Its Me O Lord - the Autobiography of Rockwell Kent
by Kent, Rockwell
pub. by Dodd Mead and Co., NY. 1955 LCCN 55- - - 617 p. -- many pictures drawn by Kent most reproductions of his work. Some drawn just for this book
This is a straightforward autobiography of the American artist. socialist. and labor supporter. It starts with a genealogy to set the stage for his birth, and continues through to his 71st year.
He started out going to college to become an architect, then several years in he changed his mind and went to art school, becoming an artist. During his life he blended the work and for many years did artistic renderings for architectural plans for various architectural firms. It was bread and butter work... that is, it kept him employed, but did not satisfy him as the best use of his artistic talent.
Kent married, raised a family, divorced, married again and lived to an advanced age.
He spent the better part of a year in a cabin on an island in Alaska with his son. This provided him grist to write and illustrate a book on the adventure.
Later he took a steamer to Tierra del Fuego, bought a lifeboat and refitted it to be a yacht and sailed the area of the southern tip of S. America. After several adventures and slogging hikes through bogs and mountains he borrowed another boat in an attempt to reach the island of Cape Horn. He got within sight of it but weather turned him back. He returned to USA and from these experiences wrote another book.
He eventually bought a farm in New England and grew it into a full working dairy operation as well as a meeting place for his artistic friends. Kent had some rather sharp disagreements with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and Senator McCarthy, who was questioning Rockwell Kent about his Socialist and possibly Communist leanings. Kent fairly well proved that he was not a Communist, but in the heated exchange Kent challanged the committee to define socialism and communism before he would answer their questions. He never got a defining answer.
A good bit of the beginning of this autobiography took place before rural America was mechanized. This book gives one a fair look into how life was lived when things were simpler... even to not having indoor plumbing much less electricity.
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