Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Most Incredible Book ever published: The Oxford Project by Feldstein/Bloom/Stern.


If I could I would take the rest of my life off and just read every book that caught my eye.  As I waited to get on a PC at the Evanston Public Library – one of the best librarians in the USA, I found a Staff Pick Book – it caught my attn. initially because of its hologram on the cover.  Never saw a hologram before that went from a farm  hand to a small boy.  Truly awesome as a coffee table book should be, standing as separate and apart as any book could be that was ever published.  Under the book was a Typed Card that stated: 

The Oxford Project – “a living time capsule that challenges assumptions and shatters stereotypes as it reveals the extraordinary true tale of 1 seemingly ordinary American town” begins the wordage on the back cover.

Photographs by Peter Feldstein.  Text by Stephen B. Bloom.  Gerald Stern created the Preface.

STAFF PICKS which stated the following which is well worth typing out here for you all to read and hopefully pickup.

“I emigrated to the USA from Russian in 1991 and began working at the Evanston Public Library in 1998.  I came across this boo, while I was shelving.  It absolutely fascinated me.  It also taught me more about America and helped me to understand Americans better than any other source.  Photographer Peter Feldstein took pictures of all 676 residents of Oxford, Iowa in 1984.  Twenty years later, he returned with writer Stephen Bloom, who conducted short interview with the residents.  I laughed and I cried with the Iowans.  Such miseries in some lives!  I have recommended this book to others and every one of them has loved it.”

Signed:  Nadya Patashinski, Circulation.

I could not agree with her more.  Nadiya, you definitely know your books.  Find more about the book at – I know I plan to!  I’m wondering if any of the major networks ever went to cover this story among all these stories.  A winner – not only in literature, but for any humanitarian award.

At the EPL at 977.7655 FELD. P. 

ON THURSDAY, FEB. 28, 2013, I RECEIVED A RESPONSE BACK FROM PROFESSOR STEPHEN B. BLOOM which is posted next for your Insights.  Note the Video he wishes to share with us:


Many thanks for your kind words about the book. It was an undertaking that I think provided an amazing and accurate portrayal of a typical rural American town circa 2000. That's how I go about my work. I try to produce a snapshot that in 500 or 1,000 years people might be able to use to get some understanding of how our society operated so long ago - our language, dreams, food, clothing, diseases, social conventions, hobbies, work, relationships.


You might be interested this link, which has a short video that showcases the Oxford Project:


Also, if you're interested in other books I've done, there are three others (and more on their way):

Tears of Mermaids, Inside the Writer's Mind, and Postville.


Thank you again for your generous words!





Stephen G. Bloom


School of Journalism and Mass Communication

The University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa 52242


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