American profiles: somebodies and nobodies who matter

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University of Missouri Press, May 1, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 284 pages
Every person is at once ordinary and extraordinary. The question is how.
That is what Walt Harrington asks himself each day. As a staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine, he has the task of profiling people, getting under their skin to discover just what it is that makes them tick. Sometimes the people are famous, like Kelly McGillis, Jerry Falwell, or George Bush. Sometimes they are less than famous, like the father whose son was kidnapped or the fundamentalist family from Alabama that temporarily won a court ban on "secular humanist" books in the local public schools.
In American Profiles, Walt Harrington lifts the masks of celebrity and obscurity to reveal the lives of some singular men and women. As you vacation with George Bush at Walker's Point, you will learn of his most intimate hopes for his grandchildren. As you travel with Jesse Jackson to Mozambique, you will discover how the "President of Black America" still struggles for the respect denied him as a child. Harrington shows a family trying to hold itself together after a son's suicide and reveals the true "smarts" of Gary Poe, a retarded man who can't add numbers in his head but who knows a lot about human dignity. In short, you will get to know all these people from the inside out. You will delight in their achievements, and you will be touched by their frailty.
Get ready to hit the campaign trail with George Bush. Return to high school with teenage genius Evan Sherbrooke. Linger backstage with Kelly McGillis. Spend the wee hours of the morning with nocturnal satanist Anton LaVey. You'll come away with an idea of these people's deepest motivations, and you'll be reminded that the experiences of every person's life, whether heroic or trivial, tell a profound and unique human story.

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American profiles: somebodies and nobodies who matter

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Author Harrington calls his profiles, originally written for the Washington Post Magazine , intimate journalism. "Unless the honest story of one life enlightens, cautions, criticizes, or inspires its ... Read full review



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About the author (1992)

Walt Harrington is an award-winning staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine.  A journalist for fifteen years, he has worked as a news, investigative, and feature editor and reporter in Pennsylvania and Illinois. 

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