about North Point. Need to go back and check. I had thought that it had gone dark, but perhaps not. What I suspect occurred is that it ceased publishing at some point, the early 90's if I recall, and may well have been resurrected later.
Nice to know that Connell was lightning-struck. No one deserved such a payday more. Sweet revenge of a sort when a work that has been rejected by multiple "big" publishers proves a rousing success with a small one.
In that article you kindly linked to, Connell mentions how "deadly dull" so many historical works are. Difficult to take issue with that. Connell wrote a number history-oriented works and in each of them it is the sentence-to-sentence quality of the prose, as well as the penetrating intelligence behind them, that raises his efforts far above the dull. Human nature being what it is, I suspect that not a few "real" historians quite resented him for that.
The man was a gifted narrative craftsman which is no small thing, especially as it pertains to works of history. If more historical researchers paid as much heed to how they present and package their facts as they do to the facts themselves, I suspect that such work would attract more readers. (Not in America, of course. Pardon the glittering generality, but as a rule, Americans don't have much truck with the notion that the past is prelude--or is it prologue?--to the present. Americans are all about the future. They much prefer looking forward, which is fine, save when it comes at the expense of looking backward as well.)
An anecdote (from memory, I caution). North Point Press was a small, literary nonfiction house out of Berkeley, but not by any stretch a Western history press. Think M. F. K. Fisher, not Le... more
yes, North Point is no more; its back list is apparently distributed by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, part of Macmillan, part of Mr. Big, whatever.
Connell was right, the story is the thing.... more
I had no idea. Terrific stuff. As a rule, I'm an abstract guy myself, but those images of Baskin's do resonate with me. When I first glimpsed the Custer image on the original hardback "Son of" cover, ... more
In his 2008 NYRB review of Custerology, Larry McMurty has this to say:
"Three times in the past twenty years I’ve been asked to write a book about Custer and the Little Bighorn, and each time I’ve ... more
I was going to ask you. Apparently it was a 30-page consideration of Mister McCarty Bonney Kid. Do not know what became of it. (Are McConnell's papers archived at a university or historical society so... more
Thanks. Did not know about Ondaatje's Billy saga, and to further expose my literary blinkers, that he wrote The English Patient. Good grief, this Google fellow I obviously just consulted is ... more
Ondaatje was savaged by a certain nationalist element in Canada for having the temerity to write about "American" subjects. Apparently Canada was peculiarly insular--and insecure--about its literary c... more
Canada is...well, Canada. Overrated by many. While Canada may appear to be a sort of idiot relative of ours, she got her land the same way we got ours - by taking it from them who had it first. Lift t... more
At least about the "similar kind of dirt," though if Canada can be characterized as "a sort of idiot relative of ours," I am happy to raise high a glass to idiocy.
As someone who reads his fair sha... more
I do admire Trudeau's willingness to go full blackface at a moment's notice. And also like us, Canada interred their Japanese citizens during WW2, for their own good, of course. They also keep the nat... more
This I did not know. Leonard Baskin's mournful, seated Custer was originally a 1968 National Park Service poster:
Shortly after the 'Son of the Morning Star' television mini series in 1991, a new interest was generated in the book. When a new edition was released the dust jacket had an image of Gary Cole dressed... more
I cant stand to read that Custer was ignorant. That just is not very well informed. He is still the youngest general in history at 23 and maj general 25. Recognized by Sherman, Sheridan, McClellan ... more