The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner

The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner

Ring Lardner
Edited by Ron Rapoport
Foreword by James Lardner

592 pages

Hardcover

January 2017

978-0-8032-6973-6

$39.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Ring Lardner’s influence on American letters is arguably greater than that of any other American writer in the early part of the twentieth century. Lauded by critics and the public for his groundbreaking short stories, Lardner was also the country’s best-known journalist in the 1920s and early 1930s, when his voice was all but inescapable in American newspapers and magazines. Lardner’s trenchant, observant, sly, and cynical writing style, along with a deep understanding of human foibles, made his articles wonderfully readable and his words resonate to this day.

Ron Rapoport has gathered the best of Lardner’s journalism from his earliest days at the South Bend Times through his years at the Chicago Tribune and his weekly column for the Bell Syndicate, which appeared in 150 newspapers and reached eight million readers. In these columns Lardner not only covered the great sporting events of the era—from Jack Dempsey’s fights to the World Series and even an America’s Cup—he also wrote about politics, war, and Prohibition, as well as parodies, poems, and penetrating observations on American life.

The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner reintroduces this journalistic giant and his work and shows Lardner to be the rarest of writers: a spot-on chronicler of his time and place who remains contemporary to subsequent generations.
 

Author Bio

Ring Lardner (1885–1933) was one of the most popular and innovative American writers of the early twentieth century. He influenced many writers who followed, with his acute observations winning praise from Hemingway, Woolf, Fitzgerald, and Wilson and his short stories remain popular a century later. Ron Rapoport was a sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Los Angeles Daily News and is the author of numerous books about sports and show business. In 2016 he was awarded the Ring Lardner Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism. James Lardner is a writer and political activist who lives outside Washington DC.

Praise

"It's good to have the lost treasure of Ring Lardner the journalist back with us again. At long last."—Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune

"A godsend."—Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

"[The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner] should be required reading for sports journalists who want to know the roots of their profession."—Ed Sherman, Poynter

“This book is an absolute jewel. I not only want to read all of it again; I want to take it on a car date. Ron Rapoport has contributed a masterful collection to the world of sports and literature.”—Dan Jenkins  
 

“Ring Lardner was brilliant—a great newspaper columnist and an even greater short story writer. If you know his work, you’ll love this anthology; if you don’t know his work, prepare to be entertained by one of the funniest, most original voices America has ever produced.”—Dave Barry
 
 

“It’s always great to have more Lardner, and here is a fine new trove of him.”—Roy Blount Jr.

“This book is a boon to fans and scholars of Lardner's work alike. I applaud the smart, well-informed introductions and the careful scholarship throughout. Then there is the genius of Lardner himself to savor. This is an important contribution to Lardner studies.”—Richard Layman, author, publisher, and coeditor of Ring W. Lardner: A Bibliography
 

