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Saturday, July 20, 2019

It Was a Very Good Year: 1969

I want this book; I need this book! Whether you remember 1969 or you only read about it, this book will inspire you.

From Globe Newswire:

More than a Moon Shot, 1969 Changed the Nation

50th Anniversary Inspires New Book, New Perspectives

DENVER, July 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --The final year of a tumultuous decade, 1969 upended American culture and shattered domestic tranquility. On the 50th anniversary of that electrifying year, eight eminent authors, journalists and political commentators share their coming-of-age memories, political critiques and lessons learned in a new book, 1969: Are You Still Listening?

Six of the authors will attend a book launch at the BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street in Denver, 7-9pm on July 20, exactly 50 years after Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon.

Joining lead author Brent Green, an authority on the Baby Boomer generation, are co-authors: Greg Dobbs, veteran ABC News correspondent and Denver Post columnist; Bob Moses, publisher of the nation’s first newspaper for older adults; attorney and novelist Robert William Case; David Cogswell, a multi-book published author and prolific travel writer; and Carol Orsborn Ph.D., author of over 30 books about the Boomer generation. Additional authors not attending are Richard Adler, a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future; and best-selling author Jed Diamond.

“1969 was extraordinary and galvanizing,” said Green. “From Apollo 11 to Woodstock, from Vietnam to The Beatles, indelible lessons from 50 years ago impact our national consciousness and priorities today.”

One question reverberates throughout this book, are you still listening?, inspires readers to think about the nation’s social and political progress 50 years later. How do we define national unity today? Does discord linger from 50 years ago? Do we sense progress toward the goals of that decade?

For those who experienced 1969 firsthand, this book stirs memories and invites reflection. For those born later, the book reveals truths about a rebellious time and an engaged generation that proclaimed a new vision for America.

The book is available from BookBar in Denver in paperback, as well as through online retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Purchase here through Amazon.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Archaeological dig at Andalusia (home of author Flannery O’Connor) to identify location of ‘peafowl pens’

Press release received today:

Milledgeville, June 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An archaeological dig commences tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11, at Andalusia: Home of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College in Milledgeville. The excavation could pinpoint the exact location of pens where the famed author kept her flock of more than 40 peacocks.
Female members of that richly-colored pheasant species are referred to as “peafowl.” Historical photographs show peafowl were kept in original pens near O’Connor’s “nail house”—which served as the property’s garage and storage area.

The four-day dig will run through Friday but be in full swing Wednesday and Thursday, June 12-13, said Matthew Davis, director of historic museums.

“We hope to find items that can better illustrate the life of the O’Connor family on the farm,” Davis said. “Opportunities to learn about our past are always exciting, and I look forward to seeing the discoveries that we make and can share with the public, as a result of this work.”

In August 2017, Andalusia Foundation donated the landmark to Georgia College & State University Foundation. The farmhouse was the final home of O’Connor, who graduated in 1945 from the university, then known as Georgia State College for Women. She lived on the property from 1951 until she died of lupus in 1964. During those years—influenced by the farm’s setting—O’Connor wrote the bulk of her literary work.

Georgia College updated the property by stabilizing the old farmstead. Andalusia reopened to the public last summer. Among other improvements: Historic windows and building foundations were repaired, the gutter system restored and entire electrical system replaced. Interior walls were painted in original colors and historic flooring preserved. The first full inventory of antique collections was also completed.

Andalusia now serves as a public museum and learning site for Georgia College students. The university offers historical interpretations, exhibitions and public lectures there.

“As we work towards Andalusia’s restoration, it’s important to have a full understanding of the site’s history,” Davis said. “Finding the location of these historic resources will allow us to fully articulate Andalusia’s history during the time O’Conner’s family lived at the site.”

Southern Research, Historic Preservation Consultants, Inc. of Waverly Hall, Georgia, was chosen to conduct the excavation. Its team helped develop current guidelines for historic preservation on campuses in the University System of Georgia. Co-owner and principal investigator, Dean Wood, has more than 40 years of experience protecting timeworn properties throughout the Southeast. His company has done digs in Milledgeville at several locations, including Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion

The first stage of intensive survey includes excavation using small shovels. Two archaeologists will test areas to establish potential depths of historic deposits and features. Then, a metal detector survey will be conducted.

Using information from shovel tests and metal detecting, archaeologists will lay out and excavate at least two shallow ground units, where they believe cultural items are present.

Recovered artifacts will be cleaned, identified and stabilized by electrolysis at Southern Research’s labs. A final report of methods used and the significance of artifactual findings—plus, a prediction of the exact location of O’Connor’s peafowl pens—will be submitted to the University of Georgia Laboratory of Archaeology in Athens.

The dig is open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to come watch during Andalusia’s hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Tours of the farmhouse begin on the hour with the last at 4 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors and pre-booked groups; $2 for students; and free for children under 6.


Friday, April 19, 2019

College of DuPage Professor Explores Chicago Area History’s Influence on the Modernist Movement in New Book

Here's an interesting press release that I received this morning. It announces a new book that I'd love to read.

