Charles F. Lummis: Editor of the Southwest
Written by: Edwin R. Bingham
Category: Western History
Format: 228 pages, 6 x 8 3/4 inches, 5 black-and-white illustrations, paperback
Release Date: 2006-05-01
About this Book
Charles F. Lummis (1859–1928) was a colorful, dynamic, and often eccentric crusader for the Spanish heritage of California. The founder and editor of Land of Sunshine—or Out West, as the magazine was known after 1902—he recruited writers such as Mary Austin, Jack London, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman to contribute short stories, poetry, articles, and essays, many of them based on Western themes. Lummis himself wrote editorials extolling the glories of Southern California, decrying racial prejudice, and calling for the preservation of California’s historic landmarks.
Bingham examines Out West from a number of angles: as a Western business enterprise, as a promotional vehicle, as an outlet and training ground for regional writers, and as an instrument of reform. His study, first published in 1955, remains an important and absorbing account of Lummis’s life and of the magazine he established.
About the Author
Edwin R. Bingham is professor emeritus of history at the University of Oregon. He is the author of a biography of Charles Erskine Scott Wood and the editor of California Gold, Northwest Perspectives, American Frontier, Frontier Experience, and Fur Trade in the West.
Reviews of Charles F. Lummis: Editor of the Southwest:
“A clear and concise picture of the man as well as of the editor…written in a smooth-flowing style, and well documented, this study will appeal to students of Southwestern culture.”—United States Quarterly Book Review
“Bingham writes an important chapter in Western literary history, describing the association of [Lummis] with such writers as Washington Matthews, Ambrose Bierce, Frank Norris, Joaquin Miller, Eugene Manlove Rhodes, Sharlot M. Hall, and Mary Austin.”—American Literature
“Carefully documented and thoughtfully written.”—Pacific Historical Review
“The author shows how an aggressive and talented editor projected his personality and translated his ideas into action.”—Essential Books
Reviews of the first edition:
“The author of this volume, wisely, has channeled his attentions into the story of the magazine. It makes fascinating reading… Lummis made his magazine a two-edged blade in fighting for such things as preservation of historical landmarks, better treatment of the Indians and a proper appreciation of the Spanish in the American Southwest..” – San Francisco Chronicle
“Bingham has done a warm, readable and balanced account of the man and the work.” – Los Angeles Times
“This history is a faithfully recorded…. Bingham… has brought vividly to life a man who did much to preserve Southwest history and literature.” – Independent