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A Novel 


Arthur D. Hittner


A down-and-out artist and a menacing roustabout clash over a beautiful bareback rider on a Midwestern circus midway during the depths of the Depression, triggering a series of events that will alter their lives forever. The renown artist Thomas Hart Benton, his celebrated murals for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, and Babe Ruth's famous “called shot” home run in the 1932 World Series are featured along with colorful supporting characters including a witty prostitute, a cantankerous clown, a plucky young reporter, a greenhorn priest, and the high school flame who complicates the artist’s life after betraying him fifteen years earlier in this saga of love, art, arson, banditry, vengeance, and redemption. A must-read for lovers of art and smart historical fiction.

Print ISBN: 979-8-7138628-0-0

260 pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2021

List Price $14.95 (print); $5.99 (ebook) 

Amazon exclusive


Cultural Panel 10: Parks, the Circus, the Klan, the Press, from Thomas Hart Benton's Indiana Murals, originally painted for the Indiana state pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair and now reinstalled at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.  Photograph courtesy Bart Everson.

"Michelangelo of the Midway is a rollicking ride through the Depression, set largely in a circus (how perfect), with the story visited by two luminaries whose names have likely never appeared in the same sentence: Thomas Hart Benton and Babe Ruth. Well-written and often very funny, this novel will move you as much as it will entertain you."


         Scott Lasser, author of Say Nice Things About Detroit and Battle Creek

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