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North toward home

Author: Willie Morris
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1967.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"A Houghton Mifflin literary fellowship award for non-fiction." The author recounts his experiences in the South from the 1940s through the 1960s.
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Genre/Form: Autobiographies
Biography
Printed books
Pw MT F B
Specimens
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Morris, Willie.
North toward home.
Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1967
(OCoLC)600063071
Named Person: Willie Morris; Willie Morris; Martin Shockley
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Willie Morris
OCLC Number: 683931
Notes: "A Houghton Mifflin literary fellowship book."
Autobiographical.
Description: 438 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Mississippi --
Texas --
New York.
Responsibility: Willie Morris.

Abstract:

"A Houghton Mifflin literary fellowship award for non-fiction." The author recounts his experiences in the South from the 1940s through the 1960s.

"This is an autobiography in mid-passage. Born and raised in Mississippi, the 32-year-old author went to the University of Texas, to Oxford, and finally to one of the most demanding educational institutions of all, New York City, where in 1967 he became Editor-in-Chief of America's oldest magazine, Harper's--the eighth, and youngest, editor in Harper's 117-year history. His is more than one man's story; it is the story of a generation that grew to maturity in two of the most provocative decades of United States history, the 1940s and 1950s. On these pages are memorable portraits of country baseball players, high school English teachers, American Legionnaires, college fraternity men, state legislators, John Birchers, reforming journalists, Lyndon Johnson, New York editors, eminent American writers and historians--all part of a narrative rich in humor, sorrow, and understanding, Willie Morris's growing up was as American as Mark Twain's. Yazoo City, population 7000, was his home for 17 years. He was a typical American boy who loved baseball and his dog, went to church, blew his trumpet, saluted the flag, and fell in love with blond majorettes. But there was something else: the exotic overtone of the great Mississippi Delta, enriched by the graves of ancestors who kept the Civil War an active presence. And there was another presence, at once familiar and mysterious, of the Negroes who lived among, but seldom with you. Willie Morris was a Southern boy. His was the extraordinary luck to have a father who put him on a Southern Trailways bus bound for the outside world. The boy who stepped off that bus at the University of Texas spent a bewildered year of rushing and hazing, dating beauty queens, joining every student organization at hand. His reading included student newspapers from all over the country, and the outside world opened further. By his senior year Morris was editor of the Daily Texan, and as a crusading student editor he was deep in controversy both in and out of the university. Returning to Texas in 1960, with four years as Rhodes Scholar at Oxford behind him, he took over the editorship of The Texas Observer. From his years directing that brilliant lone-wolf paper he gives a vivid and compassionate portrait of the Texas statehouse at work and play, of oil and gas lobbyists, of graft and chaos, of the silent tragedies in small Texas towns. Familiar figures move intimately on scene. Classmate Bill Moyers and Senator Lyndon Johnson are on home territory: 'Those Observer boys were never kind to me.' Eventually Texas was not enough. The boy from the hinterland moved, like so many before him, to the center of involvement, New York City. It was a painful transplant. A young couple with a three-year-old son, their roots deep in the Southern past, in Southern light and air and space, took harshly to the physical confines of what Morris calls 'The Big Cave.' But it is the intellectual and moral climate which matters. So it is in a new and turbulent setting, alien to the heart but intriguing to the mind, that this young American exile tries to find his place."--Jacket.

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Primary Entity

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