Maximum Insight by Bill Maxwell
Selected Columns of Bill Maxwell

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"One of the most distinctive and independent voices in American journalism . . . a voice that can inspire and infuriate . . . a voice that must not be ignored, especially if we Americans hope to create in this next century something that looks vaguely like a multi-racial, multi-ethnic democracy."--Roy Peter Clark, Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg

"Maxwell’s level of erudition is unusual among columnists . . . he often alludes to history, philosophy, literature, and the social sciences as he puts the news of the day into context."--Sam G. Riley, professor of communication studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

"An original and significant contribution to the literature of journalism and Florida culture."--Jay Black, Poynter-Jamison Chair in Media Ethics, University of South Florida

With syndication in more than 200 newspapers and a faithful readership nationwide, Bill Maxwell’s status as one of the country’s preeminent black journalists is unquestionable. This collection of his columns, primarily from the St. Petersburg Times, forms a body of commentary on humanity (and lack of same) that will capture the hearts and minds of Americans.

 Maxwell covers a sweeping range of subjects, including race—a central but not exclusive theme. He asks hard questions that courageously attempt to understand hatred and injustice in America; and he takes on controversial issues many columnists avoid and a wide spectrum of national figures—from Jeb, George W. and Clarence Thomas to the Pope and Jesse Jackson. 

 Maxwell writes movingly about his childhood as the son of migrant farm workers in rural Florida, his love of books—beginning with those plucked from garbage cans—and his everyday encounters with the white world and the black one. With a voice that is provocative and insights that are deep and passionate, he tackles the plight of migrant workers, the devastation of the environment, religious intolerance, homophobia, affirmative action, illiteracy, public education, civic responsibility, politics—and racism. He criticizes blacks and whites alike in his search for truth and right, especially in his exploration of what he calls “resurgent bigotry and Republicanism” and “the black writer’s most agonizing task—and duty—being dispassionate about the foibles and self-destructive behavior of African-Americans.”

 Setting a standard for the newspaper column as social criticism, Maximum Insight illuminates the role of the black writer as an interpreter of the forces that define a diverse America.

Bill Maxwell writes a twice-weekly column for the St. Petersburg Times. Syndicated by the New York Times News Service and by Scripps-Howard, his columns appear in 200 newspapers worldwide and have received many writing awards, including the Florida Press Club’s plaque for general excellence in commentary twice in and the Community Champion Award from the American Trial Lawyers Association.


About Bill Maxwell

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Published November 30, 2001 by University Press of Florida. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, History. Non-fiction

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