Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Los Angeles Times review

So the big news this week is that the Los Angeles Times will review American Prophet on Sunday, March 12. That's fitting for all kinds of reasons. McWilliams worked for the Times, he has many fans there still, and Fante was right, I think, that Los Angeles (not New York) was McWilliams's real home.

This isn't to discount the admirable work McWilliams did as editor of The Nation, but he left an important part of himself in Los Angeles when he moved east in April 1951. In the book, I even wonder if The Nation's gain was the country's loss. When he took over at The Nation, McWilliams helped others find their voices but gradually lowered his own, so we'll never know what he would have accomplished had he stayed in Los Angeles.

Anyway, I welcome that review. I hope it helps the book, but I'd also like to see the prophet honored in his own country.

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