With the 1996 presidential election just a few months away, historian John Milton Cooper, Jr. examines the records and reputations of previous 20th-century presidents and finds that all have had their ups and downs—and that all since Franklin D. Roosevelt have been overshadowed by the enduring reputation of— and reverence for—F.D.R. Mr. Cooper himself has quite a reputation as a presidential scholar, particularly of presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the subjects of his highly acclaimed book, The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt which appeared in the 1980’s. Long a member of the history faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Cooper has served as the William Francis Allen Professor of History since 1987, Alien having been the first professor of history at Wisconsin and the teacher of the famous historian, Frederick Turner. Mr. Cooper is now working on a book about the congressional battle after World War I over American admission to the League of Nations.
Like presidential reputations, Spanish politics has been through its own ups and downs in recent years, culminating with the end of the 15-year rule of the Spanish Socialist party in the March 3rd, 1996 elections and its replacement by the rightist Partido Popular. Yet, as David T. Gies notes in his latest VQR survey of the Spanish scene, democracy is here to stay in Spain no matter who is in power. A noted Hispanist, Mr. Gies is Commonwealth Professor of Spanish and former chairman of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at the University of Virginia. He has traveled and lectured widely in Spain and is an authority on issues related to Spanish literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. His latest book is titled The Theatre in Nineteenth Century Spain and was published last year by Cambridge (Spanish edition, 1996).
J. David Stevens studied creative writing at Duke University with Reynolds Price and Elizabeth Cox and recently completed his dissertation in Western American literature at Emory University. He has also done work in the M.F.A. program at Virginia Commonwealth University and was a Liberal Arts Fellow in the M.F.A. program at Penn State during the past academic year.
A frequent VQR contributor, Stephen J. Whitfield is professor of American studies at Brandeis University and author of such books as Voices of Jacob, Hands of Essau: Jews in American Life and Thought and A Critical American: The Politics of Dwight MacDonald. A second edition of his most recent book, The Culture of the Cold War, was published this spring.
The biographer of such literary luminaries as D.H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and most recently, Robert Frost, Jeffrey Meyers has now turned his attention to Hollywood and is completing a biography of Humphrey Bogart.
Marcia Southwick lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is making her debut as a VQR poet.
A resident of New Haven, Connecticut, Don Barkin teaches at a local prep school and off and on in the graduate liberal studies program at Wesleyan University. He spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter, and his poems have appeared in Harvard Magazine and New Virginia Review.
Elaine Terranoa won the 1990 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets for her first full-length collection of poems, The Cult of the Right Hand published by Double-day. Her latest book, Damages, was recently published by Copper Canyon Press,
Terri Brown-Davidson’s poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in more than 250 journals including TriQuarterly 86, Tri-Quarterly 90, The Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, and Puerto del Sol. She has received an AWP Intro Award for poetry and five University of Nebraska-Lincoln doctoral fellowships. Her poetry manuscript, The Bright Clay Forest,has been a finalist in a dozen book competitions.
Peter Cooley teaches at Tulane University and recently finished his sixth collection of poems, Sacred Conversations, which will be published next year by Carnegie Mellon University Press.
Ira Sadoff is the author of Delirious: New and Selected Poems to be published by Godine in 1997. His essays, poems, and stories are collected in the Ira Sadoff Reader published last year by Wesleyan as part of their ongoing Bread Loaf Contemporary Series.
It is something of an understatement to describe George Garrett as a prolific author and editor: he has written 25 books and edited 18. His latest novel published this spring by Harcourt Brace is The King of Babylon Shall Not Come Against You, an account of racial strife in Florida at the time of Martin Luther King’s assassination.
Kim R. Stafford has taught at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon since 1979 and directs the Northwest Writing Institute there and the Imaginative Writing Seminar. He has worked as an oral historian, letterpress printer, photographer, teacher, and visiting writer in a host of small towns around the Pacific Northwest and has taught writing and literature at colleges in New York, California, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. His publications include Having Even/thing Right: Essays of Place, Wind on the Waves (a short story collection), and Lochsa Road: A Pilgrim in the West (a travel essay).
A well-known short story writer and novelist, Stephen Minot has not, in his words, “written much non-fiction, but the state of the world seems to cry out for more direct commentary than fiction will allow.” Hence his essay, “An Open Letter to Christians, Both Born and Reborn.”
Robert Erwin’s essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. This year he has been writing on Scott Fitzgerald as well as frontier warfare. He is editor of more than 200 scholarly books. A resident of Amherst, he serves on the Fellowships Committee of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.
A graduate of Princeton University, Jennifer Howard is making her debut as a short story writer with the publication of “Act of Humanity” in this issue of VQR. Her non-fiction has appeared in The Southern Quarterly, The Washington Post, East European Quarterly, and The New York Times. She has also worked as a reviewer and editor for The Washington Post Sunday Book World.
Patricia Foster won both the 1993 PEN/ Jerard Award for women’s non-fiction and the 1993 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award for nonfiction. She is the editor of Minding the Body(Anchor 1994) and teaches in the nonfiction writing program at the University of Iowa. Her essays and stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, The Greensboro Review and other quarterlies. Her second anthology, Sister to Sister, was published by Doubleday early this year.
Elena Gorokhova was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, and has lived in the United States since 1980. She has an M.A. from Leningrad University, an Ed. D. from Rutgers University, and teaches at Hudson County College in New Jersey.
Anthony P. Dunbar is an attorney and writer in Louisiana. He is also a member of the New Orleans civil rights organization, Erace.
Sanford Pinsker is a professor of English at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a prolific author, and was a personal friend of the subject of his latest VQR review, namely the late author and critic, Irving Howe.
Jack Fischel’s latest VQR essay review deals with the black essayist and jazz musician, Stanley Crouch. Mr. Fischel is the chairman of the department of history at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania.
A professor of English at New York University, John Maynard is the author of Browning’s Youth, Charlotte Bronte and Sexuality, and Victorian Discourses on Sexuality and Religion. He has been the recipient of NEH and Guggenheim fellowships and been visiting professor at the University of Venice. He will soon publish Browning Re-Viewed, a collection of his many reviews of work on Browning, and he is currently working on a book about reader theory.
Paul Barolsky was recently appointed Commonwealth Professor of Art History at the University of Virginia and is an authority on Renaissance art.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and California State, Jeff Parker Knight is a poet, essayist, and music critic. His writing has appeared in The Austin Chronicle and Prairie Schooner as well as the children’s magazine, Cricket. He has also taught courses in song writing, public speaking, and performance studies at the University of Texas-Austin.
David C. Ward is an historian at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and a poet with work out recently in Potomac Review, Woodnotes, and Appalachia. He also writes the “American Notes” column for The London Quarterly. His essay, “ ‘Guild’ Critics and Populism in American Poetry,” appeared in a recent (March/April) issue of the English journal, P.N. Review.
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