Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Estimable Blogs #3: Outposts: Timothy Egan's NY Times Blog

Outposts is the intermittently updated blog of reporter/columnist/historian Timothy Egan. "Timothy Egan worked for 18 years as a writer for The New York Times," according to his introduction, "first as the Pacific Northwest correspondent, then as a national enterprise reporter. In 2006, Mr. Egan won the National Book Award for his history of people who lived through the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time. In 2001, he won the Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of reporters who wrote the series How Race Is Lived in America. Mr. Egan is the author of five books, including 'The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest,' and 'Lasso the Wind, Away to the New West.' He lives in Seattle."

Spokanites will be quick to add Breaking Blue, Egan's masterful telling of a 1935 murder case where corrupt Spokane cops murdered a Pend Oreille County town marshal.

Outposts is a collection of Egan's often historically-themed dispatches from various locations in the American West. His latest entry is a masterful and evocative description of the Irish in Butte, Montana:

Butte was a hard-edged, dirty, dangerous town on the crest of the Continental Divide, and if a single man lived to his 30th birthday he was considered lucky. Yet entire parishes left the emerald desperation of County Cork for the copper mines of Butte, fleeing a land where British occupiers had once refused to let mothers educate their children, and where famine had killed a million people in seven years’ time.

I want to be Timothy Egan when I grow up.


Ralph Luker said...

Thanks for bringing Outpost to my attention. I'm sorry about your attitude toward the HNN blogs. Crooked Timber really isn't a history blog. HNN's Revise and Dissent, at least, is not political. Cliopatria makes an effort not to be relentlessly so and the politics of its members is self-consciously very diverse. Even so, we maintain the fullest lists of history blogs on the internet and I'd appreciate it if, when you find one that I'm unaware of, you'd call it to my attention with an e-mail.

Ralph Luker said...

And, btw, do you think that The Edge of the American West is not political?

Larry Cebula said...

Hey Ralph! The internet is a big place and surely we may all blog and link to our own styles. My objection to mixing history and politics is that the latter always seems to crowd out the former. But then, I am also down on posting pictures of one's cats for the same reason! Damned cats.

You are correct on Edge of the American West--which I think illustrates my point. It began as a history blog with occasional political content and very quickly became a political blog.

rexacrouch said...

Based on the Fear of a Clown article, and Egan's named Rush, "Rushbo," I felt compelled to enter "Rushbo" into the Urban Dictionary


Rex A Crouch