Fields is a nationally known expert on American literature, non-fiction prose, rhetoric and American political argument. His book, "Union of Words: A History of Presidential Eloquence" (1996) examines the use of rhetoric in presidential speeches, from declarations of candidacy to nomination acceptances, inaugural addresses, state-of-the-union speeches, declarations of war, executive farewells and other special addresses. His opinions are frequently sought by the national media to help interpret political speeches. He has served as a commentator for National Public Radio, Radio Free Europe and various television and radio network programs, and for five years wrote a regular column, "Close to Home," for St. Louis Magazine. Other books include "James Fenimore Cooper: A Collection of Critical Essays" (1979); "What the River Knows: An Angler in Midstream" (1990), a highly acclaimed non-fiction book about fly-fishing, the mysteries of rivers and the uncertainties of life's second half; and "The Past Leads a Life of Its Own" (1992), a collection of pieces about American boyhood.
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