Brooks talks collegiate debate in new book

Sandra ClarkGibbs/Corryton, Our Town Neighbors

Harry Brooks has published a book on his debate experiences while a student at Carson-Newman University. The announcement came from his wife, Mary, on Facebook. She said he wrote the book as his covid project.

The book is available from for $10. All proceeds from the sale go to the debate/forensics team at CNU, she said.

Brooks, a Republican, represented District 19 in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 2002-2021. He was succeeded by Dave Wright. Previously, he represented District 8 on the school board.

He and Mary both participated on the debate team at Carson-Newman, where he received his undergraduate degree. He got a graduate degree from the University of Tennessee.

Brooks was appointed to the House Education Committee and, in 2009, was named committee chair. In 2011, Brooks sponsored the Virtual Public Schools Act. The legislation, signed into law in May 2011, established provisions for state money to go to for-profit online schools. It led to the creation of the Union County-based Tennessee Virtual Academy, which continues to serve grades K-8. It is one of nine virtual schools in the state.

“Practicing The Art of Debate at Carson-Newman University” was written by Brooks with co-authors Hugh Myers and Chip Hall.

Amazon describes the book: “The authors present three diverse perspectives on collegiate debate. In the first section, a grandfather (Brooks) relishes sharing his experiences in the Carson-Newman debate program with his grandchildren. Some of these stories are bizarre and hilarious.

“In the second section, the author offers a succinct review of debate history in western culture with special emphasis on the emergence of debate as an important activity in the modern university. In the third section, a debate coach reflects on his predecessors and considers the changing styles of debate.”

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