During the heyday of McCarthyism, the Chicago Tribune, offended by something he had written, contemptuously dismissed Paul Boller as "an obscure professor" - he was then teaching at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Some forty-five years later, reflecting on the incident, Boller wrote an essay on what it was like to be an obscure professor at one of America's less publicized campuses in a conservative community during the late 1950s and early 1960s. That essay became the foundation for this collection of autobiographical selections reflecting the interests and pursuits of a man who gained national recognition, both inside the academic community and beyond, but still values his obscurity. Whether it is a study of the much-maligned Calvin Coolidge or an account of his Navy service as a translator of Japanese during World War II, Boller brings to his writing a fresh approach and a lively and wry wit.
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