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Abridged and edited for the modern reader and available in paperback for the first time ever, this second edition brings back into print a classic autobiography of Middle America—an immensely readable document that enriches our understanding of Progressivism and politics, journalism, and the social history of small-town America from Reconstruction into the Roaring Twenties.
At the time of his death in 1944, William Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette, was a national celebrity, proclaimed one of the truly great Americans of his age. Life magazine called him "a living symbol of small-town simplicity and kindliness and common sense."
During his career White had managed to expand his circle of influence far beyond Emporia Kansas to include most of the nation. By the end of his life he had become a nationally acclaimed journalist and author of biographies, novels, and short stories. He was also widely known for his shrewd commentary on contemporary events in the national media. An influential Republican political leader, he founded the Progressive party and was a longtime advocate of social reform and individual rights. But what endeared him most to his contemporaries was that, in spite of national fame, he remained first and foremost a small-town newspaperman.
First published posthumously in 1946, White's Autobiography was immediately hailed as a classic portrait, not simply of White himself, but of the men and women who transformed America from an agrarian society to a powerful industrial nation in the years before World War I. A bestselling Book-of-the-Month Club selection, the Autobiography was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1947.
This new edition, edited to eliminate repetitions and digressions, features an introduction by Sally Foreman Griffith, author of a recent biography of White. Griffith explores the background of the Autobiography and illuminates its place in the development of the autobiographical genre.
1. "As It Was in the Beginning!"
2. The Story of Will (Sometimes Billie)
3. I Choose a Foster Father
4. Destiny Rolls My Dice—"Come Seven"
5. A Reporter in College
6. I Become a Blind Leader of the Blind
7. A Golden Metropolis
8. I Cross the Rubicon
9. The New Editor and His Town
10. I Awaken to Fame
11. At the Century's Turn
12. I Discover Reform
13. Happy Days
14. I Join a Rebellion
15. The Europe Which Has Vanished
16. The Battlelines Form
18. The Birth of a Party
19. Decline and Fall
20. A World Aflame
21. The Peace that Passeth Understanding
22. Through the Valley of the Shadow
23. Mostly Personal
24. The Downhill Pull
Posted June 13, 2005