LOU GEHRIG

THE LOST MEMOIR

In 1927, the legendary Lou Gehrig sat down to write the remarkable story of his life and career. He was at his peak, fresh off a record-breaking season with the fabled ‘27 World Series champion Yankees. It was an era unlike any other. Gehrig’s personal remembrances were published that year as popular weekly columns in The Oakland Tribune. Until now, those pages were lost to history.

Lou comes alive in his captivating memoir. It is a heartfelt rags-to-riches tale about a poor kid from New York who grew up to become one of the greatest. He takes us to his childhood home, to Columbia University where he flashed as a prospect, all the way to the dugout at Yankee Stadium where he recounts his first major league hit and bonding with Babe Ruth.

There is a real poignancy to this tale. Built like a heavyweight boxer, “Iron Horse” Lou was one of the most powerful men to play the game. Off the field he was a shy, gentle soul. He would die prematurely from ALS, a degenerative neuromuscular disorder now known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Here is Lou back at bat—Hall of Famer, All Star, and MVP. Lou Gehrig is a monument and tribute to a singular life and career.

AMID THE RUINS

DAMON RUNYON

Despite Damon Runyon’s iconic status as a fiction writer and reporter, one particular chapter of his extraordinary career has been completely overlooked. During World War I he was an accredited war correspondent—writing a series of dispatches from Europe, he followed the American Doughboys through France, into Germany, and back home. This period marked a monumental transition not only in America’s view of itself and its role in the world, but of Runyon’s own style and how we could come to portray America.

Along with his collected dispatches, this volume also includes his wartime poetry. Biographical and literary introductions and exhaustive notes provide additional information about the people, places, and events that made up his writing. A vital bridge from his earlier regional writing to his later Broadway works, these stories of civilians thrust into military uniforms provide a rare behind-the-scenes look at World War I and the formation of Runyonesque style itself.

FROM THE HALLS OF THE

MONTEZUMAS

James L. Freaner is one of the most important unknown Americans in our nation’s history. Freaner gained fame throughout the country during the Mexican War while covering General Winfield Scott’s campaign. As one of America’s first war correspondents, Freaner’s letters appeared in newspapers under the byline “Mustang,” and his reports from the front included information unavailable elsewhere. Among Freaner’s scoops were the publication of complete casualty lists (long before official reports became public), detailed battle descriptions, and observations on postwar Mexico.

      Despite his widespread fame as a reporter, Freaner’s greatest contribution to the United States came during a conversation with Nicholas P. Trist, negotiator of the peace treaty with Mexico. After Trist had passed along an outrageous proposal from the Mexican commissioners, he was recalled, but Freaner convinced Trist to ignore the order and begin a new round of negotiations. Trist resumed, concluded the war, and added California, Nevada, Utah, and other territory to a growing country. This acquisition was second in size only to the Louisiana Purchase and was a direct result of James Freaner persuading Trist to brazenly conclude a treaty when he had no authority to do so.

      From the Halls of the Montezumas is a complete compilation of Freaner’s Mexican War reporting. Editors Alan D. Gaff and Donald H. Gaff have annotated the text with footnotes identifying people, places, and events, and also have added illustrations of key figures and maps. They supplement Freaner’s dispatches with biographical information that ranges from his early career to his journey to the gold fields of California and his untimely death at the hands of Indians in California in 1852.

 
 
 
© 2020 by Alan D. Gaff