Today, July 11, marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.  This weekend, The USA Today published a story discussing this literary milestone.

The author, Harper Lee, has published no other novels.  Yet, her one and only major novel has had such a profound impact.  Is this book the great American novel?  Perhaps I’m biased.  However, growing up in Alabama and now practicing law here, I think so.  While my question as to the great American novel could spark a lengthy debate, this book would certainly be one of the finalists.  Periodically, I will re-read the book or re-watch the excellent movie adaptation.

As I read several articles about this anniversary, I was genuinely surprised that there have been a few recent critics of the novel.  In my opinion, these few contemporary criticisms are mis-placed.  In making their criticisms, these few critics have largely removed and separated the story from its actual setting, both geographically and historically.  A Birmingham News article this morning addressed the few criticisms of the story.

If you have never read To Kill A Mockingbird, then I would strongly urge you to do so.  If you read the book long ago, perhaps back in high school, I would urge you to read it again.  It is certainly a story that will inspire you again and again.