About this Item
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Title: A Life in Print: Selections from the work of...
Publisher: Blackwater Publications
Book Condition: GOOD
About this title
Veteran journalist James P. Gannon brings together his finest work from a 40-year career as writer and editor in A Life in Print, a collection of essays and columns that reads like a personal diary of a remarkable autobiographical journey.
Gannon, an award-winning journalist with a gift for graceful writing, wrote for The Wall Street Journal and was editor of The Des Moines Register and Washington Bureau Chief for The Detroit News. A Life in Print ranges in subject matter from Gannon’s boyhood in Minneapolis through his years covering economics, politics, and presidents in Washington, D.C. Along the way there are personal triumphs, including Pulitzer Prizes won by The Des Moines Register while he was editor, and tragedies, including the death of his 2-year-old son, which give this book its poignant sense of a life fully lived.
Though most of Gannon’s writing as a journalist involved covering business, politics, and national issues, the emphasis in this collection is on more personal, human experiences which became subjects of his columns. Among the topics are these:
*His memories of his father, a Minneapolis grain merchant ruined by the Depression who fought his way back to prosperity after World War II. "Like a man who has been mugged, he walked through the rest of his life glancing over his shoulder, seeing dark visions in the shadows, one hand clasped firmly on his wallet....He was a Cadillac of a man, but he insisted on driving Chevrolets."
*His advice to a daughter on her wedding: "Getting married is like being given a huge, rectangular block of stone, a hammer and a chisel. There’s a beautiful monument to love in there somewhere, if you and your partner can work together to get it out."
*On the hardscrabble acreage called Shamrock Farm that he bought in Iowa: "All about the place, there is a feeling of the past, an echo of men working in the fields and wives hanging the wash, and children playing in the dust of the driveway....of ghosts and broken dreams."
*On his love of all things Irish: "I don’t remember exactly when I discovered I was Irish... (my parents) were of the generation that strove to leave immigrant roots behind them and join the melting-pot middle class....they recalled too vividly the ‘no Irish need apply’ mentality of earlier years....rejecting melting-pot homogenization, I chose to recognize and celebrate what was bred in the bone and blood.".
Illustrated with photos of a life’s journey, Gannon’s book is as much autobiographical and philosophical as it is journalistic. There are pieces on wars and presidential campaigns, life in the newsroom, family and farming, his love of trains, county music, Civil War history, and travels in Ireland.From the Author:
Most of what newspaper columnists or editors write dies with tomorrow's headlines. But some things last. In this collection, I have selected writings that I thought had some enduring value. They are lessons of life, and celebrations of life and values--family, faith, friends, the things that matter. These things don't come and go with the headlines. They live in the heart. And they outlast the writer. So I hope it is with this book.
--James P. Gannon
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