Archives: history

The first of the modern female reporters, Handel’s revival, baseball’s Opening Day: newsletter, March 26, 2021

March 28, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, reporters, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,374) on Friday, March 26, 2021. Some of the best news of the week concerns one of my favorites: libraries. The recent stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by President Joseph Biden contains $200 million to aid public libraries. That amount sounds like a lot, • Read More »

Coleridge and his Rime, Hastings and his impeachment, and the messy path toward the 20th amendment: newsletter, March 19, 2021

March 21, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,381) on Friday, March 19, 2021. The phrase “spring planting” denotes more than just an activity for me. It’s a season. Lots of things happen. Yes, I get to literally dig into my garden with unbounded ambition that should be tempered by experience — but • Read More »

Spy novels with a dash of humor and irony, an advocate of racial equality in the 19th century, and the results of denying readers: newsletter, March 12, 2021

March 14, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalists, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,392) on Friday, March 12, 2021.   One of the writing roles that I have never pictured myself fulfilling is that of a memoirist. Tell other people’s stories, I would say to my journalism students, not your own. Your job is to write about other people, not yourself. I • Read More »

America’s first female presidential candidate, the passing of musical legends, and another Heads and Tales podcast:newsletter, February 19, 2021

February 21, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

  Those of us who have accumulated lots of birthdays have the privilege of looking back across the years with a certain level of bemusement and objectivity. The half-century point is always a good marker, and for the past few weeks, I have been thinking about my life a half-century ago. It was a significant • Read More »

Victoria Woodhull, our first female presidential candidate, spent election night in jail

February 21, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Victoria Woodhull, on the night of November 5, 1872, should have been at home with her husband and family or possibly somewhere with friends and companions. It was the evening of the presidential election of 1872, and Woodhull had a special interest in its outcome. During that campaign, Woodhull had been the first female presidential • Read More »

Ben Franklin’s method of making friends out of enemies

February 15, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalism, writers, writing.

The highest compliment that you can give someone is not to make a public knowledge moment of their appearance or of their talents and accomplishments. Even when sincerely given, words of this nature are shallow, cheaply rendered, and temporary. They may also be disputed. No, the highest compliment comes with words such as, “I need • Read More »

The Sherlock Holmes look, Elizabeth I’s mediocrity, Heads and Tales, and Highsmith at 100: newsletter, February 5, 2021

February 7, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,401) on Friday, February 5, 2021.     The ability to learn is one of our highest values. Gathering facts and information and marrying them to our previous knowledge and experience is the essence of what it means to be human. But what about our • Read More »

Heads and Tales, my new book; Arséne Lupin and his creator; the man who first burned Washington; newsletter, January 29, 2021

January 31, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,480) on Friday, January 29, 2021.   This pandemic and the necessary isolation that it has caused forced us all to change our habits, particularly our ways of socialization. Every organization that I know of has had to change the way it conducts its business • Read More »

The man who sacked Washington, D.C. – and feared the letter ‘c’

January 30, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history.

From all accounts, Admiral Sir George Cockburn (properly pronounced co – burn) was a courageous, though often flamboyant, warrior for the British admiralty. The only thing that he really feared, apparently, was the letter “c.” Cockburn led the British forces that sailed up the Chesapeake Bay in August 1814, landed at Benedict, Maryland, and marched northward. His battle-experienced and • Read More »

Heads and Tales: Caricatures and Stories of the Famous, the Infamous, and the Just Plain Interesting

January 27, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, podcasting, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

My latest literary and artistic efforts are coming to fruition in the next couple of weeks with the publication of a new book: Heads and Tales: Caricatures and Stories of the Famous, the Infamous, and the Just Plain Interesting. The book will be in paperback and ebook form, but it will be accompanied by something else: a podcast • Read More »

Unity and the lack thereof – American style

November 30, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, freedom of speech, history, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

In the immediate aftermath of political campaigns, the winner (and sometimes even the loser) appeals for “unity,” which often means in real-speak, “I want you to agree with me now that I am in power.” Such appeals, possibly well-meant, rarely have much effect on either supporters or opponents. But it sounds good, and it’s expected. • Read More »

Ed Hoch’s short stories, another presidential memoir, and something new from Vietnam Voices: newsletter, November 27, 2020

November 29, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,489) on Friday, November 27, 2020. The small farm where I live is blessed with hundreds of feet of fencerows. They stretch past the barn and around the pasture and by the garden. And they have been neglected for many years. That means that the • Read More »

Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell: the shifting literary views of each man

November 28, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, writers, writing.

Few historical figures can claim as many major literary executions and resurrections as Thomas More, venerated saint of the Roman Catholic Church, who was, in real life, executed by Henry VIII in 1536 for his refusal to sign the Oath of Supremacy. That oath would have acknowledged the king, rather than the Pope, as head of the • Read More »

Vietnam Voices podcast – Firefight with the NVA

November 28, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism, Vietnam Voices.

Episode Summary Army Captain Russ Hanson describes a firefight with a unit of the North Vietnamese Army that occurred in Vietnam in 1969. Episode Notes Army Capt. Russ Hanson served with a field artillery unit, serving two tours in Vietnam. This interview was conducted January 22, 2020, at the Blount County Public Library by William • Read More »

The call for unity, a defense of Thomas More, and more about Abe: newsletter, November 20, 2020

November 22, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,495) on Friday, November 20, 2020.     Thanksgiving is approaching, and I have always particularly enjoyed our national season of gratitude. It is important that we acknowledge what we have been given, even during a year when all of us have seen our lives • Read More »

More on William Seward, another walk through the Golden Age, and writing like a rifle: newsletter, November 13, 2020

November 15, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, Civil War, history, newsletter, reporters, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, November 13, 2020. Some people cook and bake. Some people collect. Some make things. Some draw and paint, some listen (to music, etc.), some watch (birds, airplanes, insects, old movies, etc.), some read. The list could go on and on, of course. • Read More »