Left Bank Books presents local journalist Bruce Olson, who will sign and discuss his two new volumes of St. Louis history, That St. Louis Thing: An American Story of Roots, Rhythm and Race (Lulu Publishing Services, September 2016), on Wednesday, July 19, at 7 p.m., at Left Bank Books (399 N. Euclid). This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of either volume of That St. Louis Thing from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.
That St. Louis Thing is an American story of music, race relations, and baseball. Here is over a hundred years of the city’s famed musical development — blues, jazz and rock — placed in the context of its civil rights movement and its political economic power. Here too are the city’s people brought alive from its foundation to the racial conflicts in Ferguson in 2014. The panorama of the city presents an often overlooked gem — music — that goes far beyond famed artists such as Scott Joplin, Miles Davis and Tina Turner. The city is also the scene of a historic civil rights movement that remained important form its early beginnings into the twenty-first century. And here, too, are the sounds of the crack of the bat during a century-long affair with baseball.
Bruce R. Olson is a lifelong journalist whose work has carried him from his hometown of Enumclaw, Washington to Seattle, New York City, Washington, DC, and St. Louis. He served as city editor of United Press International in New York City and world editor for Reuters America in Washington, D.C. His most recent posting was as a Reuters correspondent in St. Louis.