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Applebome was born in New York City and grew up in Great Neck, N.Y. He graduated from Duke University in 1971 and from Northwestern University Journalism School in 1974. He worked at a newspapers in Corpus Christi and in Dallas and at Texas Monthly magazine. He joined the New York Times in 1987 as a national correspondent and then as bureau chief in Houston. He moved to Atlanta as Southern Bureau chief in 1989, served in that job for five years. Since then he has covered education and culture and is now Deputy Metropolitan Editor. He has taught courses in journalism at Princeton University and Vanderbilt University.
His books include Dixie Rising: How the South is Shaping American Values, Politics and Culture (Times Books, 1996) and Scout's Honor: A Father's Unlikely Foray into the Woods (Harcourt, 2003).
- Scout's Honor: A Father's Unlikely Foray Into the Woods (2004, Tandem Library)
- Dixie Rising: How the South is Shaping American Values, Politics and Culture (1996, Times Books)
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