So who is this Richard Rubin, anyway?
Funny you should ask.
There are a lot of people named Richard Rubin floating around out there. According to a website that claims to know these things, there are exactly 226 Richard Rubins in the United States of America today. 225 of them are not this one.
This one is not:
The Isotoner Glove expert for the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The breakout star of the first season of “Beauty and the Geek.” The author of Foundations of Library and Information Science. The author of Press, Party, and Presidency. The author of 101 Tips for Coping with Diabetes. The author of a biweekly political newspaper column in northern California. A reporter in North Carolina. A criminal defense attorney in Vermont. The husband of a beleaguered politician in Florida. The Medical Director of a private school in Connecticut. The President of a company that manufactures industrial containers in Michigan. The guy who snapped up richardrubin.com more than a decade ago and still hasn’t done anything noteworthy with it. The former Treasury Secretary in the Clinton Administration. (Actually, that last one is Robert Rubin; you’d be surprised how many people can’t seem to tell the difference between “Robert” and “Richard.”)
No. This one is:
A writer, teacher, and bon vivant. The author of Confederacy of Silence: A True Tale of the New Old South (Atria, 2002). The author of more than a dozen essays and articles for The Atlantic Monthly. The author of several acclaimed pieces for The New York Times Magazine, including “The Ghosts of Emmett Till” (anthologized in The Best American Crime Writing 2006) and “Not Far From Forsaken.” The 2008-2010 Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. The author of a series of essays, on everything from genealogy to collecting, for AARP the Magazine. The writer, producer and narrator of “World War I at 78 RPM,” an NPR radio documentary commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Armistice. The author of Everyday American History of the 20th Century (Byron Preiss, 1998 – good luck finding a copy). The author of a half dozen short stories that have appeared in highly-regarded literary journals, including The Antioch Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Southern Review and The Oxford American. The winner of the Associated Press of Mississippi and Louisiana Managing Editors’ Award for Best Daily Newspaper Sports Feature, 1989 (under 9,000 circulation category). The host of “Late Night Jazz with Rich Rubin” (don’t call him “Rich”) on WUAL-FM in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1989-1990, a show which had more than a dozen listeners. The author of “Over There – And Gone Forever,” a Veterans Day essay named one of the New York Times’ notable Op-Ed pieces of 2007. The author of The Last of the Doughboys, a conversational history of America’s experience in World War I as recalled by its last surviving veterans, coming in May, 2013 from Houghton Mifflin. The author, indeed, of his own destiny.
Is this Richard Rubin the best one?
Certainly, he’s too modest to say. But it is a free country; you decide for yourself.
The author and other people's boats.
The author's credentials.
A rare photo of the author hard at work. Greenwood, Mississippi, January, 1989.