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Atticus Finch
Author: Joseph Crespino
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 1541644956
Pages: 272
Year: 2018-05-08
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Who was the real Atticus Finch? A prize-winning historian reveals the man behind the legend The publication of Go Set a Watchman in 2015 forever changed how we think about Atticus Finch. Once seen as a paragon of decency, he was reduced to a small-town racist. How are we to understand this transformation? In Atticus Finch, historian Joseph Crespino draws on exclusive sources to reveal how Harper Lee's father provided the central inspiration for each of her books. A lawyer and newspaperman, A. C. Lee was a principled opponent of mob rule, yet he was also a racial paternalist. Harper Lee created the Atticus of Watchman out of the ambivalence she felt toward white southerners like him. But when a militant segregationist movement arose that mocked his values, she revised the character in To Kill a Mockingbird to defend her father and to remind the South of its best traditions. A story of family and literature amid the upheavals of the twentieth century, Atticus Finch is essential to understanding Harper Lee, her novels, and her times.
Go Set a Watchman
Author: Harper Lee
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062409875
Pages: 288
Year: 2015-07-14
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A historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.
My Father and Atticus Finch: A Lawyer's Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama
Author: Joseph Madison Beck
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393285812
Pages: 208
Year: 2016-06-20
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The story of Foster Beck, the author’s late father, whose defense of a black man accused of rape in 1930s Alabama foreshadowed the trial at the heart of To Kill a Mockingbird. As a child, Joseph Beck heard the stories—when other lawyers came up with excuses, his father courageously defended a black man charged with raping a white woman. Now a lawyer himself, Beck reconstructs his father's role in State of Alabama vs. Charles White, Alias, a trial that was much publicized when Harper Lee was twelve years old. On the day of Foster Beck’s client’s arrest, the leading local newspaper reported, under a page-one headline, that "a wandering negro fortune teller giving the name Charles White" had "volunteered a detailed confession of the attack" of a local white girl. However, Foster Beck concluded that the confession was coerced. The same article claimed that "the negro accomplished his dastardly purpose," but as in To Kill a Mockingbird, there was evidence at the trial to the contrary. Throughout the proceedings, the defendant had to be escorted from the courthouse to a distant prison “for safekeeping,” and the courthouse itself was surrounded by a detachment of sixteen Alabama highway patrolmen. The saga captivated the community with its dramatic testimonies and emotional outcome. It would take an immense toll on those involved, including Foster Beck, who worried that his reputation had cast a shadow over his lively, intelligent, and supportive fiancé, Bertha, who had her own social battles to fight. This riveting memoir, steeped in time and place, seeks to understand how race relations, class, and the memory of southern defeat in the Civil War produced such a haunting distortion of justice, and how it may figure into our literary imagination.
Strom Thurmond's America
Author: Joseph Crespino
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 1429945486
Pages: 416
Year: 2012-09-04
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"Do not forget that ‘skill and integrity' are the keys to success." This was the last piece of advice on a list Will Thurmond gave his son Strom in 1923. The younger Thurmond would keep the words in mind throughout his long and colorful career as one of the South's last race-baiting demagogues and as a national power broker who, along with Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, was a major figure in modern conservative politics. But as the historian Joseph Crespino demonstrates in Strom Thurmond's America, the late South Carolina senator followed only part of his father's counsel. Political skill was the key to Thurmond's many successes; a consummate opportunist, he had less use for integrity. He was a thoroughgoing racist—he is best remembered today for his twenty-four-hour filibuster in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957—but he fathered an illegitimate black daughter whose existence he did not publicly acknowledge during his lifetime. A onetime Democrat and labor supporter, he switched parties in 1964 and helped to dismantle New Deal protections for working Americans. If Thurmond was a great hypocrite, though, he was also an innovator who saw the future of conservative politics before just about anyone else. As early as the 1950s, he began to forge alliances with Christian Right activists, and he eagerly took up the causes of big business, military spending, and anticommunism. Crespino's adroit, lucid portrait reveals that Thurmond was, in fact, both a segregationist and a Sunbelt conservative. The implications of this insight are vast. Thurmond was not a curiosity from a bygone era, but rather one of the first conservative Republicans we would recognize as such today. Strom Thurmond's America is about how he made his brand of politics central to American life.
Atticus Finch: the Biography
Author: Joseph Crespino
Publisher:
ISBN: 1541645421
Pages:
Year: 2018
View: 1138
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Who was the real Atticus Finch' A prize-winning historian reveals the man behind the legendThe publication of Go Set a Watchman in 2015 forever changed how we think about Atticus Finch. Once seen as a paragon of decency, he was reduced to a small-town racist. How are we to understand this transformation' In Atticus Finch, historian Joseph Crespino draws on exclusive sources to reveal how Harper Lee's father provided the central inspiration for each of her books. A lawyer and newspaperman, A. C. Lee was a principled opponent of mob rule, yet he was also a racial paternalist. Harper Lee created the Atticus of Watchman out of the ambivalence she felt toward white southerners like him. But when a militant segregationist movement arose that mocked his values, she revised the character in To Kill a Mockingbird to defend her father and to remind the South of its best traditions. A story of family and literature amid the upheavals of the twentieth century, Atticus Finch is essential to understanding Harper Lee, her novels, and her times.
