Outside Looking In: Adventures of an Observer

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9780143119890: Outside Looking In: Adventures of an Observer

A captivating memoir from the incomparable Garry Wills, "one of the country's most distinguished intellectuals" (The New York Times Book Review)

Illuminating and provocative, Outside Looking In is a compelling chronicle of an original thinker at work in remarkable times. With his dazzling style and journalist's eye for detail, Garry Wills brings history to life. Whether writing about the civil rights movement, 1960s protests, or close-up studies of the people who have shaped our world, only he could bring together in one book Barry Goldwater, Daniel Berrigan, Beverly Sills, Richard Nixon, and John Waters. Wills shares, as only the best raconteurs can, stories of the fascinating people he has closely observed during more than fifty years of reporting.

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About the Author:

Garry Wills is a historian and the author of the New York Times bestsellers What Jesus MeantPapal SinWhy I Am a Catholic, and Why Priests?, among others. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and other publications, Wills is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a professor emeritus at Northwestern University. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. This is an episodic but completely captivating collection by the prolific journalist, historian, political columnist, and practicing Catholic Wills (Lincoln at Gettysburg). Now 76, he writes an intensely opinionated re-evaluation of leaders he has encountered (surprisingly favorable for some, such as Nixon, whom he called "an intellectually serious and prepared candidate"), autobiographical reminiscences, and insightful, mostly admiring essays on important people in his life, including Studs Terkel (shrewd about politicians, generous to his friends); Beverly Sills and her popular mother, known as Mama Sills; his father (fearless, resilient, fun); and his loving tribute to his wife of 50 years. As for William Buckley, Wills began writing for his conservative National Review in 1957, but his 1960s support of civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War produced a rupture. He describes how, with Buckley's sister Priscilla as intermediary, Wills and Buckley touchingly resumed their friendship before the latter's death in 2008. The book does not recycle old articles. although it includes outtakes, unprintable at the time, such as material about Nixon's marital troubles, omitted from an Esquire article during the 1968 presidential campaign
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