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Maguire, James 1959-

Maguire, James 1959-


Born 1959; married Corinne Noirot (a professor of French literature).


Home—Baltimore, MD. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer for E-Commerce Guide (Internet business news site); Datamation, managing editor; has also worked as an audio engineer, a reporter for business technology wire service NewsFactor Network, and as a consultant to DoubleClick.


(With others) E-Music: Finding, Playing, Recording, and Organizing Digital Music, Pearson Sams Publishing (Indianapolis, IN), 2000.

(With Jim Louderback) TechTV's Secrets of the Digital Studio: Insider's Guide to Desktop Recording (includes CD-ROM), Que (Indianapolis, IN), 2002.

American Bee: The National Spelling Bee and the Culture of Word Nerds: The Lives of Five Top Spellers as They Compete for Glory and Fame, Rodale (Emmaus, PA), 2006.

Impresario: The Life and Times of Ed Sullivan, Billboard Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Author and performer of one-man stage shows Vibrating White Light and Making Candy. Former contributor to Wired and; music critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


A former audio engineer who went on to write about music and technology, James Maguire has published several books, including American Bee: The National Spelling Bee and the Culture of Word Nerds: The Lives of Five Top Spellers as They Compete for Glory and Fame and Impresario: The Life and Times of Ed Sullivan. The heart of American Bee is the work Maguire did in profiling five National Spelling Bee contestants as he followed them around the country during the competition. He gives some historical background on the evolution of the competition, then reports on the spelling bee of 2004 and how the contestants dealt with the incredible stress as they neared the finals. Library Journal critic M.C. Duhig complimented the author's "vivid prose and gift for characterization."

The same year that American Bee was released, Maguire's Impressario was also published. This biography of the famous host of The Ed Sullivan Show covers his early days with the New York Daily News and follows Sullivan through his years on television until the cancellation of his variety series in 1971. Although a Kirkus Reviews contributor felt that Maguire writes too much about Sullivan's journalism days, the reviewer remarked that in this "level-headed tribute," "Maguire correctly notes that Sullivan's role as host (derided for his stiff demeanor) was far less important than the influence he wielded as producer." Mike Tribby recommended the biography as "well written and highly detailed."

Maguire told CA: "I've been a constant reader since I was old enough to read. It's one of my great joys. My years of reading widely—fiction, nonfiction, literature, page-turners—have given me a comprehensive education as a writer.

"I'm very fond of two of my titles, American Bee … and Impressario.American Bee captures the great spirit of the young spellers who give it their all in the Bee in Washington, DC, and it has plenty of humor, too. Impressario portrays the evolution of American culture from the 1920s to 1970, focusing on the odd, yet profoundly talented, showman who was a leading television pioneer.

"I like to think that I bring a joy and passion to my writing that will inspire readers to think and feel deeply—and to keep on reading."



Booklist, April 15, 2006, Mike Tribby, review of Impresario: The Life and Times of Ed Sullivan, p. 17; May 15, 2006, Joanne Wilkinson, review of American Bee: The National Spelling Bee and the Culture of Word Nerds: The Lives of Five Top Spellers as They Compete for Glory and Fame, p. 10.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2006, review of Impressario, p. 277.

Library Journal, May 15, 2006, M.C. Duhig, review of American Bee, p. 118.


James Maguire Online, (November 14, 2006).

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