Table of Contents

Foreword by James Lardner    
Introduction    
A Note to Readers    
Ring Lardner Tells His Sad, Sad Story to the World    
1. Getting Started    
South Bend Has Cause to Be Proud of Athletic Record the Past Year    
Memoirs of a Baseball Scribe (Part 1)     
Memoirs of a Baseball Scribe (Part 2)     
Twenty-Six Cubs Will Be Taken on Southern Journey    
The Peerless Leader Takes Charge    
Record Crowd Opens Forbes Field    
P.L.’s Team Leads Arabella to the Altar    
Pullman Pastimes: Frank Schulte Is His Own Entertainer    
Pullman Pastimes: Dawson’s Reform Credited to Two Cubs    
The Rustlers Go Marching Through Georgia    
2. Baseball    
The First Game    
Ring’s All-Stars    
Peaches Graham: Nine Men in One    
Ty Cobb’s Inside Baseball    
Ping Bodie’s Monologue    
Matty    
Mordecai Brown: The Reporter’s Friend    
Noisy John Kling    
Casting Stones with Rollie Zeider    
Casey in the Field    
How to Pitch to Babe Ruth    
Baseball Poems    
The World Serious    
1909
Exhausted Tigers Extend Series    
1912
The Tears of Christy Mathewson    
1915
A Plea for Help    
A Rainy Day in Philadelphia    
1916
Your Correspondent Sizes Up the Series    
Lardner Story Starts as Verse, Turns to Prose as Fattens Purse    
Inning by Inning with the Red Sox and Robins    
Nothing Happened    
1917
Report from Behind Enemy Lines    
The Modern Voltaire    
1918
18 Holes    
1919
A Hot Tip from the Umpire    
Kid’s Strategy Goes Amuck as Jake Doesn’t Die    
A Dirty Finger on the Ball    
1920
No Need to Bribe Brooklyn    
Ring Splits Double-Header    
1921
Lardner Hitting 1., Peaved at Weatherman    
Scribes Saved from Overflow of Brains    
1922
The Most Important World Series in History    
The Fur Coat Is Already Bought    
Mr. Lardner Corrects a Wrong Impression    
It Looks Bad for the Three Little Lardner Kittens    
Yanks Lose, But Lardner Kittens Spared    
1923
Fans Agrog as Series Opens    
Only One Team Could Lose that Game    
1925
Blizzards and Politics Hit Pirate Punch    
1927
Ring Hears the Game He Is Seeing    
Some Final Thoughts on the Game    
Oddities of Bleacher Bugs    
Kill the Umpire    
Why Ring Stopped Covering Baseball    
Br’er Rabbit Ball    
3. Ring Goes to War    
A War Ballad    
Why I Can’t Fight    
A Free Trip to Europe    
A Message to Sec. Baker    
Daddy’s Alibi    
Ring Hears Government Plans to Scare Mexico    
Serve Your Country with a Minimum of Effort    
A Good Tip to Friend Al    
E’en War So Grim Refuses to Dim Humor of Him    
A Ball Game in France    
Setting Out for the Front    
On Being Bombed    
A Letter to Home    
Back in Les Etats Unis    
What’s the Matter with Kaiser Bill?     
Wake Travel Guide (European Branch)     
The Do-Without Club    
Ring Can’t Smile at War’s End    
4. Football    
The Perils of Being a Football Writer    
Michigan vs. Harvard: A Personal Odyssey    
A Letter    
How I’ll Get That Story    
A Persunal Appeal    
A Friend Indeed    
Perseverance Wins    
He Has It All Planned Out    
A Fresh Guy    
Where There’s Real Sport    
Please Don’t Go and Ruin It All    
Blue Monday at Michigan    
Wolverines Off for East Today; Big Squad to Go    
Yost’s Squad Loses Outfit; Railroad Fails to Drop Off Baggage, Handicapping Workout    
Yost’s Cripples Meet Harvard in East Today    
Luck Favors Harvard in Beating Michigan    
5. Politics    
If You Don’t Know What He Writes About You Have Nothing on Him    
Ring Takes the “Pomp” Out of Pompey    
Key-Noting with Lardner    
The United States of Old Glory    
Ring Is Through with Conventions But Fielder Jones is O.K.     
Me for Mayor    
A Taxing Situation    
Starve with Hoover or Feast with Lardner    
Ring May Run with Debs on Prison Ticket    
Ring Says the Race Is Between Himself and Cobb    
It Looks Like a Stampede to Lardner    
Vice=Presidency    
Dressing for the Inauguration Is Some Job    
Simplicity Reigns in Washington    
Harding Inaugural Is Simps’ Delight    
Presidential Golf    
Ring Organizes the Ku Klux Klan    
No Navy=No Fight    
War With Japan May Have to Be Fought with Postcards    
Coolidge Awaits Word of Landslide    
Lodge Nearly Achieves Acquaintance with Ring    
Double-Header in Cleveland Finds Gaps in Bleachers    
Ring Will Run Under One Condition    
Women Held to Blame for Long Session    
Ring Defends His Socks    
Ring Wants Bryan Lured Away    
Democrats Are Out to Set New World Record    
Ring Knew It All Along    
Ring’s New Tax Bill to Include Congressmen    
Why I Will Vote Socialist    
