I met Dr. Arturo Madrid, Trinity professor and author of In the Country of the Empty Crosses, briefly, at a book release event put on by Trinity University Press. It was like every other academic event I’ve ever been to: book-ended by compliments, with introductory speeches and diatribes of thanks. The academy loves nothing more than reminding itself how awesome it is, and if you go to enough of these things, you start listening to introductions with the specific goal of figuring out if the speaker believes even half of what they’re saying.
So when Dr. Madrid, a short, friendly man with an affection for tan suits and Panama hats, received his introduction, I was pleasantly surprised by the sincerity in the atmosphere. This room full of Trinity professors, publishing staff, and locals seemed to legitimately admire Dr. Madrid, and when I was warmly received after introducing myself as a reporter, I was impressed myself.