Croswell Bowen


Croswell Bowen

A Writer's Life, a Daughter's Portrait

Betsy Connor Bowen

288 pages
23 photographs


September 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Croswell Bowen: A Writer’s Life, a Daughter’s Portrait is the life story of a journalist who wrote his way through the major events of the mid-twentieth century.
While tracing the trajectory of Croswell Bowen’s (1905–71) personal life, his daughter, Betsy Connor Bowen, follows the path left by her father as he wrote about the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Great Depression, World War II, the McCarthy era, the presidency of John F. Kennedy, and the Vietnam War.
A riveting account of the life and times of an American journalist, Connor Bowen’s biography of Bowen is a daughter’s quest to find her father through his work at the intersections of journalism, democracy, and liberalism.
Bowen’s life and work were shaped by his conviction that finding the right stories and telling them with the right words could create a better world. He wrote about criminals, poverty, illness, discrimination, and other matters of social injustice. While writing to advance causes he believed in and lending a voice to the less fortunate, he struggled to maintain his marriage and provide for his family. Although he made mistakes in both his professional and personal life, Connor Bowen celebrates his ability, even in failure, to maintain bold moral integrity.

Author Bio

BETSY CONNOR BOWEN has worked as a community organizer, elementary school teacher, college instructor and assistant professor, securities analyst, journalist, and filmmaker. She is the author of a young adult novella, Spring Bear, and the editor of her father's World War II memoir, Back from Tobruk (Potomac Books, 2012).


“Croswell Bowen was a man full of contradictions, and life did not always deal him a fair hand. Difficult he sometimes may have been, but you cannot take away his talent as a writer and reporter or fault his generosity of spirit. He deserves not to be forgotten, and thanks to this loving and eloquent portrait by his oldest daughter, he won’t be.”—Robert Cowley, author and founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History


“Walking the tricky line between biography and memoir with aplomb, Betsy Connor Bowen paints a portrait of her New Deal liberal photo-reporter father that shows him in his literary glory but with his flaws as well—which makes him all the more intriguing. Fascinating and heart-breaking.”—Heath Lee, author of Winnie Davis: Daughter of the Lost Cause


“This book is an homage to all those who, like Croswell Bowen, dare to face the blank page, who live from one story to the next in order to understand and articulate the world they know—and, ideally, script a better one. An engrossing must-read for aspiring and veteran journalists alike.”—Stacey Chase, freelance writer for the Boston Globe and Globe Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, and Newsweek

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. Skull and Bones, Paris, and the Crash of 1929
2. Several Reversals of Fortune, All in a Row
3. Greenwich Village Years
4. Bowen’s New Deal
5. Bowen’s Short War
6. The Long War on the Home Front
7. Ahab in Seersucker
8. The Fifties and Its Discontents
9. A Darkness That Would Not Lift
10. A Writer Attends to His Soul
A Note on Sources

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