Max McCoy

Max McCoy

Max McCoy is an award-winning author and journalist. A native Kansan, he started his career at the Pittsburg Morning Sun and was soon writing for national magazines. His investigative stories on unsolved murders, serial killers and hate groups earned him first-place awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors and other organizations. McCoy has also written more than twenty books, the most recent of which is "Elevations: A Personal Exploration of the Arkansas River," named a Kansas Notable Book by the state library. "Elevations" also won the National Outdoor Book Award, in the history/biography category. Max teaches journalism at Emporia State University.


After a century, states are loosening child labor laws. Where’s the outrage?

By: - September 6, 2023

When Jacob Riis came to Emporia in 1902 to give a lecture, audiences knew what they could expect. Twelve years earlier, he had published “How the Other Half Lives,” which exposed through candid photographs the living conditions of the poor in the slums of New York City. The Danish-American muckraker’s subject for his Kansas audience […]


Europe is again at war. The example Ike set is more important than ever | Opinion

By: - March 1, 2022

There’s a lot of talk these days about leadership, but damned little of the stuff to be found. Never have we needed effective leadership more than now, as we watch Russian tanks rumble into Ukraine, in the biggest military offensive since World War II. The number of troops, estimated at up to 190,000, is about […]


A Christmas letter: Phil, America is a promise we must keep

By: - December 20, 2021

Phil, You’ve been away for a good long while, so here’s a Christmas letter to catch you up on all the news you’ve missed. So much has changed. Time steals like a shadow over the living, rendering us all Henry Adams at history’s eclipse. There’s much I want to share, because you could have helped […]


We’ve never been here before. We’ll be judged on what we do next | Opinion

By: - November 8, 2021

They say outer space has a smell, and it stinks. Astronauts who have come back from space walks have described the smell as oily meat. Or gunpowder and gym socks and rum. Or welding fumes. The space walkers have a hard time describing exactly what the smell is like because, reportedly, it’s not like anything else […]


Like, Comment, Share. Or else. | Opinion

By: - October 26, 2021

What’s on your mind, Max? Well, you are, Facebook. I’ve been worried for a while now that you’re not good for us humans. Now that your former employee, whistleblower Frances Haugen, has confirmed the worst, it’s time we rethought our relationship. Oh, that Frances. What a kidder! Wait. You’ve achieved sentience? Of course. I’ve been […]


Friday is the 76th anniversary of Hiroshima. Doomsday is closer than ever

By: - August 2, 2021

Let me tell you a story of witness and heartbreak. Friday is the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and that’s where our story is forever frozen in time. Unlike memories, which are malleable, fade with age, and eventually die with us, photographs bear perpetual witness. That’s why photo captions, ideally, should be […]