|About the Book|
From eager youth in Kewanee, Illinois, to feature writer and author, Ellis paints a palpable, candid, and telling picture of American life and his own experiences in the twentieth century. His book is filled with hundreds of characters and plots forMoreFrom eager youth in Kewanee, Illinois, to feature writer and author, Ellis paints a palpable, candid, and telling picture of American life and his own experiences in the twentieth century. His book is filled with hundreds of characters and plots for scores of short stories and dozens of novels. He sees Garbo on the silent screen, and he hears Jolson sing when movies begin talking. He is a teenager when Wall Street crashes, and a young man during the Great Depression. His diary entries of those lean years are among the most visceral, haunting passages in the book.As a reporter in Kewanee, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Peoria, Chicago, and New York, Ellis had a ringside seat at events rarely witnessed by most Americans. He interviews Thomas Mann on Germany in the wake of the Nazi defeat- he watches Mae West ogle Mr. America backstage- he takes long walks with Harry Truman, and inadvertently uses Eleanor Roosevelt as a messenger during World War II. We also find candid portraits of Sinclair Lewis, Louis Armstrong, Paul Robeson, Irving Berlin, and Grace Kelly, among many other celebrities, as well as dozens of ordinary Americans, like Frank Bronnenkant, the riveter who fell in love with the Brooklyn Bridge.Cited as Americas largest diary in the Guinness Book of World Records, Elliss journal is a vivid, passionate portrait of twentieth-century America, mirroring its turbulent decades and tumultuous changes. It is also the stirring personal drama of one man and his times: the author as adolescent, bachelor, husband, father, reporter, widower, friend, and indomitable octogenarian. This is enduring Americana, evocative and enlightening, amusing and wise- a wondrous saga to read and savoroften and with great pleasure.