Glen Ellyn, April 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When it comes to Chicago’s rich 182-year history, the “second city” played a surprising role in the works of some of the most well-known American modernist authors. 

For College of DuPage English Professor Michelle Moore, exploring Chicago’s past and connecting it to her love of art and literature led to the interesting discoveries in “Chicago and the Making of American Modernism: Cather, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald in Conflict” recently published by Bloomsbury Publishing plc. 

“I show how Ernest Hemingway's long forgotten Chicago friends and mentors are actually the most important in that they caused the development of his famous style. I reveal brand new sources for F. Scott Fitzgerald's ‘The Great Gatsby’ and long-forgotten sources for his memorable female characters, including Daisy,” she said. “Each chapter has new revelations about often read and well-known novels and writers. There's nothing obscure here; in fact, it’s quite the opposite.”   

Moore’s book offers new insights and revelations about Chicago area history and its influence on several famed writers on both a personal and professional level, including an exploration of Hemingway’s relationship to Oak Park and Frank Lloyd Wright. 

For Moore, the inspiration for the book is the culmination of her academic life to this point.
“I’ve been studying, teaching and writing about modernism and literature for years and have presented at conferences focused on several of the writers discussed in the book,” she said. “When I first moved to Chicago 15 years ago, I became fascinated with the city's rich history and how much of it is unknown and forgotten; even by Chicagoans. This book is the result of these interests coming together.” 

Drawn to an academic life focused on literature through a lifelong passion for reading, Moore earned a bachelor's degree at Dickinson College and both her master's and Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Before joining COD in 2002, she taught at SUNY at Binghamton and Broome Community College in New York. She was named Outstanding Overall Faculty Member at COD for the 2010-2011 academic year.  

Her work has been published in the “Faulkner Journal,”“Cather Studies” Issues 9 and 11and in “Film/Literature Quarterly,”as well as contributingchapters in “Rape in Art Cinema,” “Teaching Henry James and the Turn of the Screw” and forthcoming “Teaching Hemingway in the Digital Age,” Moore is currently coediting a book on the work of film director Paul Schrader with COD Associate Professor of English Brian Brems. 

Moore said that while writing “Chicago and the Making of American Modernism” provided great gratification in being able to tell the story of Chicago’s important role in the birth of Modernism in America, the process was not without its challenges. 

“Archival work takes a great deal of time, patience, and thought. It's like putting together a giant puzzle; you have to first find the puzzle pieces,” she said.
She said that she’s already seen elements of the book work their way into the classroom.
“I’m able to share a deeper view of these writers and their connection to Chicago history and the modernist movement,” she said. “My students now are getting information in the classroom that has been buried in disparate archives for decades.” 


Tuesday, January 15, 2019


DETROIT, MI, Jan. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Continuing its nearly two-decade tradition of bringing internationally-renowned authors and scholars to its campus, Marygrove College’s Institute for Detroit Studies (IDS) will welcome Herb Boyd at its 44th Defining Detroit event on February 11, 2019.

Boyd will present Leadership and Self-Determination in Early Twentieth-Century Black Detroit and sign copies of his latest book, Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Madame Cadillac Hall. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.
“We are pleased that Professor Boyd has accepted our invitation to speak at Marygrove,” says IDS co-founder Frank Rashid. “Black Detroit derives from decades of rich personal experience and thorough research into the lives of black Detroiters.”
Previous Defining Detroit speaker and Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Heather Ann Thompson observes that readers of Black Detroit “not only experience the very epicenter of this nation’s most important freedom struggles, but they come to know a city that has always, always, been anchored by a most powerful and determined black community.”
Herb Boyd is a journalist, activist, teacher, and author or editor of twenty-three books. His articles have been published in the Black ScholarFinal Call, the Amsterdam NewsCineasteDownbeat, the Network Journal, and the Daily Beast. A scholar for more than forty years, he teaches African American history and culture at the City College of New York in Harlem, where he lives.
Herb Boyd’s appearance kicks off the 2019 Defining Detroit series, which will also feature noted journalist and author Desiree Cooper on Wednesday, March 20th, on Marygrove’s campus. Ms. Cooper will read from her 2017 book Know The Mother and other works.  An exhibit of the works of Northwest Detroit artists is also planned for spring 2019.
Defining Detroit is a series of Detroit-focused lectures, readings, exhibits, and performances established in 2000 by the Marygrove College Institute for Detroit Studies. Previous guests include Melba Joyce Boyd, Kevin Boyle, Jim Daniels, Toi Derricotte, Angela D. Dillard, Jeffrey Eugenides, Lolita Hernandez, Lawrence Joseph, Philip Levine, Naomi Long Madgett, Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas J. Sugrue, June Manning Thomas, and Heather Ann Thompson. A complete list is at:  https://www.marygrove.edu/detroit-studies.
Established in the city of Detroit in 1927, Marygrove College is an independent Catholic graduate college sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) and guided by the values of human dignity; community; social justice; ecological justice; excellence; innovation; and diversity. The campus is situated on 53 wooded acres at 8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221. Visit www.marygrove.edu.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Empire of the Wheel pulls threads

Review of Empire of the Wheel: An Investigation of Occult Espionage and Murder, by Walter Bosley and Richard B. Spence. Corvos Books, 2011.

