Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 18, 2002 -- The Third Annual Veryl L. Riddle Distinguished History Lecture will be delivered at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in the University Center Ballroom at Southeast Missouri State University.

"David Rowland Francis: A Missouri Democrat in Revolutionary Russia" will be the topic of the lecture presented by Harper Barnes, author, editor and cultural critic with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The lecture series is sponsored by the Center for Regional History. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to his work with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Barnes has written extensively for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and such periodicals as the Atlantic Monthly and Rolling Stone. He published articles, based upon personal interviews, about Elvis Presley, Timothy Leary, and the Allman Brothers. He has worked with a number of young writers who have gone on to national prominence, including Joe Klein of the New Yorker who published the book, Primary Colors, and Paul Soloman of PBS who wrote Life and Death on the Corporate Battlefield.

Barnes is the author of Standing on a Volcano: The Life and Times of David Rowland Francis, a biography of a blunt, plain-spoken Missourian who became mayor of St. Louis, governor of the state and ambassador to Russia at the time of the revolution. The book received an award from the Missouri Conference on History as the best book on Missouri history in 2002. The role of Francis I revolutionary Russia will be the topic of Barnes' presentation Oct. 30. He traveled to Moscow and St. Petersburg to research the manuscript.

In 1991, Barnes published the book Blue Monday, a novel set among jazz musicians, gangsters and corrupt politicians in Kansas City in the 1930s.

Barnes has served as feature editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, editor of the Sunday Magazine and the author of more than 1,000 reviews of books and movies. In 1990 and 1994, he taught writing and criticism courses in the Journalism Department at Washington University. For the past two years, 2001 and 2002, he has taught film appreciation courses at Webster University in St. Louis. He also works as a freelance book editor for Miramax Books in New York. He is currently researching and writing a book on the 1917 East St. Louis race riots.

He and his wife, Roseann Weiss, live in St. Louis two blocks from Forest Park. He is an avid bicyclist and likes to canoe and fish in Ozark streams. His favorite stream is a secret. He grew up in Graham, N.C., and Washington, D.C., where his father was an attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor. The family later moved to Kansas City, and he attended and graduated from the University of Kansas. He spent three years in the military from 1958 to 1961, attending the Army Language School in Monterey, Calif., where he learned to be a Russian linguist.

The Riddle Distinguished History Lecture Series is made possible by an endowment from Mr. and Mrs. Veryl Riddle, a prominent St. Louis attorney who was born and raised on a farm in Dunklin County, graduated from Campbell High School and attended Southeast for two years.

He served in World War II from 1942 to 1945. Following the war, he received his law degree from Washington University and returned to Dunklin County, where he practice law for 17 years. From 1967 to 1969, Riddle served as U.S. attorney in St. Louis, later joining the Bryan Cave Law firm, then a small firm, now one of the largest legal firms in the nation.

For more information on the lecture, call Dr. Frank Nickell, director of the Center for Regional History, at (573) 651-2555.


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