This biography contains plentiful and illuminating excerpts from Fleeson’s correspondence with such famous friends as H. L. Mencken and Eleanor Roosevelt, and sufficient quotations from her work. Like many journalists, Fleeson herself disdained autobiography or reminiscence. The biographer, a friend of the Fleeson relatives in Kansas, relies on the family connection and on her subject’s papers at the University of Kansas, but doesn’t really get out and dig, Fleeson-style, into what might have been available in resources farther afield, especially in Washington. Still, a pioneering journalist finally has a footnote in history.

 

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James Boylan is CJR’s founding editor.