Dowlin John

John Dowlin


BSR Contributor Since October 28, 2012

John Dowlin is a writer and community activist who lives in the Powelton Village section of Philadelphia.

I grew up in Detroit, was schooled in Vermont, and soon after arriving in Philadelphia (1972) co-founded the Bicycle Coalition. I've lived in the Republic of Powelton ever since, and am currently president of Save Our Sites (a preservation group).

I was schooled in Vermont (near Barre, Bellows Falls and Brattleboro). My “States of Emergency; the Federal Conscription of the National Guard,†can be found in Vermont Commons, fall 2007. My commentary on historic Hershey, Cuba (“A restoration project…â€) appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, October 4, 2011.

I'm currently launching a new "author series" at the Franklin Inn Club in Philadelphia, with Susan Cheever, Philip Levine and Paul Mariani among the invited authors.

By this Author

5 results
Page 1
You never thought of Boris Yeltsin as a tennis player, but I knew better.

Six degrees of tennis separation (a memoir)

Bill Gray, Boris Yeltsin, John Kerry and me: The secret fraternity of tennis

I suppose you could call us family, all of us who love tennis. Our mutual passion for the sport has opened doors for me to countless people who are more famous than I'll ever be.
John Dowlin

John Dowlin

Essays 6 minute read
Ten thousand British soldiers never saw their homeland again.

The Brits in America: A Veterans' Day thought

Remembrance of wars past, and a message from my ancestor

My ancestor fought in America's War of Independence and went out of his way to stress the notion of defensive war to George Washington. In that spirit, I have a Veterans Day message for all presidents who send U.S. armies overseas.
John Dowlin

John Dowlin

Essays 4 minute read
Presidents Coolidge and Machado in Havana, 1928: Guantánamo was an issue then, too.

What might have been: Coolidge in Cuba

Back to the future in Cuba: If Calvin Coolidge could do it…

Nixon went to China; and Calvin Coolidge, of all people, went to Cuba in 1928 to talk about peace and goodwill. It's enough to make one hope that the logjam of America's Cuban policy might be broken sooner or later.
John Dowlin

John Dowlin

Essays 5 minute read
A ladies' man, and also a guy's guy.

Paul Hendrickson's Hemingway

The old man and the boat: Hemingway, Cuba and me

Paul Hendrickson has pursued Hemingway the way I once pursued e.e. commings. The lesson: Don't be shy. If someone has written a poem or a book that means a lot to you, reach out.
John Dowlin

John Dowlin

Articles 6 minute read

Eight questions about the Civil War

What Castro learned from Fort Sumter, and other lingering questions about the Civil War

As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, some questions are seldom if ever asked. For example: Was the bloodiest war in U.S. history really necessary?
John Dowlin

John Dowlin

Essays 3 minute read