Like Bruce Springsteen, Professor James Tackach was born in the U.S.A. (Passaic, N.J., to be specific). He also has a passion for American literature. His M.A. thesis focused on the American WWI novel. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. For the past several years, he has been especially interested in the Puritans and the American antebellum era. He began teaching at RWU in 1979.
He currently teaches both American literature survey courses (ENG 240 and ENG 260) and a variety of special topics courses, including courses on Ernest Hemingway, the Southern Literary Renaissance, the African American novel, the literature of the Civil War, and the literature of the 1950 and 1960s. The survey courses, which span Plymouth Rock to World War II, cover many of the major American literary figures: Anne Bradstreet, Ben Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Fredrick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Crane, Richard Wright, Hemingway, and William Faulkner’sThe Sound and the Fury.
His Lincoln’s Moral Vision: The Second Inaugural Address was named an Honor Book in 2003 by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and Early Black Reformers won the National Council for the Social Studies’ Carter G. Woodson Secondary Book Award in 2004.
His articles on baseball and other sports have appeared in The New York Times, Sports History, The National Pastime, Baseball Research Journal, Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, and other publications. His fishing tales have appeared in On the Water and Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature.