Maverick's Progress: An Autobiography

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Fordham Univ Press, Jan 1, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 510 pages
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National book Award laureate; recipient of Special Pulitzer Prize citation; winner of the Life in America Prize the Archives of American Art Award; among many others, James Thomas Flexner has written with distinction about American history and art. He has penetrated many of the charactrers who have shaped history exposing the intricacies of not only the historical figure, but the man beneath the marble image. The range of Flexner's subjects is wide: painters, inventors, doctors, loyalists, traitors, and spies, such luminaries as George Washington, Benedict Arnold, Alexander Hamilton, and John Singleton Copley, are among those Flexner has taken as subjects. After over fifty years of writnig, Flexner, one of America's greatest chroniclers has turned his probing eye back on to the pages of his own life with the same honesty, frankness, wit which have come to signify his form. James Thomas Flexner was born in 1908 on Lexington Avenue, New York City to parents Helen Thomas and Simon Flexner (scientist and first director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical research.) Published in the literary magazine at the Lincoln High School, Flexner's passion for writing was spawned at a young age. This passion would become a source of life long struggle as well as success for Flexner. Journalist for the Herald Tribune, and foremost biographer (as well as making numerous appearances on radio and television), Flexner's career allowed him access into the quick of the political, social, and artistic movements and developments that shaped the twentieth century. An un-traditional student, Flexner, although graduating magna com laude from Harvard University, often pursued what was to be considered by academics, unorthodox methods of research for his work. Following the passion of his own interests and plotting his own course of research and study, Flexner created of himself a sort of maverick, charting a course for biography that countered that written in the guide books of academia. While he probed and uncovered the lives of the great men who shaped the past, noteworthy publishers, writers, artists, and politicians of the twentieth century fill the pages of Maverick's Progress. Flexner writes of how influences, acquantances, and friends such as Bernard Berenson, Conrad Aiken, Ivy Lee, Harry Hopkins, Allan Nevins, Logan Pearsall Smith, and Edward Hopper figured in his life, and in his development as a writer. James Flexner has authored more than twenty books, several of them have been recently re-published by Fordham University Press. He was awarded the Gold Medal for Eminence in Biography, by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1988. He is perhaps most well known for his four-volume biography of George Washington which was eventually condensed into one: An Indispensable Man from which two television mini-series have been produced and for which he was awared the Peabody Award and Emmy Nomination. Maverick's Progress offers us a candid and sparkling look into the life of a writer who has indeed been a maverick in the canon of American historians - an individual who himself has been an Indispensable Man.
  

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Contents

Heritage
3
The Twig is Bent
13
Divided Loyalties
23
Pariah
30
Home Fires Burning
37
The Biographical Zone
50
Landscape Prophecies
57
Ugly Duckling to Swan
62
First Flowers
269
Breakup
283
Beatrice and Nellie
293
Seesaw
296
A Rocky Road
301
Hopper and de Kooning
311
Treason Most Foul
316
Wilderness Adventure
330

A Young Poet
67
Transatlantic Adventures
76
Harvard
85
Herald Tribune
105
Silencing New York
125
Friendships
137
Wandering
141
Passion
154
Compass Spin
169
Home Again
179
Enter and Possess
193
On the Brink
201
Horror
208
Rescue
217
Catastrophe
227
Doctors on Horseback
229
Americas Old Masters
238
Marriage
250
Anatomy of Invention
261
That Wilder Image
339
Explosion of American Art
350
The Art Market Place
353
Catholic Friendship
363
Collecting
369
Seeking George Washington
384
Alexander Hamilton
407
John Adams and States Dyckman
413
The Methodologists
424
Out of the Melting Pot
432
Assailing Biography
439
Biographical Techniques
452
The Outside World
458
The Spoken Word
467
Omnibus
476
The Very Biggest Time
483
Presidency Displayed
496
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

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James Thomas Flexner is a National Book Award Laureate; recipient of a special Pulitzer Prize Citation; winner of the Society of American Historians' Parkman Prize, the gold medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for Eminence in Biography.James Thomas Flexner has won a Special Pulitzer Prize Citation, a National Book Award, and a Christopher's Award for his four-volume biography, Washignton: An Indispensable Man. A foremost man of letters, Flexner has written with equal distinction in the fields of American history, biography and art.

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