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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160
Fax (410) 516-5251

March 5, 2003
CONTACT: Kathy Alexander
Johns Hopkins University Press
(410) 516-4162

Olesker is Guest for March
Neighborhood Author Series

The Johns Hopkins University Press Neighborhood Author Series features veteran Baltimore journalist Michael Olesker, sharing stories of the city and generations of fascinating Baltimoreans, on Wednesday, March 12.

Olesker will discuss his book, Journeys to the Heart of Baltimore. The lecture takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Peabody Room at the Episcopal Diocesan Center on the corner of North Charles Street and University Parkway. Parking is available. The event is one of a series of monthly lectures featuring Baltimore-based writers of books published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Olesker writes of the American melting pot - particularly Baltimore's - in all its rollicking, sentimental, good-natured and chaotic essence. The stories come from neighborhood street corners and front stoops, playgrounds and school rooms, churches and synagogues, and families gathered around late-night kitchen tables.

Journeys to the Heart of Baltimore is a reminder of the nation's ethnic and racial mosaic, where a future mayor named Martin O'Malley and a future Baltimore County executive named Dutch Ruppersberger first learn about the melting pot. The D'Alesandro political dynasty comes to life here, and so do legendary Baltimore Colts Lenny Moore and Artie Donovan. The old East Baltimore ethnic enclaves nurture youngsters named Barbara Mikulski and Ted Venetoulis, and out of West Baltimore comes the future Afro-American newspaper publisher Jake Oliver.

"We overlap -- or what's the point of America?" Olesker writes. "We compromise, we shed the garments of the past. But we simultaneously strain to hold onto yesterdays. It is the hunger of memory."

The Neighborhood Author Series is organized by Johns Hopkins University's Office of Community Affairs and the Johns Hopkins University Press, America's oldest continuous university press and the area's leading publisher of books about the history, people, and environment of Maryland and the Chesapeake region.

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