6. Boxing    
An Evening Accumulating Culture    
Dempsey vs. Willard    
Jess’ Stomach Shouldn’t Be Worried    
Ring’s Funny Stories Make the Operators Sick    
Lardner Hears Peace Trio Will Officiate at Bout    
After Seeing Jess in the Movies, Ring Wonders How Jack Can Win    
Lardner Won on Allies and Picks Willard Now    
When I Picked Jess to Win I Thought He’d Have Two Eyes to See With    
Dempsey vs. Carpentier    
Getting to Know Geos.     
Ring Will Bear Up No Matter Who Wins    
Ring Gives Dry Statistics on Preparations for Fight    
Ring Uses Strategy to Buzz Frenchman    
Lots of “Trebles” at Carpentier’s Ringside    
Everything Goes When You Hit Dempsey’s Camp    
A Surprise Party for Jack    
Ring Sizes Up Critics from Europe    
How to Overcome the Shock of Battle    
Ring Is Glad He Wasn’t in the Ring    
Dempsey vs. Firpo    
They Ought to Spell It Furpo    
Theys No Doubt Wild Bull Can Hit If Jack Lets Him    
No More Salutes from Firpo to Sid    
Lardner Sees the Wild Bull    
Firpo Takes the Day Off    
Ring Discovers What’s Wrong with His Feet        
Ring Gives Dempsey Some Advice    
Lardner in Great Shape for Wordy Battle    
A Word from Bernard Shaw    
It Was a FIGHT    
Dempsey vs. Tunney    
Monosyllables to Jack’s Jaw    
Best Fight of Tunney’s Career Found Dempsey at His Worst    
7. The Noble Experiment    
1919    
Prohibition Blues    
Some Recipes with Kicks    
An Ounce of Prevention    
The Benefits of Prohibition    
Oh, Shoot!     
8. The America’s Cup and Other Sports    
Ring Can’t Stand the Excitement of Yacht Racing    
Yachts Sail like a Snail with Paralysis    
The Closest Race We’ve Slept Though Yet    
The Race Is Between a Snail and a Hearse    
Too Slow to Give a Kick    
Learn to Play Lip Golf    
Ring Reviews His Golf Season    
A Perfect Day at Saratoga    
Tips on Horses    
Ring Discovers Polo    
How to Stork Big Game    
How Winners Quit Winners    
Why It’s Called a Dog’s Life    
Ring’s Sensitive Nature Recoils at Hockey    
With Rod and Gun    
9. Family Life    
Family Poems    
The New Plaything    
To the New One    
To the Latest    
Help Wanted    
The Eternal Question    
Exit Madge    
A Mysterious Antipathy    
Parting    
Exalted Above His Fellows    
Declaration of Independence    
Welcome to Spring    
The Youngest One Breaks In    
Moving to the East    
Why Not a Husbands’ Union?     
It’s a Good Thing Birthdays Don’t Come Oftener    
Got a Radio in Your Home?     
Ring Loves His New Radio    
Ring’s Long Island Estate Opens to Visitors    
Ring’s Water Bill Is $1,643—and Nobody Drinks It    
The Latest Dope from Great Neck    
Ring Confused with Thunder Shower by Radio Fans    
Carpenter’s Concert Mars Ring’s Speech    
10. On Journalism    
Journalism Poems    
Monday    
Come On, You Roseate Day    
West Town Storm    
            This Afternoon    
To the Man Higher Up    
First Aid    
Valentines    
Dreaming    
A Plea for Mercy    
Another Plea for Mercy    
Office Secrets    
Part 1        
Part 2        
Part 3        
Conquering a Bad Habit    
Ring Wants a Day Off    
Voice of the People    
Mister Toastmaster and Gentlemen    
On the Scarcity of Paper for Newspapers    
A New System for Running Newspapers    
Going Back to Work    
11. People, Places, and Pieces of Ring’s Mind    
Fifteen Cents Worth    
Starring in the Movies with Billie Burke    
Marry a Man or Caddy for Him    
Keep the Reform Fires Burning    
Automatic Writing    
Some Cigars Would Cure Any Smoker    
Have a Spelling Bee of Your Own    
Try Love Letters on Your Creditors    
Ring Observes the Miami Mermaids    
Ring Discloses His Beauty Secrets    
If You Ain’t in the Monday Opera Club, You Don’t Belong    
Ring Denies He Owes Chicago $50    
A Cordial Greeting from Pola    
Swimming the Transit Channels    
Christmas Card    
From a Bottle Found in the Ocean    
With Rope and Gum    
12. Parodies and Reviews    
Cubist Baseball    
The Spoon    
Rigoletto    
Lilac Time    
Mary MacLane and Her Passionate Male Quartette    
Madam Butterfly Was Some Insect    
Cinderella    
Ring Tells the Story of Snow White    
A Dog’s Tale    
Fifteen Rounds with Shakespeare and Tunney    
Your Broadway, Beau, and You Can Have It    
Heavy Da-Dee-Dough Boys    
Lyricists Strike Pay Dirt    
We’re All Sisters Under the Hide of Me    
13. Buried Treasure and Night Letters    
Buried Treasure    
Night Letters    
Acknowledgments
Notes
Selected Bibliography    
 

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