ROBERT JOE STOUT passed away July 19, 2019, in his home in Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico. He was a prize-winning journalist, novelist, and poet who had written extensively about Mexico, human rights, and baseball.
Mexico, baseball, politics, history, literature–distinct and disconnected topics? Not really. Mexico is a complex country with a rich culture, a turbulent history, and a love of sports, all of which have contributed to literature about the country written in both Spanish and English. Robert evoked connections among these topics–and ruptures among them. The author of Kill the Teachers: Mexico’s Bloody Repression of Human Rights; Hidden Dangers, Mexico on the Brink of Disaster; Why Immigrants Come to America: Braceros, Indocumentados and the Migra; and The Blood of the Serpent: Mexican Lives plus the novels Where Gringos Don't Belong; Running Out the Hurt; and Miss Sally, he has published nonfiction widely in magazines, journals, and newspapers. His short fiction has appeared in literary and trade magazines and his poetry includes the books Monkey Screams; A Perfect Throw; and They Still Play Baseball the Old Way.
Robert Joe Stout grew up amid coyotes, jackrabbit, and muskrats in desolate eastern Wyoming, served in the Air Force, and graduated from Mexico City College. As an Air Force enlisted man, he received commendations as a bomb wing historian but never received a good conduct medal. During his undergraduate days at Mexico City College, he edited the award-winning The Collegian newspaper, received the gold key honoring the year’s outstanding graduating senior, and lost numerous arm-wrestling contests in a bar called The Balalaika.
His journalistic career began as an editor with Western Publication in Austin, Texas, his literary career with a poem in The Beloit Poetry Journal, and short stories in Four Quarters and The Georgia Review.
A nomadic writing and journalism career has taken him from California to Texas to Europe to Mexico, leaving a trail of hundreds of journalistic reports, short stories, poems, and novels, Journalistic adventures were interrupted by a year in Europe, writing an unpublished novel in New Orleans, two marriages and the births of two sons and three daughters, six years as a business and government accountant, passionate participation in Rotisserie baseball leagues and community, fern bar and university appearances as an actor, director, and gofer. His books knit first-hand experiences with interviews, investigative reporting, and a myriad of shortstops, ballet dancers, whistleblowers, and thieves.
When Robert passed away before the final edit of this book, his spouse, MAUREEN RYAN, committed to seeing this most recent important book in print. It provides a valuable historical perspective on the evolving problems of migration, drug violence, organized crime and cartels, the escalating violence both in the US and Mexico, as well as the contemporary history and political dynamics between the US and Mexico. Maureen had edited several of Robert’s previous works and provided thee postscript to bring the book up to date through January 2020, Maureen, MA, MFT, worked as a marriage and family therapist before retiring and views most things from a systemic perspective.