MICHAEL NELSON hardly needs an introduction to VQR readers having previously written an article on Frank Sinatra and another on Garrison Keillor among other contributions. His essay, “The Good, the Bad, and the Phony: Six Famous Historians and Their Critics” was the lead article in our Summer 2002 issue. Having examined the works of six historians, Mr. Nelson now turns his attention to a famous biographer, namely Robert Caro, whose biographies of Robert Moses and President Lyndon Johnson have attracted wide acclaim. Last year, Mr. Caro published his third volume in the tumultuous life of the Texas president. Mr. Nelson praises Mr. Caro’s brilliance in bringing these two figures to life, but he is also critical of Mr. Caro’s analysis. As he puts it, “Caro’s virtues as a biographer make it all the more disappointing that his analysis of why Johnson sought power is so shallow and machinistic.” He notes that historian Hugh Davis Graham has pointed out that Caro’s Johnson “came out of the Texas hill country formed, shaped into a shape so hard it would never change.” In other words, Mr. Nelson feels that Caro assumed what he set out to prove about Lyndon Johnson.
Michael Nelson is known in the political science community for books that he has published on the American presidency, national election, and higher education. He is a professor of political science at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.
Dr. C. Knight Aldrich is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Virginia. He also taught at the Universities of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Chicago, and at the New Jersey College of Medicine in Newark. One of his major interests is the organization and distribution of care of the mentally ill. In pursuing this interest, he has worked in and written about Community Mental Health in Charlottesville, Newark, and Chicago, as well as in Edinburgh, Brisbane, and Christchurch, and has consulted with state mental health departments in Minnesota and Illinois and with the National Institute of Mental Health. He has also taught primary care physicians about caring for psychiatric problems, and early in his career, he was a psychiatrist in the United States Public Health Service.
Philip Beidler is a professor of English at the University of Alabama, where he has taught American literature since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1974. His most recent books include The Good War’s Greatest Hits: World War II and American Remembering, and First Books: The Printed Word and Cultural Formation in Early Alabama. He is currently completing a book on the Vietnam War and American memory entitled After Apocalypse Now: Late Thoughts on an Old War.
T. Alan Broughton is a writer living in Burlington, VT. He has published four novels and six books of poetry, the most recent The Origin of Green, published by Carnegie-Mellon in 2001, and a collection of short stories of which his VQR story is one, titled Suicidical Tendencies. The collection will be published in March by Colorado State University Press.
John Milton Cooper is the E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His latest book, Breaking the Heart of the World: Woodrow Wilson and the Fight for the League of Nations appeared in 2001, and he is now working on a one volume biography of Wilson.
Donna Baier Stein’s novel, Fortune, won the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her story collection Versions was a finalist for the Iowa Fiction Awards. She has received a Bread Loaf Scholarship, Pushcart nominations, and awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia. Her work has appeared in New York Stories, Prairie Schooner, Florida Review, Notre Dame Review, The Literary Review, and other journals. She is the poetry editor at Bellevue Literary Review.
Peter Bridges has worked in Prague as first secretary of the American Embassy and later as resident representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. His first book, Safirka: An American Envoy, describes his experiences as ambassador to Somalia. His book, Pen of Fire (Kent State 2002) is the first biography of John Moncure Daniel, a Virginian who was an American diplomat and Confederate editor.
Lawrence Raab is the author of five collections of poems, most recently The Probable World, published by Penguin in 2000, and What We Don’t Know About Each Other (Penguin 1993), a winner of the National Poetry Series and a finalist for the National Book Award. His latest book, Visible Signs: New and Selected Poems, will be published by Penguin this April. He teaches literature and writing at Williams College.
Dwaine Rieves works at the Venereal Disease Clinic at the Whitman Walker Clinic in Washington, DC and has published poems in Georgia Review, River styx, and Chelsea.
Donald Platt’s second book, Cloud Atlas, appeared in 2002 from Purdue University as the winner of the Verna Emery Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared recently in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, Southern Review, Shenandoah, and in Best American Poetry 2000. He is an Associate Professor of English at purdue University.
Michael Borich has published poems recently in Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, The New Yorker, and Paris Review. His book, Black Hawk Songs, is available in the University of Illinois Press poetry series.
Michael Knight’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Esquire, GQ, Playboy, VQR, and other places. His first two books, a short story collection, Dogfight and Other Stories, and a novel, Divining Rod, were simultaneously published in 1998. His third book, Blackout and Other Stories, will be published this winter by Grove/Atlantic. He teaches fiction writing at the University of Tennessee.
Robert Lacy is the author of a collection of short stories, The Natural Father (New Rivers Press). His short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and journals including Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, and The Oxford American. He has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Best of Crazyhorse, and elsewhere.
Enid Shomer’s poems and short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Poetry, Best American Poetry, Best New Stories from the South, and others. Ms. Shomer was recently appointed poetry series editor at the University of Arkansas Press. She is the author of four books of poetry and a book of stories, Imaginary Men, which won the Iowa Fiction Prize and the LSU/Southern Review Award.
George Garrett is the Hoyns Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, and the author of 33 books and editor of 19 others. He was recently named Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Richard O’Mara is a veteran foreign correspondent who served in Europe and Latin America with The Baltimore Sun where he was also foreign editor for 12 years. He retired from The Sun recently after a long and distinguished career.
Steven G. Kellman is professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His most recent books include The Translingual Imagination (Nebraska) and as co-editor, Underwords: Perspectives on Don DeLillo’s Underworld (Delaware). He recently held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of Sofia.
Jack Fischel is chairman of the History Department at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. He holds a doctorate from the University of Delaware and is the former editor of Congress Monthly, the publication of the American Jewish Congress.
Hank Lazer’s most recent book of poems is Days (Lavender Ink, 2002). He is Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Alabama. He edits, with Charles Bernstein, the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series. Mr. Lazer’s work—poetry and criticism—has appeared in VQR with some frequency since 1973.
COVER PICTURE: LBJ Library Photo by Kevin Smith
COVER CREDITS: Becky Brown and Thomas McDaniel, Cadmus Professional Communications
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Virginia Quarterly Review is published four times a year by the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4223 (publication #0042-675x). The editor is Staige D. Blackford. The managing editor is Janna Olson Gies. The business and editorial offices are located at One West Range, P O Box 400223, Charlottesville VA 22904-4223. There are no bondholders, mortgages, or other security holders. The average number of copies distributed of each of the four issues published during the preceding 12 months is 3775; average total paid circulation is 3252; 3053 to paid subscribers and 199 to distributors and other sales; free distribution totaled 215 with 308 not distributed; the % of paid/requested circulation was 93.7. For the autumn 2002 issue, closest to filing date, the number of copies was 3500 with 3116 to paid subscribers and 205 to distributors and other sales; free distribution totaled 220 with 164 not distributed; the % of paid/requested circulation was 93.4. Annual subscription rates are $18. I certify that these statements are correct and complete. Staige D. Blackford, Editor.