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Biography

John McCallum in his own words
Spring 2017

John McCallum in his own words

To immerse himself in the lives of those he wrote about, John McCallum would spend extraordinary amounts of time with them, their friends and their families. He collected numerous tidbits and observations along the way, many of which he shared in his 1969 autobiography, Going Their Way.

Here are a few excerpts:

 

On the miserly nature of Ty Cobb

The notoriously mean-spirited and confrontational baseball legend had invested his earnings wisely and was still worth millions of dollars nearly three decades after retiring, which is when McCallum began profiling Cobb for the first of two books he’d write about the Detroit Tigers star. … » More …

Rugged Mercy cover
Fall 2013

Rugged Mercy: A Country Doctor in Idaho’s Sun Valley

Rugged Mercy cover

Robert S. Wright
WSU Press, 2013

When 13-year-old Robert Henry Wright was caught spying on a kitchen table appendectomy, he was pulled in to assist. Inspired by that experience, the Hailey, Idaho, boy spent his early 20s in medical school, at first struggling to memorize the complex anatomy of the human body. After graduating, he married his childhood sweetheart, moved home to Idaho, and became a successful doctor, beloved in his community.

» More …

Fall 2006

Writing Pauline: Wisdom from a Long Life

Gail Stearns’s biography, Writing Pauline: Wisdom from a Long Life, is the story of an ordinary eastern Washington woman who came to some extraordinary conclusions in the twilight of a long and often frustrated life. Stearns, director of the Common Ministry and an adjunct faculty member in Women’s Studies and the Honors College at Washington State University, wrote the biography based on notes, journals, and oral interviews with Spokane native Pauline Thompson, an educator, nurse, veteran, and activist who died in 2000 at age 95. Stearns notes in Chapter One that “one cannot understand Pauline without acknowledging paradox.” Paradox is a constant theme throughout Pauline’s … » More …

Winter 2006

American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett

What most baby boomers know about the legendary frontier figure David “Davy” Crockett has been gleaned from the Walt Disney movie and television series starring Fess Parker. In American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett, WSU English professor Buddy Levy presents a fuller profile of the man who made Tennessee famous in the early 1800s. It’s not just a master heroic outdoorsman who emerges; the consummate politician and ferocious fighter for underdog causes shines through as well. Born August 17, 1786, Davy Crockett found his independent spirit and developed his frontier skills on the open road at the age of 14, when he ran … » More …

Summer 2006

WSU Military Veterans: Heroes and Legends

With three engines lost on a B-29 bombing run over Tokyo December 3, 1944, pilot Robert Goldsworthy and his crew bailed out. For the next nine months, he would endure brutal beatings as a Japanese prisoner of war. Far worse, he said, was the cold and starvation. Goldsworthy and his older brother, Harry E. Goldsworthy Jr., both flew World War II combat missions. They retired as Air Force generals with five stars between them. Their contributions to the war are among the 120 case studies chronicled in C. James Quann’s new book, WSU Military Veterans: Heroes and Legends. The author relates military experiences of former … » More …

Spring 2006

A Genetic and Cultural Odyssey: The Life and Work of L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza

Anthropology embraces four disparate subfields: archaeology, physical anthropology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. Few people today are able to make significant contributions to more than one of these. This book celebrates a career marked by signal contributions to all four, and to genetics as well. Born Luigi Cavalli in Genoa in 1922 and, following his father’s death, formally adopted at age 27 by his maternal stepgrandfather, Count Sforza, Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza (hereafter, Cavalli) has come to be a leading figure in anthropological genetics—a field which he in fact has helped define. His accomplishments have been recognized by election to the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) and … » More …

Summer 2007

Keep A-Goin'

It’s hard to imagine Washington State drawing three straight coaches from the premier football school in the country, being the toast of football fans in the West, and winning the Rose Bowl. One of those three men coached the only victory Washington State ever took in the New Year’s Day classic. He counted the legendary Jim Thorpe, Pop Warner, and Knute Rockne among his friends. This man also coached the NFL team that became the Washington Redskins. In fact, the controversial nickname is said to honor him. He was also an artist and an entrepreneur. Keep A-Goin’, by Dr. Tom Benjey, sometime software developer, college … » More …

Fall 2005

Common Courage: Bill Wassmuth, Human Rights, and Small-Town Activism

“While those who act out violently—hate groups or lone wolves—may be few, the sentiments that lead them to believe their actions are acceptable stem from every-day bigotry and an unwillingness to confront it.” So writes Andrea Vogt to reflect the views of the late human rights activist Bill Wassmuth (1941–2002), as well as, one suspects, to warn the rest of us who are now left without his courageous leadership in the Northwest.

In Common Courage: Bill Wassmuth, Human Rights, and Small-Town Activism, Vogt chronicles Wassmuth’s life in the context of a discussion of the respective roles of education, religion, and community in eradicating the every-day … » More …