takes its point of departure.

Unique in combining contemporary political relevance with historical depth, The Growth of the Liberal Soul brings together two approaches that are often treated separately. Walsh elaborates on the existential core of the liberal political tradition by way of an investigation of the historical sources and the raging contemporary debates.

While many scholars have been content to call attention to the dependence of liberal politics on transcendent faith, Walsh studies the progress of experiential reality by which that connection is concretely effected in life. The Growth of the Liberal Soul will be of interest to all readers, especially those interested in the relationship between religion and politics.

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Guillaume
A Life
Robert Guillaume & David Ritz
University of Missouri Press, 2002

Guillaume: A Life is the autobiography of esteemed Broadway, Hollywood, and television star Robert Guillaume. Ten months after suffering a stroke, Guillaume—perhaps best known as television’s Benson—began this autobiography with award-winning author and collaborator David Ritz.

The book goes beyond the recounting of a long and successful career to examine the forces that shaped the man: family, religion, race, and class. Startlingly candid and disarmingly self-aware, Guillaume seeks to know and understand himself, his treatment of the women in his life, and the choices he made along the way. He pursues the truth, however painful it may be, says Ritz, guided by two questions, “Who the hell am I?” and “What made me do what I did?”


Born in St. Louis in 1927 to a young, abused, unstable mother, and reared by a strong, hardworking grandmother, Robert Guillaume managed to move from the poverty and adversity of his youth to a rich, full career as an actor and a singer. Fierce determination and sharp focus enabled this man born to hardship and racial discrimination to study, learn, cultivate his natural talents, and succeed at the performance career he pursued with a vengeance. Guillaume first performed in the strict Catholic schools and churches to which his grandmother, who understood that education would be the key to any success he might achieve, sent him. There his love of classical music was nurtured, and he was encouraged to perform.

From a child longing for his mother’s love to a man unsure of the meaning of love for many of the women in his life, from a young performer struggling to succeed on Broadway and in Hollywood to a grief-stricken father watching his son die of AIDS, Robert Guillaume tells what it was like to realize celebrity and what he sacrificed in the process. Readers will savor the success story of this artist who achieved great recognition and fame, but who never lost sight of his beginnings. Appealing to all audiences, Guillaume is a revealing and poignant autobiography of an extraordinary and distinguished American thespian.
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