Sunday, February 22, 2015

Unsanctioned Voice; shooting incident

Click these links for discussions of the Writer's Note , Chapters 1 and 2, Chapter 3, Chapters 4-6, Chapters 7-10 , Chapters 11 and 12 , Chapter 13 , Chapter 14 , Chapters 15 and 16 and Chapters 17-19 of Bruce Ramsey's Unsanctioned Voice.

Chapter 20 is a narrative that describes an incident in which Garrett was shot in a restaurant in Manhattan. Aside from a possible robbery, there was never an explanation.

The address of the shooting was a restaurant at 357 West 15th Street [p. 140]. That location appears now to be near apartment houses, a parking garage and some store fronts under construction.

Ramsey describes this chapter and this incident as an "intermission" in the book and Garrett's life. [p. 139]. This chapter provides an example of how difficult Ramsey's task was. Most of the book was dedicated to Garrett's writings. This chapter was one of the few events that provided material for a narrative. Even then, Ramsey had to rely on newspaper stories and personal correspondence. (That Garrett was shot drew headlines in 1930, yet Garrett's entire life and writings are ignored and unknown today except for the efforts of those few who seek to revive not only Garrett and free market economics, but much of U.S. history as well.)

Ramsey is very transparent about the lack of sources for information about Garrett's life - See "Writer's Note." Examples of biographers in which the source material is more than plentiful are found in Victor Lasky's biographies of John and Robert Kennedy:

The extensive footnotes in those works contain interviews and contemporary newspaper and magazine articles on every aspect of the story. The contrast (and the obvious reasons therefor) is instructive for students of history.

Chapter 20 (and its uniqueness in the book as a narrative) provides an example of why Unsanctioned Voice would be useful in training aspiring writers in biography research and writing. Those who would research and write a biography would learn the limitations that often hamper such efforts. Even those that would merely read biographies would learn from Unsanctioned Voice, as a writer's research and limitations play such a big role in the final product.

Click here for a discussion of Chapters 21 and 22 and the transition to the New Deal.


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