Topics on a variety of subjects attract the reader to Al Smith’s new book, “Kentucky Cured: Fifty Years in Kentucky Journalism.” Hissecond book within the last year, it follows his autobiography, “Wordsmith” and is a collection of editorial essays.
Family members, Logan Countians, and others who have crossed Al’s path provide the basis of the stories. Of the forty-four chapters, ten are original for “Kentucky Cured.” Others are lifted from weekly and statewide newspapers for which Al has written during his career, often updated with a postscript.
Appalachia, military conflicts, civil rights, education, literature, community development and politics are among his discussions about people who have figured influentially in these areas. You will get personal glimpses of people from the local courthouse to the White House, written with insights into their successful lives that have contributed to Kentucky’s history and beyond.
Al uses many human interest stories that serve to “evaluate” governors, educators and community leaders in addition to what is said in the history books. Not-so-prominent women and men who have made a tremendous contribution to a better life for others are profiled along with those who routinely made the news. Al’s personal experiences with those about whom he writes makes you feel that you know these persons, too. Many names you will recognize; many you will have known personally or know today. Perhaps your own name is there!
Logan County figures prominently throughout the book, from events of its frontier years to present-day business and industry. Even when Logan County people and happenings are not the subject of the essay, local readers will feel that Logan County’s influence is in the background. Regardless, Al’s writing style and his way with words always make for enjoyable reading.
Al Smith will be at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort on November 10. He will be in Russellville on Sunday afternoon, November 18 at Logan County Library to read brief excerpts from his book at 2:30 p.m. and he will remain for a book signing and informal meeting with the public. Everyone is invited.