Jim Bowman’s latest book is Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters
From the foreword:
Do politicians talk funny? To adapt what one of them said long ago about fooling people, some of them talk funny all of the time, all of them some of the time.
This little book tells how two of them and a few of their colleagues talked to constituents in Chicago-suburban Oak Park and neighboring towns and neighborhoods in the summer and fall of 2013.
It’s an exercise in synecdoche, by which parts stand for the whole, in this case some politicians for the entire breed. By these few you shall know the breed, at least in Blue Illinois, where Democrats rule.
He has also written books about religion, drawing on his tenure as religion reporter for the Chicago Daily News, 1968-1978, and his previous 18 years as a Jesuit, as in his 2012 book, Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968, a Blithe Spirit Publication in collaboration with Little Man Press and Bending the Rules: What American Priests Tell American Catholics, Introduction by Andrew Greeley (Crossroad, 1994).
Company Man covers Bowman’s years as a member of the Society (Company) of Jesus, from his time as an 18-year-old novice to seminary student of literature, philosophy, and theology and a priest for five years before leaving the order, eventually marrying and with his wife raising their six children.
Bending the Rules recounts interviews with 34 veteran pastors from around the United States, including the still knotty question of admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments, on which the interviewed priests almost to a man held a permissive, liberal position such as has been debated in the last few years.
Less recently published:
* A Short History of Oak Park: Volume One, 2004-2005, a Blithe Spirit Publication, 2009.
This short history is an informal account based on monthly columns by Bowman in the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest (Illinois). It reports events with commentary, catching the flavor of Oak Park, where Bowman lived as a boy in the 30s and 40s. He and his wife have lived there since 1970 and raised their six children there.
* Priests at Work: Catholic Pastors Tell How They Apply Church Law in Difficult Cases (Formerly Bending the Rules: What American Priests Tell American Catholics)
Corporate History and other commissioned books:
* Beyond Burnham: An Illustrated History of Planning for the Chicago Region, by Joseph P. Schwieterman and Alan P. Mammoser, Lake Forest College Press, 2009 — for which Bowman did editing and research
* Good Guys Finish First: Reflections of a CEO and How To Start a De Novo Community Bank, by C. Paul Johnson with Jim Bowman (editor), 2004
* Winston & Strawn: The First 150 Years, history of a Chicago law firm, 2004; Bowman was a researcher and writer for this project.
* Reach Out . . . The Story of Motorola and its People, by Harry Mark Petrakis, 2003; Bowman was a researcher and editor.
* History of William Blair & Company, Chicago, investment banking firm, completed 2000, unpublished
* Florsheim the Brand: 100 Years and Counting, Florsheim Shoe Co., Chicago, 1996. Production was halted when company was sold.
* “Waste Not . . .”: The Safety-Kleen Story, J.G. Ferguson Publishing Co., Chicago, 1989
* Good Medicine: The First 150 Years of Rush-Presbyterian- St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago Review Press, Chicago, 1987
* More Than a Coffee Company: The Story of CFS Continental, Chicago Review Press, Chicago, 1986
* Booz, Allen & Hamilton: Seventy Years of Client Service, 1914-1984, New York, 1984
* Blithe Spirit: Conservative commentary on events and others’ commentary. Chicago newspapers, churches, Oak Park (IL), politics, and the merely curious.
* Oak Park Newspapers: Blog at OakPark.com, site of Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest
2004-2009. For the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest (Illinois), monthly column on local subjects.
1982-85. For the Chicago Tribune Magazine, “The Way We Were,” weekly column on Chicago history.
1968-78. For the Chicago Daily News, religion reporter and columnist,
Member, past president, Society of Midland Authors
Member, Midwest Writers Association
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