Letters to My Children

Robert C. Maynard, Author, Don J. Maynard, With Andrews McMeel Publishing $16.95 (246p) ISBN 978-0-8362-7027-3
Maynard, who died in 1993, was noted in journalism as the former editor who bought California's Oakland Tribune and the first black American to own a major daily. This book collects some 90 of his syndicated columns. Maynard wrote in a clear, uncomplicated style-fine for newsprint, but nothing special-and his views on subjects political are sensible but hardly visionary. This book's value lies in its cumulative portrait of the author and his life. Born in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood to Barbadian immigrants who believed in work, religion and family love, Maynard left home for Manhattan's Greenwich Village as a teenager, then apprenticed at a newspaper in York, Pa., learning the rhythms and responsibilities of small-town life. He grew up in a city where integration and ethnic mixing were possible, and he learned an unshakable racial pride. Perhaps most important, his family eschewed television-``Milton Berle is an agent of the devil,'' said his dad-so Maynard was steeped in books; many people who are not, he observes, never gain a love of learning. As the sensitive introductions by his journalist daughter show, Maynard passed on his legacy. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
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