Fighting Words: Independent Journalists in Texas

Paperback | June 15, 2012

byJames McEnteer

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Fighting Words profiles five journalists who published the truth as they saw it, no matter how their reporting angered politicians, social and religious leaders, or other journalists.

The five journalists are William Brann (1855–1898), Don Biggers (1868–1957), John Granbery (1874–1953), Archer Fullingim (1902–1984), and Stoney Burns [Brent Stein] (1942–2011). Though they lived in different eras, all these men dealt with issues that society continues to face—racism, official corruption, religious freedom, educational reform, political extremism of the left and right, the clash of urban and rural values, and the fear of change. Their lives and work constitute a unique, alternative perspective on Texas history and the history of journalism itself.

In addition to the troubling questions they raised on social issues, these independent journalists challenge us, as they challenged the mainline media of their own times, to define the function of journalism and to examine the mandate of the First Amendment. We may doubt the wisdom of some of their convictions, but not the courage they needed to express them in the face of ridicule, hostility, intimidation, and even death. More than the specific causes they fought for, the independents’ passion for truth and their absolute belief in free speech constitute their greatest legacy to us and to journalism.

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Fighting Words profiles five journalists who published the truth as they saw it, no matter how their reporting angered politicians, social and religious leaders, or other journalists.The five journalists are William Brann (1855–1898), Don Biggers (1868–1957), John Granbery (1874–1953), Archer Fullingim (1902–1984), and Stoney Burns [Br...

James McEnteer is an independent scholar and journalist. He is a former Fellow of the Joan Shorenstein Center for the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:238 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:June 15, 2012Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292744854

ISBN - 13:9780292744851

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The Apostle of the Devil (William Cowper Brann: 1855–1898)2. The Lone Coyote (Don Hampton Biggers: 1868–1957)3. A Rational Radical (John Cowper Granbery, Jr.: 1874–1953)4. The Printer Who Fired Both Barrels (Archer Jesse Fullingim: 1902–1984)5. A Freak from the Underground (Stoney Burns [Brent LaSalle Stein]: 1942– )6. Writing WrongsNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

Fighting Words profiles five journalists who published the truth as they saw it, no matter how their reporting angered politicians, social and religious leaders, or other journalists.The five journalists are William Brann (1855–1898), Don Biggers (1868–1957), John Granbery (1874–1953), Archer Fullingim (1902–1984), and Stoney Burns [Brent Stein] (1942–2011). Though they lived in different eras, all these men dealt with issues that society continues to face—racism, official corruption, religious freedom, educational reform, political extremism of the left and right, the clash of urban and rural values, and the fear of change. Their lives and work constitute a unique, alternative perspective on Texas history and the history of journalism itself.In addition to the troubling questions they raised on social issues, these independent journalists challenge us, as they challenged the mainline media of their own times, to define the function of journalism and to examine the mandate of the First Amendment. We may doubt the wisdom of some of their convictions, but not the courage they needed to express them in the face of ridicule, hostility, intimidation, and even death. More than the specific causes they fought for, the independents’ passion for truth and their absolute belief in free speech constitute their greatest legacy to us and to journalism..Fighting Words deserves a wide readership. Though it focuses on the exciting lives of five crusading journalists in Texas, it deals with issues that affect the entire country: religious freedom, political corruption, and racism, among many others. These journalists were special characters, fearless and independent, and their copy helped define the nature of American journalism and democracy.. - Marvin Kalb, former host of NBC’s Meet the Press and former diplomatic correspondent, CBS News