All Over but the Shoutin’ Chapters 26-29 Summary & Analysis

Rick Bragg

All Over but the Shoutin’

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All Over but the Shoutin’ Chapters 26-29 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 26 Summary: Tap-tap 

Chapter 26 finds Bragg in Haiti.  “I had always wanted to go to Haiti, the same way I’d wanted to touch my mother’s hot iron.  The resilience of its people amazed me.  But in truth, what drew me to this place was its capacity for evil.  A bloody coup gave me reason to come, and write of it” (201).

Bragg covered the aftermath of the coup that toppled Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a true champion of the poor who was, of course, deposed by the rich and their allies in the military.Bragg got to witness his fill of evil among the Haitian poor who were slaughtered in great numbers in especially cruel ways.  

Chapter 27 Summary: Snow in a can 

This chapter finds Bragg at home in Alabama for Christmas.  He feels the tug of home, but he is fully committed to his career and living where the big stories are.

Chapter 28 Summary: The interview for the Ivy League 

Bragg’s life goes in an unexpected direction when he applies to become a Nieman Fellow in a special program for journalists at Harvard University.   During the interview process, he meets Bill Kovach, a former New York Times editor and reporter who had grown up in Tennessee and was sympathetic to a fellow Southerner.  Kovach helped Bragg get into the program and became an important mentor to him.

Chapter 29 Summary: Perfume on a hog 

Bragg spends his year at Harvard actually going to classes and asking questions that his fellow students avoid for fear of looking ignorant.  He develops a lasting friendship with Bill Kovach, who helps him to develop his writing craft. 

Chapters 26-29 Analysis 

These chapters cover a very important period in Bragg’s evolution as a journalist.  He gets to go to Haiti to cover a big international story.  He gets into a highly competitive program at Harvard where he furthers his education and adds significantly to his credentials.  After Harvard, Bragg has offers from two of the most important papers, not just in the country, but the world: the L.A. Times and The New York Times. He goes very briefly to work in Los…

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