This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, August 21, 2020. Through muted celebrations, we noted the centennial of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution this week. This amendment guaranteed the right of women to vote, and it represented the largest and most significant change […]
The 19th amendment, James Lee Burke, John Quincy Adams, and NYT’s typos: newsletter, August 21, 2020
Being tall at Guadalcanal, a notorious pirate, rural noir, and the serial killer: newsletter, August 14, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, August 14, 2020. One of the things on my mind this week is the concept of respect. The thinking on that was kicked off by an NYT column by Bret Stephens on the 18th-century politician and philosopher Edmund Burke (Why Edmund Burke […]
The movie and book that define noir, online teaching and learning, the hard-boiled detective, and a podcast recommendation: newsletter, August 7, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, August 7, 2020. Churches can’t meet, businesses can’t operate properly, schools and libraries can’t open — none of this can happen without major concerns about the safety of the people involved. This is a deeply frustrating time for all of us. […]
The practicality of the first Black bookstore owner, the role of ex-presidents, and more about libraries and erasing history: newsletter, July 31, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,550) on Friday, July 31, 2020. As with much of the rest of the world, Americans continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. Should we send children to school? Can professional sports maintain a schedule? Is it safe to go to a restaurant or […]
Baseball finally, the massive output of Georges Simenon, and the need for some creative thinking: newsletter, July 24, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, July 24, 2020. A memory rattled through my brain this week of a newspaper column I read many years ago. It was in the 1960s, and the column was by Russell Baker in the New York Times (I’m pretty sure), and […]
Changing American attitudes toward slavery, police reporting reconsidered, and reader reactions: newsletter, July 17, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, July 17, 2020. The world gets crazier and the pandemic, in America, gets worse. My heart is with those who have to make difficult decisions, from sending their kids to school to ordering businesses to shut down. I pray for their […]
Theodore Weld, his wife Angelina Grimké, and her sister Sarah Grimké were tired of the spin — although they didn’t use that term back in 1838. They were tired of people saying that black was white, up was down, and night was day. And they were tired of people believing the spin because that’s what […]
The real Mary Westmacott, capitalizing Black when referring to race, Tennessee Vietnam War Roundtable meeting: newsletter, July 10, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,557) on Friday, July 10, 2020. “The Best Year Ever” is probably not a description that you are willing to apply to 2020 just yet, but that thought occurred to me this week as I was gathering in the bounty from our garden. We are […]
Hugh Walpole, reactions to masks and COVID-19, First Amendment violations, and an international watercolor conspiracy: newsletter, July 3, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, July 3, 2020. An international cabal of industrialists and watercolorists has met in secret (not sure when, probably at night; not sure where, probably Switzerland) and decided that July will be International Watercolor Month. I will continue my investigations and report my […]
Agatha Christie’s reputation, as well as the body of work, as a mystery writer so overwhelms anyone who takes a look at her life that it’s easy to miss the fact that she wrote six novels — none of them mysteries — under the pen name of Mary Westmacott. Like many other novelists, Christie found […]
We have recently expanded the Blount County Public Library’s Vietnam Voices project by creating the Tennessee Vietnam War Roundtable, a monthly online conference for those interested in learning more about America’s involvement in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s. We had our first meeting on Monday, June 8, and the featured speaker was Billy Minser, […]
Cornelius Ryan and the origins of the New Journalism, a new branch of Vietnam Voices, and some of Motown’s one-hit wonders: newsletter, June 19, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, June 19, 2020. We started something a couple of weeks ago called the Tennessee Vietnam War Roundtable. It’s explained more fully below. I wanted to take this space this week to urge you to join the roundtable. You don’t have to be from Tennessee, and […]
Trial attorney and author Michael Kahn used to respond to his wife Margi the same way every time she asked about the book he was reading. I could write a better one, he would say. Finally, she had had enough. “Then write one,” she finally said, “or please shut up.” So he shut up-no easy task for […]
Marguerite Higgins finds a place for a woman in a combat zone, Stevie Wonder, and what Lincoln looked like: newsletter, May 22, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, May 22, 2020. This summer is likely to turn into my Wolf Hall summer. I have waited too long to dive into Hilary Mantel’s widely-acclaimed trilogy of historical fiction about the life of Thomas Cromwell. Mantel published the third volume of the trilogy (The […]
The queen of pandemic literature, Motown’s founding father, Shakespeare online, and reader reaction: newsletter, April 24, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,587) on Friday, April 24, 2020. Before the pandemic hit, I had been planning a small display for our library on Motown in order to let patrons know about all of the Motown books that we have on the shelves. That idea, obviously, has been […]
America’s chief subversive, more on the bees, the Marvelettes, and talking ourselves into infirmities: newsletter, April 17, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,590) on Friday, April 17, 2020. \ Not being able to grieve properly and not being able to express sympathy in person are two of the chief difficulties of our current situation. I mentioned those last week, and a friend who is a minister […]
Bach’s letter of application, the challenge of new words, Handel washed up, and more on Ida Tarbell; newsletter, April 3, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,592) on Friday, April 3, 2020. During the last couple of years, sometime before Easter, I have included in this newsletter a post about George Frederick Handel and the condition of his life just before he wrote his most famous oratorio, The Messiah. I have included that […]
No one that I know of has the title of Founder of Modern True-Crime Literature (or some such), but if such a title existed, the leading candidate would be a guy you have probably never heard of — a Scottish lawyer named William Roughead (pronounced ruff-head). Roughead (1872-1950) was a lawyer in Edinburgh and, by […]
The sharp words of Ida Tarbell, the dilemma of Woody Allen, more on cultural appropriation, and reader reaction: newsletter, March 20, 2020
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,597) on Friday, March 20, 2020. The magnitude and rapidity with which the world has changed in the last week lies beyond our complete understanding. Those things that we could confidently predict — high school graduations, opening day of the baseball season, the church service […]
When The Eagle Has Landed was published in 1975, it was an immediate and huge hit for its author Harry Patterson, who was writing under the pen name of Jack Higgins. The fast-paced and gripping narrative captured the imagination of readers and the attention of filmmakers, who quickly purchased the movie rights and almost as […]
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Since 2004 JPROF.com has been providing journalism instructors and students with material and ideas for teaching and learning journalism. Jim Stovall is the site's creator and operator.
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