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Love and War:

My First Thirty Years of Writing



“How does this steel-pouring, Bud-pounding, sports-loving Vietnam vet end up as one of the clearest, sharpest, most humane commentators on how we live now? Read this fresh take on a wasted country and find out.” – Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter: A Memoir

Lee Ballinger’s Love and War is your ultimate ‘greatest hits album’ in words. This collection of poems, tributes, short stories, and articles serves as a true American historical collection of our world around us; seen, experienced, and eloquently written, so that the average person can ultimately feel what Ballinger felt and vividly imagine what he saw. He has a brilliance in making sports, death, war, poverty, and open mics relevant to us all. He made me a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan before ever hearing them play and sing, taught me what James Brown was really about, made me love Hip-Hop again, and even inspired me to a have a newfound respect for our country’s veterans. Love and War taught me that our local heroes are much bigger than we thought they were, and that there is always beauty to be found in our journey for what’s right.

Cory “Besskepp” Cofer, author of Up the Street Around the Corner



To read Ballinger is to experience emotion from the inside out, music at its soul, truth that inspires one’s better self. And the former steelworker, The New York Times contributor, and social activist does it with a righteous humility that is staggering.

Holly Gleason, Nashville-based writer (Rolling Stone, Oxford American, Playboy, Huffington Post)


Extra! Extra!


Read All About It

More writings by Lee Ballinger.





Lee Ballinger is the monthly culture columnist for CounterPunch. Click to view articles that have been featured in the award-winning publication.








From a treasure house of correspondence, drafts, emails, published work, and Facebook posts comes a tasty slice of extra content from Lee Ballinger, the writer Robert Lipsyte describes as "one of the clearest, sharpest, most humane commentators on how we live now."


Check back here from time to time--the content will change on a schedule that has no timetable. Let us begin…


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