Thompson, Mark 1956-
THOMPSON, Mark 1956-
Born January 24, 1956. Education: Graduated from Columbia University Law School. Hobbies and other interests: Urban backyard farmer.
Home—P.O. Box 4039, Culver City, CA 90231. E-mail—[email protected].
Journalist and author.
Best Western Nonfiction: Biography, Spur Awards, 2002, for American Character: The Curious Life of Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Rediscovery of the Southwest.
American Character: The Curious Life of Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Rediscovery of the Southwest, Arcade Publishing (New York, NY), 2001.
Mark Thompson is a New York City law student who moved west and became a journalist. His topics range from genetic fingerprinting to paddle-wheel steamers in Bangladesh, and he is also the author of American Character: The Curious Life of Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Rediscovery of the Southwest, a biography that won the 2002 Spur Award for best Western nonfiction.
Charles Lummis was born in New England and became a student at Harvard University. His academic studies did not particularly interest him, but he befriended a fellow member of his class, Theodore Roosevelt, a connection that would be renewed in his later years. When Lummis was twenty-five years old, he gained national attention by walking from Cincinnati, Ohio to Los Angeles, California during the fall and winter months between 1884 and 1885, in order to begin his journalistic career with the Los Angeles Times. Lummis, however, was not merely a journalist, but a man skilled in many areas, including anthropology, musicology, archaeology, and photojournalism. A man who did not even allow blindness or partial paralysis to deter his prodigious activities, he was an indefatigable activist, environmentalist, and defender of the rights of Native Americans. Due to Lummis's activism, President Roosevelt established a new approach to the relationship between the federal government and Native American tribes.
"This well-written and well-researched biography.… [captures] Lummis's bohemian and flamboyant lifestyle," as well as "the numerous facets of Lummis's life," remarked James J. Rawls and Doyce B. Nunis, Jr. in a California History review of American Character. In Library Journal, Stephen H. Peters commended Thompson for saving Lummis "from undeserved obscurity" and dubbed American Character "an important work." Thompson "paints an honest, vivid portrait of a man whose life was nothing short of cinematic," praised a Publishers Weekly writer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
California History, winter, 2002, James J. Rawls and Doyce B. Nunis, Jr., review of American Character: The Curious Life of Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Rediscovery of the Southwest, pp. 69-70.
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2001, review of American Character, p. 173.
Library Journal, March 1, 2001, Stephen H. Peters, review of American Character, p. 108.
Publishers Weekly, February 12, 2001, review of American Character, p. 195.
Arcade Publishing Web site,http://www.arcadepub.com/ (April 9, 2003).*