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Articles & Essays

Jack has written more than 500 articles and essays for The Atlantic, Scientific American Mind, Wired, American Heritage, The History Channel Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, and many other publications.

Read his articles and essays here.

Jack El-Hai's Books
  • The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness
    The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness
  • Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines
    Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines
  • Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places
    Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places
  • The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII
    The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII
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Tuesday
Apr082014

The Nazi and the Psychiatrist wins 2014 Minnesota Book Award

My recent release The Nazi and the Psychiatrist won the Minnesota Book Award in the general nonfiction category at the 26th annual awards ceremony on April 5, 2014. The event, organized by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, brought together 960 lovers of books and literature.  

I salute my fellow finalists — James Dawes, author of Evil Men; Larry Haeg, author of Harriman vs. Hill: Wall Street's Great Railroad War; and Rae Katherine Eighmey, author of Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition.  

Look out for the paperback publication of The Nazi and the Psychiatrist in September 2014.

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Reader Comments (3)

This is an intriguing, well written book, I'm on page 160 (print). Much to my horror came across this misusage, which cuts like a well-stropped razor..."kelley ultimately honed in...." Really?

Please fix if there is a second edition, and make a running correction in the Kindle edition.

Best,
April 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike Sheldrick
Mike, thanks for your kind words. My Merriam-Webster lists "hone in" as an acceptable substitute for "home in" or "zero in," in use since 1965. Why do you object?
April 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterJack El-Hai
Hi Jack,

Sorry to be responding belatedly. This time, I will check the box for follow-up comments.

This New Yorker piece covers the waterfront on homing in vs honing in.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/09/dont-try-to-hone-in-on-a-copyeditor.html

I didn't realize that Webster is carrying it as an alternative usage of "homing in." The New Yorker says that may be because George Plimpton used it. Maybe the slackers there thought it was okay to use hone in, and used Plimpton's error (my estimate) for cover.

My view continues to be that homing in derives from the description of the flight of homing pigeons-- either reaching their destination or returning home. Honing, of course means to sharpen, etc. How does one hone in -- literally speaking? One can certainly hone one's speech, of course.

Of course this is English, oops Americanish, and we can do anything we want, unlike in France where the language is sacrosanct. Just call me a fuddy duddy.

But let me try the neologism:

I just caught a glimpse of a group of home boys honing in on a hapless victim. Nah! it just doesn't work for me.

Sorry Merrimam Webster. You are wrong. Honing in is not acceptable usage. Honing is when used appropriately.

I still love the book.

Best,

Mike
July 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike Sheldrick

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