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Kentucky Cured:: Fifty Years in Kentucky Journalism Paperback – October 9, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Kentucky Cured" by legendary Kentucky journalist Al Smith is the book his followers, fans and friends wanted....It's a compilation of narratives and opinions mostly about the influential Kentuckians who provided direction for the state over the past 75 years.

"The bite-sized chapters, rich with quotes and anecdotes, frequently show sides of such Kentuckians as Lyman Johnson, Mitch McConnell, Ethel Waters, A.B. 'Happy' Chandler, Georgia Powers and Robert Penn Warren...."

"...a must-have for anyone interested in Kentucky history seen through the eyes of a media legend." --James H. Miller, Courier-Journal

About the Author

Al Smith was born in Sarasota, Florida on January 9, 1927, to parents from middle Tennessee who came to Florida in the early 1920s, attracted by opportunities in that decade's land boom. His father was a war veteran and a lawyer, and his mother had worked as a teenage reporter on a weekly newspaper. Their hopes dashed in the Depression, they returned to Tennessee in 1939 and settled on a rough farm with no amenities near Nashville, acquired with help from family members.

Al's story of his youth in Florida and Tennessee, his own service in the army and life after as a college dropout who became a newspaperman, first in New Orleans and then in Kentucky, is told in Kentucky Cured and an earlier memoir, Wordsmith: My Life in Journalism, published in 2011. From a fresh start on a weekly paper in western Kentucky, Al built a chain of small weeklies and a long career in broadcast journalism. Describing himself as a "cause" journalist in and out of the newsroom, he has been an advocate for education, the arts and economic development. The University of Kentucky and eight other colleges and universities have given him honorary doctorates. He lives in Lexington with his wife, Martha Helen, mother of their three adult children.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609497902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609497903
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,187,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Proctor S. Burress, Jr. on November 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a Louisville native I find that Mr. Smith overwhelms me.
He describes people, places and events that enchant, challenge
and trouble. He seems to know everyone. Clements, Pearce,
Clark, Chandler, Combs, Nunn, Breathitt, Still. Among this list
Clark and Still and the author himself standout. Two wonderful
writers followed by another, Smith, who has struggled with a demon or two
so that he could tell us about those fellows and more.

This is not just "Kentucky Cured!" There is a bit of Kentucky
Fried thrown in with a deft hand. Lacking might be the edginess
that surely accompanied many of these politico-journalistic escapades.
A bit more "well done" rather that fried "lite" might have been
just as entertaining and a bit more educational. I would have liked to see more of this
element in these essays.

A question remains. Were all these colorful people straight shooters as well as Smith's
friends? How often did Smith cross the faint line between solid journalism
and political gamesmenship? Can journalism in this state or any state be practiced
without crossing the line? Does he owe us a bit...or considerably...more on this?

Being both Kentucky cured and Kentucky fried I rejoice in these
essays so much of which I missed by going elswhere. Should we not ask
our young people to stick around?

This a lively and all too short a read. One is haunted
by feelings of nostalgia for a world not really experienced.
Most readers will not have experienced what he did.
Mr. Smith makes this starkly clear. We will always miss his
"Comment(s) on Kentucky"!

Note also that Clark, Still and Smith as well, are not native sons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William G. Coke on August 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written history of individual Kentuckians and what they have meant to Kentucky history and culture over the last 50 years. Al Smith has a wonderful way with words so that each story is compelling. Even if you haven't met the person Al is writing about, you become a friend by the end of the story.
Kentucky Cured is a play on words with quite literally a double meaning. History in Kentucky is like a fine cured Kentucky ham - salty, rich and full of flavor. Al's personal Kentucky Cure is a story of redemption from the demons that can come from another Kentucky product - fine aged Bourbon. His personal story is salty and rich and full of flavor and an inspiration for all us that know him.
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