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Ross and Tom: Two American Tragedies
     

Ross and Tom: Two American Tragedies

by John Leggett
 

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This is the story of Ross Lockridge, author of Raintree County, and Thomas Heggen, creator of Mr. Roberts, each catapulted into sudden fame and money, each thrust young and unprepared into the center of the American Dream, and each, in his own way, playing out a tragedy of self-destruction.

John Leggett has re-created their growing up in a Midwest of deep

Overview

This is the story of Ross Lockridge, author of Raintree County, and Thomas Heggen, creator of Mr. Roberts, each catapulted into sudden fame and money, each thrust young and unprepared into the center of the American Dream, and each, in his own way, playing out a tragedy of self-destruction.

John Leggett has re-created their growing up in a Midwest of deep American traditions and has explored their loves and friendships to discover why their lives ultimately failed them.

Ross Lockridge was dedicated to celebrating the American Spirit, its history and its heritage, and his work, reflecting it, was hailed as the most ambitious since that of Thomas Wolfe. But Puritan pride and tradition would not let him live easily with the complexities and contradictions of acclaim.

Thomas Heggen had all the glamour of theatrical success. HIs days were spent with such men as Henry Fonda, Joshua Logan, Budd Schulberg, and Ernest Hemingway. It seemed a charmed life. But he had already gone through one marriage and was addicted to drink and pills, and his dark and brooding spirit seemed to take no pleasure in its rewards.

Ross and Tom is a deep and hauntingly detailed portrait of two gifted writers, the worlds in which they moved, and their final descent into the Fitzgeraldian crack-up where “in the real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning.”

“Ross and Tom is a thoroughly absorbing and finally most moving chronicle of what two best-selling authors did and suffered in homage to what William James called the American bitch goddess–the success business.” –Alfred Kazan

Product Details

BN ID:
2940045255783
Publisher:
Foreverland Press
Publication date:
09/01/2013
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
491 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

John (Jack) Leggett was born in 1917, in New York, NY. He attended Andover, and graduated from Yale University in 1942, after which he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1945. He was married to Mary Lee Fahnestock, with whom he had three children, from 1948 to 1986. He now lives in Napa, California, where he has long directed the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. He lives with his second wife, Edwina Bennington of San Francisco, in a house designed by one of his sons. Jack was an editor and publicity director for Houghton Mifflin in Boston throughout the ’50s, then an editor at Harper & Row Publishing in New York for seven years. In 1969 he became a professor of English and the director of the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, serving in those capacities for nearly twenty years. In 2008 he presented his extensive research files for his biography of William Saroyan to the University Libraries as an addendum to papers given earlier.

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