Walk Toward Oregon A Memoir

Alvin M Josephy

Published by UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA PRESS, 2001
ISBN 10: 0806133716 / ISBN 13: 9780806133713
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Synopsis: Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., takes us on a magnificent tour of the twentieth century, from the banks of the Hudson in the early 1900s to the American West at century's end. His story culminates with his service as founding chairman of the board of trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian (set to open in 2003).

Review: An outstanding memoir provides insights into two worlds--the personal world of the author, with all the events, passions, and experiences that are unique to that individual, and the social, political world in which he or she lived. Generally speaking, the more remarkable the life of the author and the greater the historical awareness, the better the memoir. Add to these the fact that Alvin Josephy is a practiced and sophisticated writer, and it's no surprise that A Walk Toward Oregon is all that a memoir should be.

Alvin Josephy Jr. was born in 1915, and in his 85 years he's lived a noteworthy life and accomplished an inordinate amount. The author of many award-winning books (including The Patriot Chiefs, Now That the Buffalo's Gone, and The Civil War in the American West), Josephy has also been a vice president and editor of American Heritage magazine, the president of the Western History Association, and the founding chairman of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian board of trustees. He found his calling working with American Indians to regain the land they once owned, found peace of mind with a ranch in Oregon--making his childhood dreams of the great West an adult reality--and then tied it all together in a cohesive and thoughtful memoir.

An eminent historian, Josephy is acutely aware of the passage of time and the social impact of landmark events. His young life was peopled by luminaries such as H.L. Mencken, Willa Cather, and Alfred Knopf (his uncle, and founder of the publishing house that so happened to print this book). He interviewed Leon Trotsky for the Herald Tribune, had a stint as a Marine Corps combat correspondent at Iwo Jima, and participated in an antiwar march with Martin Luther King Jr., not to mention all the advocating he's done on behalf of the Native Americans. His personal interaction with history brings the 20th century alive, both for those of us who experienced it alongside him and for younger readers who may view the goings-on of the Great Depression and WWII as ancient history. His portrayal of his life and times is intimate, insightful, and a pleasure to read. --Stephanie Gold

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Title: Walk Toward Oregon A Memoir
Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA PRESS
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Trade Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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