About Curtis

Curtis has lived and worked in the country for the better part of 40 years. He graduated from Pittsburgh’s Peabody High School in 1963 where his classmates voted him second funniest, which he continues to think he is.

He has a BA. from Oberlin College, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in international relations and American government. He was briefly enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the school of education of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in the early 1970s, because he wanted to learn how to teach. If the secret was there, he did not find it. He left after intentionally flunking a course called “Survival Techniques in the Educational Bureaucracy.” He did not survive the real educational bureaucracy either; neither did his UMASS professor. He received apprentice underground coal-mining papers in West Virginia and held a Virginia Class-A residential contractor’s license for 10 years.

Curtis is the author of seven other books, including, Fire in the Hole: Miners and Managers in the American Coal Industry and How To Be A Dirt-Smart Buyer of Country Property. He wrote a newspaper column that won awards from the Virginia Press Association. For a number of years, he self-syndicated a weekly column, “Country Real Estate,” that defined both country and real estate broadly.

Since 1983, he has operated cattle and timber farms in Blue Grass, Virginia. He has produced more than 550,000 pounds of grass-fed beef and one million board feet of hardwood sawtimber and veneer. He has written more than 75 arbitration awards since the mid-1980s. He also wrote speeches for two presidential primary candidates, both of whom failed. He has advised buyers on more than $10 million in rural land purchases.

He has written for the Washington PostColumbia Journalism ReviewWashington MonthlyNationEquusLe MondeFinancial Times and many other publications. http://www.curtis-seltzer.com

Curtis Seltzer | curtisseltzer@htcnet.org