Mockingbird
Author: Charles J. Shields
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1250119456
Pages: 352
Year: 2016-04-26
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An extensively revised and updated edition of the bestselling biography of Harper Lee, reframed from the perspective of the recent publication of Lee's Go Set a Watchman To Kill a Mockingbird—the twentieth century's most widely read American novel—has sold thirty million copies and still sells a million yearly. In this in-depth biography, first published in 2006, Charles J. Shields brings to life the woman who gave us two of American literature's most unforgettable characters, Atticus Finch and his daughter, Scout. Years after its initial publication—with revisions throughout the book and a new epilogue—Shields finishes the story of Harper Lee's life, up to its end. There's her former agent getting her to transfer the copyright for To Kill a Mockingbird to him, the death of Lee's dear sister Alice, a fuller portrait of Lee’s editor, Tay Hohoff, and—most vitally—the release of Lee's long-buried first novel and the ensuing public devouring of what has truly become the book of the year, if not the decade: Lee's Go Set a Watchman.
In Search of Another Country
Author: Joseph Crespino
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691122091
Pages: 360
Year: 2007
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In the 1960s, Mississippi was the heart of white southern resistance to the civil-rights movement. To many, it was a backward-looking society of racist authoritarianism and violence that was sorely out of step with modern liberal America. White Mississippians, however, had a different vision of themselves and their country, one so persuasive that by 1980 they had become important players in Ronald Reagan's newly ascendant Republican Party. In this ambitious reassessment of racial politics in the deep South, Joseph Crespino reveals how Mississippi leaders strategically accommodated themselves to the demands of civil-rights activists and the federal government seeking to end Jim Crow, and in so doing contributed to a vibrant conservative countermovement. Crespino explains how white Mississippians linked their fight to preserve Jim Crow with other conservative causes--with evangelical Christians worried about liberalism infecting their churches, with cold warriors concerned about the Communist threat, and with parents worried about where and with whom their children were schooled. Crespino reveals important divisions among Mississippi whites, offering the most nuanced portrayal yet of how conservative southerners bridged the gap between the politics of Jim Crow and that of the modern Republican South. This book lends new insight into how white Mississippians gave rise to a broad, popular reaction against modern liberalism that recast American politics in the closing decades of the twentieth century.
The Mockingbird Next Door
Author: Marja Mills
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143127667
Pages: 288
Year: 2015
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Journalists have trekked to Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where she has lived with her sister Alice for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation and a great friendship. In 2004, with the Lees' blessing, Mills moved in next door to the sisters and spent the next eighteen months there, sharing their lives as they slowly revealed their life stories and their love of literature and the South.
I Am Scout
Author: Charles J. Shields
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (BYR)
ISBN: 1466867523
Pages: 256
Year: 2014-04-08
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To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most widely read novels in American literature. It's also a perennial favorite in highschool English classrooms across the nation. Yet onetime author Harper Lee is a mysterious figure who leads a very private life in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, refusing to give interviews or talk about the novel that made her a household name. Lee's life is as rich as her fiction, from her girlhood as a rebellious tomboy to her days at the University of Alabama and early years as a struggling writer in New York City. Charles J. Shields is the author of the New York Times bestseller Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, which he has adapted here for younger readers.What emerges in this riveting portrait is the story of an unconventional, high-spirited woman who drew on her love of writing and her Southern home to create a book that continues to speak to new generations of readers. Anyone who has enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird will appreciate this glimpse into the life of its fascinating author. I Am Scout is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Following Atticus
Author: Tom Ryan
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062101307
Pages: 304
Year: 2011-09-20
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After a close friend died of cancer, middle-aged, overweight, acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan decided to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox manner. Ryan and his friend, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch, would attempt to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. It was an adventure of a lifetime, leading them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. At the heart of the amazing journey was the extraordinary relationship they shared, one that blurred the line between man and dog. Following Atticus is an unforgettable true saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family, as one remarkable animal opens the eyes and heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman to the world’s beauty and its possibilities.
Harper Lee
Author: Kerry Madden
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 110116283X
Pages: 224
Year: 2009-03-19
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Read Kerry Madden's posts on the Penguin Blog. Nelle Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and became an instant bestseller. Two years later it was an Academy Award– winning film. Today, it remains standard—and beloved—reading in English classes. But Lee never wanted “the book” to define who she was, which explains her aversion to any kind of publicity. Kerry Madden conducted extensive research for this Up Close biography, which reveals Lee to be a down-to-earth Southern woman who prefers to live simply, like her neighbors do, despite the fact that she is a treasured literary legend. Madden’s in-depth biography is now more relevant than ever: 2015’s historic release of Go Set a Watchman—written by Lee before To Kill a Mockingbird and lost for decades—has thrust Lee and her work back into the spotlight. A Booklist Top Ten Biography of 2009 A Kirkus Best Book of 2009 From the Hardcover edition.
Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters
Author: Tom Santopietro
Publisher:
ISBN: 1250163757
Pages: 320
Year: 2018-06-19
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Tom Santopietro, an author well-known for his writing about American popular culture, delves into the heart of the beloved classic and shows readers why To Kill a Mockingbird matters more today than ever before. With 40 million copies sold, To Kill a Mockingbird’s poignant but clear eyed examination of human nature has cemented its status as a global classic. Tom Santopietro's new book, Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters, takes a 360 degree look at the Mockingbird phenomenon both on page and screen. Santopietro traces the writing of To Kill a Mockingbird, the impact of the Pulitzer Prize, and investigates the claims that Lee’s book is actually racist. Here for the first time is the full behind the scenes story regarding the creation of the 1962 film, one which entered the American consciousness in a way that few other films ever have. From the earliest casting sessions to the Oscars and the 50th Anniversary screening at the White House, Santopietro examines exactly what makes the movie and Gregory Peck’s unforgettable performance as Atticus Finch so captivating. As Americans yearn for an end to divisiveness, there is no better time to look at the significance of Harper Lee's book, the film, and all that came after.
A Theory of Love
Author: Margaret Bradham Thornton
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062742728
Pages: 288
Year: 2018-05-08
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A follow-up to her successful debut Charleston and set in the world’s most glamorous landscapes, this moving new love story from Margaret Bradham Thornton draws on a metaphor of entanglement theory to ask: when two people collide, are they forever attached no matter where they are? Helen Gibbs, a British journalist on assignment on the west coast of Mexico, meets Christopher Delavaux, an intriguing half-French, half-American lawyer-turned-financier who has come alone to surf. Living lives that never stop moving, from their first encounter in Bermeja to marriage in London and travels to such places as Saint-Tropez, Tangier, and Santa Clara, Helen and Christopher must decide how much they exist for themselves and how much they exist for each other. In an effort to build his firm, Christopher leads a life full of speed and ambition with little time for Helen and even less when he suspects his business partner of illegal activity. Helen, a reluctant voyeur to Christopher’s world of power and position, searches far and wide for reporting work that will “take a bite out of her soul”—refugees in Calais, a mountain climber in Chamonix, an orphaned circus performer in Cuba. A Theory of Love captures the ambivalence at the center of human experience: does one reside in the familiar comforts of solitude or dare to open one’s heart and risk having it broken? Set in some of the most picturesque places in the world, this novel questions what it means to love someone and leaves us wondering—can nothing save us but a fall?
Scout, Atticus, and Boo
Author: Mary McDonagh Murphy
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061924121
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-07-05
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Harper Lee’s first and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, published in July 1960, is not only a beloved classic but also a touchstone in American literary and social history. It may well be our national novel. With Scout, Atticus, and Boo, Mary McDonagh Murphy commemorates more than half a century of To Kill a Mockingbird by exploring the great novel’s history and how it has left its indelible mark. In compelling interviews, Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, Oprah Winfrey, James Patterson, James McBride, Scott Turow, Wally Lamb, Andrew Young, Richard Russo, Adriana Trigiani, Rick Bragg, Jon Meacham, Allan Gurganus, Diane McWhorter, Lee Smith, Rosanne Cash, and others reflect on their own personal connections to Lee’s literary masterpiece, what it means to them—then and now—and how it ultimately has affected their lives and careers.
Mockingbird Songs
Author: Wayne Flynt
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062660101
Pages: 240
Year: 2017-05-02
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An indelible portrait of one of the most famous and beloved authors in the canon of American literature—a collection of letters between Harper Lee and one of her closest friends that reveals the famously private writer as never before, in her own words. The violent racism of the American South drove Wayne Flynt away from his home state of Alabama, but the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about courage, community, and equality, inspired him to return in the early 1960s and craft a career documenting and teaching Alabama history. His writing resonated with many Alabamians, in particular three sisters: Louise, Alice, and Nelle Harper Lee. Beginning with their first meeting in 1983, a mutual respect and affection for the state’s history and literature matured into a deep friendship between two families who can trace their roots there back more than five generations. Flynt and Nelle Harper Lee began writing to one other while she was living in New York—heartfelt, insightful, and humorous letters in which they swapped stories, information, and opinions on topics both personal and professional: their families, books, Alabama history and social values, health concerns, and even their fears and accomplishments. Though their earliest missives began formally—"Dear Dr. Flynt"—as the years passed and their mutual admiration grew, their exchanges became more intimate and emotional, opening with "Dear Friend" and closing with "I love you, Nelle." Through their enduring correspondence, the Lees and the Flynts became completely immersed in each other’s lives. Beautifully written, intelligent, and telling, this remarkable compendium of their letters—a correspondence that lasted for a quarter century, from 1992 until Harper Lee’s death in February 2016—offers an incisive and compelling look into the mind, heart, and work of one of the most beloved authors in modern literary history.