In The Man He Became, historian James Tobin says, despite misimpressions to the contrary, Americans of Franklin Roosevelt's day were well-aware of his disability — it was an important part of the personal narrative that helped him win the presidency.
Wilfrid Sheed, the satirical British essayist known for bringing his trademark wit to a wide range of novels, reviews and nonfiction books, died this week. He was 80. Fresh Air remembers the writer with excerpts from a 1988 interview.
Sheed wrote the text for The Kennedy Legacy, which features photographs of the late president. He joins Fresh Air to discuss his work as a critic and author. Sheed grew up interested in sports; a bout of polio turned him into an avid reader. His parents ran one of the largest Catholic publishing houses.
Novelist and essayist Harry Crews. His nine novels include All We Need is Hell and The Gospel Singer. Oftentimes, the main characters of Crews' works are outsiders; The central character of Crews' most recent work, titled The Knockout Artist, is a boxer who specializes in knocking himself out. Crews' three works of nonfiction include the autobiography A Childhood, Blood and Grits, and Florida Frenzy.