Passionate pilgrim: The extraordinary life of Alma Reed

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9781557783714: Passionate pilgrim: The extraordinary life of Alma Reed

Traces the life of the American journalist, describes the major stories she covered, and discusses her work on behalf of Mexican archaeology and art

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Effusive, admiring bio of Alma Sullivan Reed, a San Franciscan who fashioned a unique career--as reporter, archaeologist, deep-sea diver, p.r. writer--in an unlikely age. Born in 1889, Reed bluffed her way into her first job (as ``Mrs. Goodfellow'' for the Call) and most of the ones thereafter. She led the fight to forestall the hanging of an underaged immigrant; created the San Quentin beat; and covered the Fatty Arbuckle trial before sending her conventional parents the usual promises as, in 1923, she left for Mexico for The New York Times. There, she enjoyed a passion for archaeology and met married governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Theirs was an ``amor calido,'' a ``romance of the steam,'' according to May (Witness to War, 1983)- -an intense attachment severed by Puerto's death by firing-squad several years later. Writing with an enterprising enthusiasm, May tracks Reed around the world, blending personal details with the facts and findings of her subject's work, whether unraveling the secrets of the Cumaean sibyl, rescuing the contents of Mayan tombs, or overcoming the early problems of undersea photography. May never fails to note that Reed's own life, real and embellished, was her best story, the true facts along with those she upgraded (e.g., by granting herself a doctorate). It's too bad that this rich and varied life is burdened by the use of imagined dialogue, a device common to YA biographies. A woman who hung out with Kahlil Gibran, promoted the career of muralist Jose Orozco, and broke the story of the Peabody Museum's stolen treasures could benefit from a more sophisticated approach. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

May, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle , here provides an uninspiring account of the life of Alma Sullivan Reed (1889-1966), a journalist who spent her long career promoting an understanding of Mexican culture and history in the United States. May's narrative covers the major events in Reed's life from her first trip to Mexico, her engagement there to revolutionary governor Felipe Carillo Puerto (which ended with his assassination), and Reed's subsequent careers as an archaeology reporter, manager of a New York art gallery, and promoter of the work of Mexican artist Jose Orozco. Despite the drama inherent in Reed's unusual life, May fails to draw the reader into her narrative. She loses authority as a biographer by relying heavily on fabricated and unconvincing dialog to convey Reed's story and never fully addresses the complexities of Reed's character, such as her lifelong propensity for self-aggrandizing exaggeration.
- Ellen Finnie Duranceau, MIT Lib.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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May, Antoinette
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Book Description Paragon House, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 000-433: Hardcover with Dustjacket. 283 pages. No Defects. A New, Unread Book. A beautiful, square, tight copy with clean, unmarked pages. Outstanding Gift Quality. Story of a Heroine of Mexico, Pioneer Archaeologist, and Acclaimed Journalist with 16 Pages of Black and White Photographs. Stated First Edition, First Printing 1993. Published by Paragon House. Bookseller Inventory # 29244

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