Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Story of a Rebel Frank P. O'hare Is Part of Missouri Series

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Story of a Rebel Frank P. O'hare Is Part of Missouri Series

Article excerpt

"REBEL AGAINST INJUSTICE: THE LIFE OF FRANK P. O'HARE"

By Peter H. Buckingham (276 pages, University of Missouri Press, $39.95)

THIS is the fifth book in the Missouri Biography Series, an enterprise conceived at the University of Missouri Press in Columbia. One of the previous four was obvious - President Harry Truman. One was not obvious at all - William Beaumont, a country doctor who improved medical science with his research on human digestion. The other two fell somewhere between obvious and not - Rose Wilder Lane, an accomplished writer who allowed her mother to accept the recognition for "The Little House on the Prairie" books; and Kate Richards O'Hare, American Socialist party reformer who emphasized the importance of more humane persons. This book returns the series to the not obvious at all - Frank P. O'Hare, dead now for 36 years. Before this book, he had achieved recognition largely as the one-time husband of Kate Richards O'Hare. In fact, Peter H. Buckingham, a history professor at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., was planning to write a biography of Kate Richards O'Hare, not Frank P. O'Hare. Buckingham shifted his focus only after learning that two other researchers had a head start on a biography of Kate. (One of those two was Sally M. Miller, author of the previous book in the University of Missouri series, "From Prairie to Prison: The Life of Social Activist Kate Richards O'Hare.") By the time he learned that he would most likely be third in line on a Kate Richards O'Hare biography, Buckingham knew enough about Frank P. O'Hare to believe he deserved his own full-life treatment. Buckingham's research is impressive. Frank O'Hare destroyed much of the documentation about his life with Kate, but Buckingham ferreted out plenty that still exists. His 34 pages of endnotes, followed by an eight-page bibliographic essay, are a mini-textbook on how to research the life of the relatively obscure. …

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