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writer :
Charles Lamar Phillips

Charles Lamar Philips's novel "Estranged" appeared in February 2021 from Regal House, won the year's New York City Big Book Award as a Political Thriller, and was listed as one of the year's top mysteries by The Strand Magazine. His short story collection "Dead South" came out in 2020 from Fomite. His recent fiction and literary work appears in such journals as New England Review, Massachusetts Review, Cincinnati Review, Raritan, Fifth Wednesday, The Brooklyner, and The Chaffin Journal. His story “Show of Hands” was awarded the Chaffin Award for Fiction. Phillips is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop, and he has also written or co-authored a couple dozen, trade nonfiction and historical works for a variety of houses, including Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Grove/Atlantic. He has been an editor at Congressional Quarterly and The Washington Star; editor of the American Council on Education’s Higher Education and National Affairs and the American Association for State and Local History’s History News; and edited the journals of the Iowa Historical Society and headed its press. For a number of years he wrote a column for American History magazine. And he is currently managing editor of the American Journal of Play.

Writing, Fiction writing
General fiction, History
Currently managing editor of the scholarly quarterly American Journal of Play (Strong National Museum of Play), Phillips writes fiction and literary nonfiction. His work includes the New York City Big Book Award winning "political thriller" ESTRANGED (Regal House, February 2021), a literary and historical novel about Randall Harker, city editor of a progressive daily in the urban Midwest of 1950 attacked by a red-baiting U.S. Senator seeking re-election--deeply flawed, afflicted by personal and political woes, Harker loses his marriage, his job, and his identity in a story that occurs at the intersection of public and private life, of sex and work with politics and history; DEAD SOUTH (Fomite, February 2020), a short story collection of six connected tales set in Alabama and Virginia, including three stories published in major literary journals and one prize-winnning piece; “Advice,” The Brooklyner, Web Issue No 8; “Shell Game,” Raritan: A Quarterly Review , Vol. XXXII, No. 2; “Prairie Symposium,” The New England Review, Vol. 32, No. 2; “Estranged,” The Massachusetts Review, Vol. 52, No. 2; “Postmortem Literature,” Fifth Wednesday Journal, Issue 8; “Exley in Iowa,” The Cincinnati Review, Vol. 7, No.2; “Show of Hands,” The Chaffin Journal; and the compilation and editing of Brian Sutton-Smith's Play for Life: Play Theory and Play as Emotional Survival (2017).

Phillips is also author, editor, and producer of numerous historical works. For a number of years he wrote the “Day to Remember” column for the popular American History Magazine (2004-2009), and he was editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of War (2005), Time-Life Books’ 14-volume 40th anniversary edition of Shelby Foote’s The Civil War, A Narrative (1999-2000), the two-volume Encyclopedia of Historical Treaties and Alliances (2000), and Macmillan’s four-volume Encyclopedia of the American West (1996.)

Among the titles Phillips has authored or co-authored are the best-selling What Every American Should Know About American History: 225 Events that Shaped the Nation (3rd Edition 2008), The Macmillan Dictionary of Military Biography (1998); Cops, Crooks, and Criminologists (1996, reprinted 2000); What Everyone Should Know About the 20th Century: 200 Events that Shaped the World (1995); Dictators and Tyrants (1994); The Environmentalists, A Biographical Dictionary from the 17th Century to the Present (1993); My Brother's Face: Portraits of the Civil War (Chronicle Books, 1993, reprinted by Barnes & Noble as Portraits of the Civil War, 1998), a premium of the Book-of-the-Month Club; A Culture at Risk: Who Cares for America's Heritage? and The Wages of History (1985); The Hermitage: Home of Andrew Jackson (1997); the best-selling Passion by Design: The Art and Times of Tamara de Lempicka (1987), which appeared in more than nine foreign-language editions; Archie: His First 50 Years (1991); and Missouri: Gateway to the American West (1988).

Phillips has also served as consultant to numerous museums and cultural institutions, including the American Association of Museums, the Chicago Historical Society, the National Trust for Historical Preservation, the Strong Museum, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, the Airman Memorial Museum, and the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum. For the Airmen Memorial Museum Phillips co-scripted and produced a 90-minute video on Doolittle’s Raid over Tokyo in World War II entitled Count Me In, which aired on PBS and won an award for historical videos from the American Association of Museums.

Phillips has written for Time-Life Books’ Time-Frames (a multi-volume history of the world) and has served as editor of History News for the American Association for State and Local History; as editor of Higher Education and National Affairs for the American Council on Education; as contributing editor for the international art magazine Contemporanea; as editor-in-chief for the State Historical Society of Iowa; as a city editor for The Washington Star; and as editor-writer for Congressional Quarterly.

Iowa Writers Workshop, Fiction; Chaffin Award for Fiction; New York City Big Book Award for a Political Thriller; The Strand Magazine Top Mysteries of the Year