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August 31, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

In-Person: An Evening with Amy Paige Condon


August 31, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


zArchive1-Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134 United States
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Books & Books presents…



 A Nervous Man Shouldn’t Be Here in the First Place: The Life of Bill Baggs

Thursday, August 31st, 7:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


Books & Books is thrilled to present an evening with Amy Condon discussing her book: A Nervous Man Shouldn’t Be Here in the First Place: The Life of Bill Baggs (University of Georgia Press, $24.95)

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event so make sure to stay after the talk for a book signing! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

About the Book:

“This is not a simple life, my friend, and there are no simple answers.”

The late editor of the late Miami News, Bill Baggs, stamped these words on plain white postcards and sent them to readers who sent him hate mail–a frequent occurrence, as Baggs, a white editor of a prominent southern newspaper, championed unpopular ideas in his front-page columns, such as protecting the environment, desegregating public schools, and peace in Vietnam.

Under his leadership, the Miami News earned three Pulitzer Prizes. For his stances, Baggs earned a bullet hole through his office window, police officers stationed outside his home, and a used Mercedes outfitted with a remote starter so that if it had been rigged with a bomb, it would blow up before he opened the door. Despite his causes and accomplishments, when Baggs died of pneumonia in 1969 at the age of forty-five, his story nearly died with him, and that would have been a travesty because Baggs still has so much to teach us about how to find the answers to those not-so-simple questions, like how to live in peace with one another?

In this first biography of this influential editor, Amy Paige Condon retraces how an orphaned boy from rural Colquitt, Georgia, bore witness and impacted some of the twentieth century’s most earth-shifting events: World War II, the civil rights movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War. With keen intellect and sparkling wit, Baggs seemed to be in the right place at the right time. From bombardier to reporter then accidental diplomat, Baggs used his daily column as a bully pulpit for social justice and wielded his pen like a scalpel to reveal the truth.


About the Author:

Amy Paige Condon first heard the name Bill Baggs on her first week as an intern in the Miami-Dade County manager’s office in 1993 as she was touring the park at the southern tip of Key Biscayne that bears his name. Through a series of what can only be described as serendipitous events, Condon kept encountering bits and pieces of his story until she could no longer ignore the push to write the first biography of one of the 20th century’s most influential newspaper editors. It took her 13 years to research and write “A Nervous Man Shouldn’t Be Here in the First Place: The Life of Bill Baggs,” now available in paperback. Condon is an editor for the Savannah Morning News, a cookbook author, and the founder of The Refinery Writing Studio. She lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband, three rescue dogs, and a pig named Gus.