The special relationship of people and horses

February 6, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

If you are someone who rides horses or who thinks of horses as among the most graceful and beautiful animals on earth, Janet Jones has things to say that you will want to hear. Jones is a neuroscientist who studies perception, language, memory, and thought. She also trains horses and has become a keen observer • Read More »

Best-seller lists: let the buyer beware

February 5, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism.

To know anything about publishing is to know that best-seller lists are not always what they appear to be. Some of those lists do in fact reflect sales of books. But many, especially the ones you might see inside bookstores, reflect something quite different. Recently there surfaced a story from Great Britain that WH Smith, • Read More »

The Gilded Age, humans and horses, and baseball’s Hall of Fame debate: newsletter, February 4, 2022

February 4, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,290) on Friday, February 4, 2022. As happens each year at this time when voting for the baseball Hall of Fame is complete, a fierce debate is set off, not about the people who may have been voted into the Hall of Fame but about • Read More »

Alternatives to incarceration

January 31, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

America does itself no credit for accumulating one of the largest imprisioned populations per capita in the world. For generations now, the politically popular thing to be is “tough on crime,” and that has meant bringing more actions into the definition of criminal behavior and putting more and more people into our bulging prisons. The • Read More »

Norman Rockwell, changing with the times

January 29, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists.

By 1963, Norman Rockwell had been associated with the Saturday Evening Post for nearly five decades, had created icons for the American public, and had himself become something of an icon. As an illustrator, the title he gave himself, he had reflected in his art how many Americans envisioned themselves. The problem was that it • Read More »

The NYC caricarturist, Norman Rockwell changes direction, and a thought about incarceration: newsletter, January 28, 2022

January 28, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,290) on Friday, January 28, 2022. Score a small but, I hope, important victory for the First Amendment and free speech. With Corporate America and Government America – it’s getting harder to tell the difference between the two — making consistent efforts to cut back • Read More »

The fleet’s ‘superbowl’: December 7, 1941

January 26, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism.

When Mickey Ganitch woke up on the morning of December 7, 1941, he wasn’t thinking about the possibility of war with Japan. Instead, he was thinking about football. Specifically, his thoughts focused on the game in which he would be playing that day. Ganitch was a signalman on the USS Pennsylvania, which is sitting in • Read More »

A different view of the first president

January 24, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalism.

Have you ever had the feeling when you were reading about George Washington that you might not of been getting the full story? Is this guy really is good and perfect as American mythology makes him out to be? George Washington was certainly essential to the founding of the United States. He gets a lot • Read More »

Anna Katharine Green, the ‘mother of detective fiction’

January 22, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

With the publication of the stories of the murders in the Rue Morgue, Edgar Allan Poe is deservedly labeled as the “father of modern detective fiction.” Unfortunately, he died too soon to develop that genre. That became the task of others. One of those authors, now long forgotten, was Anna Katharine Green. She is credited • Read More »

The mother of the detective novel, a different view of the first president, baseball’s aborted move west: newsletter, January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: baseball, books, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,290) on Friday, January 21, 2022. To simply know how something happens, or that it will happen, is not to understand it. That’s the case whenever I walk into the very generous garden that I have been blessed with. Come spring, something will happen, and • Read More »

Disraeli and Gladstone: a caricaturist’s dream come true

January 19, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, writers, writing.

Some years ago, the BBC produced a 90-minute documentary on the parallel lives and careers of Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone titled  Gladstone and Disraeli: Clash of the Titans. (You can watch it on YouTube, irritatingly divided into six 15-minute segments with the first here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4CHsWMV3Es) When it comes to 19th-century British politics, the title is • Read More »

Rosemary Sutcliff and The Eagle of the Ninth

January 18, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Rarely does a historical novel, written for children, generate such controversy between archaeologists and historians, but that is what The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff, did when it was published in 1954. It continues to be the source of controversy today. The novel concerns the Ninth Roman legion, a legion which was mysteriously • Read More »

Anne Bronte, author of a classic but outshone by her sisters

January 18, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

As the baby of the family, Anne Brontë never got beyond the shadows of her more famous sisters, Charlotte and Emily. Everyone in the family doted on her, and when she died early, at the age of only 29, in 1849, her reputation and her place in English literature faded even further. Anne deserved a • Read More »