| Author Biographies|
Chapter 6: Language and Thought
"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll (p. 262)
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
"Lewis Carroll" is the pseudonym for Charles Lutwidge Dodson. Born in Daresbury, Cheshire, England, Carroll excelled early at school and attended Christ Church College, University of Oxford. From 1855 to 1881 he was a member of the faculty of mathematics at Oxford, but his interests also included logic, photography, art, theater, religion, medicine, and science?and he delighted in creating children's and nonsense stories.
Carroll is most famous for his Alice stories (written, in large part, for Alice Liddell, the daughter of one of Carroll's colleagues at Oxford). In 1865 Carroll published Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and in 1872, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Numerous other stories and poems followed. The Alice stories have since been reprinted countless times, made into movies, and translated into numerous languages.
From Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon (p. 265)
William Least Heat-Moon (1939- )
Born William Trogdon in Kansas City, Missouri, of English-Irish-Osage ancestry, Least Heat-Moon served in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain. He earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Ph.D. in English literature, both from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Heat-Moon has taught literature and writing at several colleges and at the University of Missouri-Columbia; he has also taught in the Journalism School at UMC. In addition to Blue Highways, he has written PrairyErth and River-Horse, all of which have received numerous awards.
As a nonfiction writer, Heat-Moon has been compared to some of the greatest writers about America: Twain, Kerouac, Steinbeck, and Thoreau. He attempts to uncover the American psyche through his observations and study of small-town America. Following the two-lane roads drawn in blue on old maps, Heat-Moon traveled across America, chronicling the lives of people he met along the way in Blue Highways: A Journal Into America. Avoiding a comfortable linear path, his circuitous route is tied closely to his Native American background. His scrutiny and grasp of details-in setting and especially people-led him to the truths of the land.
"Day of Infamy" by Franklin D. Roosevelt (p. 292)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York, and attended Harvard University, where he was editor of the school newspaper and studied public affairs. He married his cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt, in 1905 and entered Columbia University Law School but determined to become involved in politics. By 1910 he was elected to the New York Senate and two years later was named Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson and served in that office through the First World War. In 1920, FDR ran for Vice President on the Democratic ticket and lost the election, but he became the party's most prominent future candidate.
In the summer of 1921, he contracted and was almost completely paralyzed by polio. His convalescence was long and painful, and he moved to Warm Springs, Georgia, to benefit from the heated mineral waters. By 1928 he was ready to run again for office and was elected governor of New York State. The Great Depression struck a year later, and in 1932 FDR won the presidency at the greatest depth of the economic crisis.
His New Deal programs gradually turned the economy around, and he easily won re-election in 1936. Four years later, as Germany's Nazis were storming through Europe and threatening England, Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented third term.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, forced the United States to enter World War II. Roosevelt's simple "day of infamy" speech rallied the country and gave it the moral courage to declare and fight the war. He worked closely with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to devise a strategy to combat and contain the Germans and Italians in Europe, but it would take three and a half years to achieve final victory in Europe. The Americans and their allies were finally prevailing against the Japanese in the Pacific theater, but the struggles continued. In the meantime, in 1944, FDR had been elected once again, to a fourth term.
But his health was suffering greatly under the tremendous strain of the war, and shortly after signing papers to create the United Nations, and while Berlin was near collapse, Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. Vice President Harry S Truman was left to finish the war.