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Essay Review    


Maximum Intent: Selected Columns
by Bill Maxwell
University Press of Florida, 2001
ISBN: 0-8130-2436-6



Bill Maxwell, has collected his columns for the St Petersburg Times into Maximum Intent. This collection touches upon matters of international and regional significance. Maxwell points an often harsh light upon subjects as diverse as education, race/racism, politics, sports and life in Florida.

Too often when speaking on racially charged topics, his focus, or opinion is so narrow as too alienate readers who do not share his vantage point or opinion. For example in the column "The game in black and white," he posits that Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder  had "it" right, when in 1988 he stated that African American athletes because they had been breed to be more physically fit during slavery were naturally more athletic than their white counterparts. Also their high thighs, larger size also contributed to this according to Snyder. Maxwell goes on to state that in the vein of Snyder Jon Entine reveals the true nature of race and athleticism in his book Taboo. Maxwell uses the column to paraphrase, or summarize Entine's book.

Maxwell’s words are most compelling when he is touching upon issues other than race. When he is relating an episode, lesson, or experience from his own life, Maxwell is able to touch a universal audience.

Tia Blassingame
Southern Scribe Reviews

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