Fly Fishing Books: Art Winslow on Maclean

November 29, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

In the Los Angeles Times, Art Winslow, a former literary and executive editor of The Nation, takes a closer look at the lesser-known works of author Norman Maclean, as revealed in The Norman Maclean Reader (University of Chicago Press, November 2008, 304 pages). Few know that Maclean struggled to write a book about the battle of the Little Bighorn, or that he drew parallels to the battle in other works like “Young Men and Fire,” about the 1949 death of 13 smokejumpers in Montana. “On the humorous side, he reports witnessing a mother and son in front of a display case in the museum at the battlefield. In it was the cadet uniform that Custer had worn at West Point (where he finished last in his class), and the mother ‘whispers to her son that he must study hard in school if he expects to get anywhere in life.'”