Who writes the history | Arkansas Blog

Who writes the history

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Pulitzer Prizes were awarded yesterday and I  see "The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation," won the prize for history. This book by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff on coverage of the civil rights movement offers a complimentary view of the Arkansas Gazette and its Pulitzer Prize-winning editor, Harry Ashmore. I can't recall what attention the Democrat-Gazette has given this book, but it recently gave lavish attention and enormous Sunday paper coverage to a favorable review (reportedly by an acquaintance of executive editor Griffin Smith) of local writer Betsy Jacoway's Little Rock history, "Turn Away Thy Son." She offers a revisionist, and critical, view of the newspaper and editor Ashmore. That's a point of view appealing to Editor Smith and Publisher Walter Hussman, if at variance, as here, with the vast body of LR histories.

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