Admirers of Hochschild's Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son will find in these articles the same warm autobiographical voice that made that book so memorable: He revisits his time as a civil rights worker in Mississippi, as a New England prep school student, and as a teenager seeing apartheid firsthand in South Africa. But readers will find much more as well: profiles of an adoptive Gypsy and of a governor general's son turned revolutionary, essays about Ernest Hemingway and John F. Kennedy, a journey to one of the most remote corners of the Amazon rain forest, and a remarkable evocation of two of Hochschild's personal heroes-who, in hillside trenches at the height of the Russian Civil War, faced each other across a battlefield.
|Publisher:||Syracuse University Press|
|Edition description:||Revised ed.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Hometown:San Francisco, California
Date of Birth:October 5, 1942
Place of Birth:New York, New York
Education:A.B., Harvard College, 1963
Read an Excerpt
Unlike other mammals, writers are not born into the world knowing how to make their own particular noise. Almost from the beginning, wolves howl, hogs grunt, bears growl. They need no MFA programs in growling, or summer workshops in discovering the grunt within. Even if separated from their families at birth and raised by some other species, they still know the right sound. But writers are different: all too easily they mistake someone else's sound for their own. For many years, that's what happened with me.
What People are Saying About This
From the mid-sixties to the mid-nineties, from Mississippi to Moscow, Adam Hochschild has been on the front lines (and behind the scenes), bringing back vividly detailed stories that he tells with the skill of a raconteur, the sincerity of a personal essayist, and the conscience of a latter-day Orwell. I heartily recommend Hochschild as a guide to finding the trapdoor in a world of ticky places. -- (Carl H. Klaus, founder, Program in Non-Fiction, University of Iowa)
This remarkable memoir in one voice, Adam Hochschild's, reflects a chorus of voices--of outsiders who sprang from the privileged inside: in the twilights of apartheid South Africa and the Soviet Union, in the tempest of Amazonian America, and in the turmoil of literary precincts. It is a rich and rewarding adventure in the reading.
For anyone wishing to revisit the late twentieth century, Adam Hochschild is the ideal traveling companion. Wherever he takes you--to a combat zone in El Salvador, an anti-apartheid rally in South Africa, the claustrophobic apartments of Moscow--you will find the place lit up with gentle humor and a luminous moral intelligence. In a time of much glibness and sensationalism, Hochschild is the rare journalist who qualifies as a gentleman, a scholar, and a mensch.
Whether you are a general reader looking to be transported to other times and places or a student trying to unlock the mysteries of how good non-fiction is written, Finding the Trapdoor offers something rare. Hochschild is one of those unusual serious writers who can write about whatever interests him with intelligence, honesty and style. -- (Orville Schell, Dean, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley)