Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Carl Maxey: A Fighting Life (V. Ethel Willis White Books) Hardcover – June 24, 2008
--Bruce Ramsey, Seattle Times
"Well-constructed ... we finish the book feeling that we have just met someone personally. A fitting tribute to a controversial ground breaker in our state's history." --Robert H. Keller, Columbia, The Magazine of Northwest History
"In Kershner's fascinating and engaging biography, Maxey comes alive as a dynamic force, both in the courtroom and in the ring." --Catherine Hinchliff, HistoryLink.org, The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History
"As with any well-constructed biography, we finish the book feeling that we have just met someone personally. Carl Maxey: A Fighting Life is a fitting tribute to a controversial ground breaker in our state's history. Today it is actually much more than that. It stands as evidence testifying to the hard road traveled by many African Americans and thus a tribute to the recent accomplishment of our 44th president."―Columbia
"Kershner uses the story of Maxey's life to show the barriers that African Americans faced in Spokane, even though the city was not in the South and could pride itself in having no segregation laws. . .The state has changed since then. This book is the story of one man who helped change it."―Seattle Times
"Reads like a modern Dickens tale."―Law & Politic, Summer 2009
"Jim Kershner's biography of activist Carl Maxey is not only inspirational and informative, but because it is so well written it is also a pleasure to read."―Carlos Schwantes, University of Missouri―St. Louis
More About the Author
He embarked on his journalism career at the Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise in 1975. He then worked at the Valley Daily News in Kent, Wash., for 11 years. He moved to The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., in 1989, where he has worked as a humor-opinion columnist, theater critic, arts editor, entertainment writer, restaurant reviewer, and history writer - sometimes all at the same time. He has won numerous national and regional journalism awards, including seven awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He continues to be a columnist and writer at the paper.
He is also a staff historian for HistoryLink.org, the Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, for which he has written dozens of historical essays.
He has also had articles published in numerous magazines, including Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History, The American Journalism Review and Symphony, the Magazine of the League of American Orchestras.
He is the author of two hardback collections of columns: Mountain Goats are My Weakness, And Other Tales of the Northwest, published by New Media Ventures, 2004, and The Human Comedy, Plus Other Species at No Extra Charge, published by New Media Ventures, 1997.
His most recent book is Carl Maxey: A Fighting Life, published by the University of Washington Press, 2008.
He lives in Spokane, Wash., with his wife, Carol. They have two grown children, Mike and Kate.
His web page can be found at www.jimkershner.us.
Top Customer Reviews
Carl Maxey, having been born to an unwed mother, and having been placed in an orphanage in Spokane eventually worked his way up to becoming a competitive athlete, a national collegiate boxing champion, a college graduate, and the first black lawyer in Spokane. His practice led him to appear in some of the most high-profile murder, anti-Vietnam War, and civil rights cases in Washington state. In 1970 he challenged Henry "Scoop" Jackson for the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Senate. In 1976 he was on the Washington State ballot for president as Senator Eugene McCarthy's stand in vice presidential candidate. He remained a fighter for civil rights and social justice until his death in 1997.
Kershner, in doing research for the book, utilized numerous newspaper sources, library records, personal papers and interviews with thirty Maxey family members and people who worked with him. Still, because he was so well known and came into contact with so many people, there are undoubtedly hundreds of people in Spokane and elsewhere who, when they read the book, feel, "Oh man, I wish Kershner had interviewed me I would have told him about ..."
Much more could be written about Maxey. Kershner has only tapped the surface as far as interviewing the people who knew Carl Maxey, but I am grateful that he has provided this written account of a remarkable life. It is an important and accurate glimpse into an important time in our nation's history.
Mr. Maxey's death points out that social injustice and degradation can haunt a very significantly successful person, even to the end of their life. His death should be a reminder to all of us that hateful words inflict pain for a lifetime.
Carl Maxey grew up as an essential orphan. He was at one point kicked out of an orphanage for being black. Despite his Dickensian upbringing, Maxey went on to graduate from the Gonzaga Law School and become Eastern Washington's first black lawyer. In his second to last year in school, he was also the national NCAA boxing champion. This man single-handedly integrated much of Spokane and is one of the most dynamic, interesting figures of Washington state.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this book! Local history lesson for me, and the book was well writen. I live in the area that it is written about, and learned a lot.Published 22 months ago by fran
Jim Kershner did a great job writing this book and he labored long and hard in his research. I had the pleasure of knowing Carl personally for many years and working for him for... Read morePublished on October 26, 2013 by Mdornquast
Not only does the book give us incredible insight into one of
Spokane's great men, it also give us an insight into what
kind of life Maxey lived as a child, and as a man. Read more
Anyone who is interested in the history of Spokane should read this book. Maxey was a bigger-than-life colorful character who made a difference in one very white community. Read morePublished on February 29, 2012 by Mary Shinn
A true story following the life of Carl Maxey, eastern Washington's first black attorney. As a person who grew up in eastern Washington, it was curious for me to learn about Maxey... Read morePublished on April 28, 2010 by Sunny