~~ Tessa B. Dick

A plain grave marker in the potter's field of Mountain View Cemetery reads, “Cora Stanton, Nov. 19, 1915”; it bears no date of birth or next of kin because nobody knows who she is or where she came from. You can see that marker today in the cemetery on Highland Avenue, on the north side of the street, facing the grounds of St. Bernadine Hospital.

The year is 1915. While World War I rages in Europe, the United States remains neutral, sort of. German spies haunt the transportation hubs and infest the social circles of America. British spies cooperate with Americans in their efforts to root out the German spies, along with their Irish and East Indian compatriots, and foil their plans to smuggle arms to the Central Powers. Meanwhile, the U.S. responds to the revolution in Mexico, led by Pancho Villa, by closing down railroad lines that run too close to the southern border. This puts the train station on Third Street in San Bernardino into the position of a major hub for the transportation of both freight and passengers traveling east and west across the continent.

In the midst of international intrigue, San Bernardino's first Chief of Police, Walter Shay, investigates seven unnatural deaths, three of which are children who were poisoned and three of which were adults who apparently committed suicide. The seventh was an adult man who died in an apparently accidental drowning in Lake Baldwin, a mountain lake near Big Bear. These appear to be local matters with no connection to the wider world.

The book follows the newspaper reports of the day, since the police reports no longer exist or at least cannot be found. The authors of focus on Cora Stanton, who almost certainly is not Cora Stanton. Her lifeless body was pulled out of the lake at Urbita Springs, a park that was built in the present location of the Inland Center Mall. Although the lake and park are gone, you can still find traces of them in the landscape around the shopping center. Cora, or whoever she was, had poison tablets in her stomach, but the coroner determined that the cause of death was drowning. Her apparent suicide might be a murder committed as part of a black magic working. Was she used to symbolize Core, the goddess of the Spring who descended into the land of the dead in Greek myth, or was she just an unfortunate woman who decided to take her own life? Follow the threads in this fascinating tale of local history and make up your own mind.

The Kindle edition is available at:

Walter Bosley’s updates and links to purchase the paperback edition are available at:


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Indy authors beware!

Since the boom of self-publishing by independent authors, fueled in great part by Amazon and Create Space, many questionable publishing services have sprouted. Some have been part of mainstream publishing houses, while others have been tiny home businesses, and quite a few have grown somewhere in between. Many of these schemes have died on the vine, while others take root in whatever soil they find. A few are actually legitimate services for independent authors.  

Most of these services charge too much money and deliver too little value. Watch out for the really bad ones. While some authors are happy with Hulu and Amazon, others are on the lookout for something better. Maybe you don't want to go with a brick-and-mortar publisher, or maybe they just haven't accepted your manuscripts. In any case, when you look for a way to self-publish, keep your eyes open. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. 

I get much of my information from the Writer Beware! blog. Here's a link to their latest news: 


I recommend that you read that post and subscribe to that blog. 

Happy writing! 


Thursday, September 13, 2018

“Dragon Skin” Authors Engage Alan Morell, Creative Management Partners for Book to Film Option Rights

I just got this press release. The book shows how our troops were given inferior body armor: 

“Dragon Skin” Authors Joe Trippi, Patrick Hayes and Jules Radcliff Engage Alan Morell, Creative Management Partners for Book to Film Option Rights

“Dragon Skin”The Amazing True Story of a Congressional Hearing, a Charlatan, and a Game-Changing Body Armor                                              
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, Sept. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- Announced today, “Dragon Skin” Authors Joe Trippi, Patrick Hayes, and Jules Radcliff have engaged as their Literary and Broadcast Agent, Alan Morell of Creative Management Partners LLC in Beverly Hills CA for their Book to Film Option rights.  Mr. Trippi, (former FOX and current CNN Analyst) is a character featured in the Hugh Jackman upcoming fall film SONY release, “Front Runner”, the true story of Gary Hart and his presidential bid. 

Said the Authors Joe Trippi, Patrick Hayes, and Jules Radcliff : “As first time Authors for our book to film, we went through a thorough investigative process for representation and unanimously selected Alan Morell of the Creative Management Partners in Beverly Hills to champion our true story narrative. We know there is a huge, international audience for this timely and shocking story, and more than a few reporters will be on pins and needles over fears their own roles will be revealed. The blogosphere is going to go wild.”
Said Agent Alan Morell, Creative Management Partners: “My clients, Joe Trippi, Patrick Hayes, and Jules Radcliff have captured perfectly in Dragon Skin, the incredible true Body Armor story, inside the Washington DC beltway, whose scandal reached the very top political international levels; with Dragon Skin, insider glossary terms language known to very few. It’s going to be a very exciting Book and Book to Film.” 

This book tells two extraordinary, improbable, and intertwined true stories. One revolves around the consequences of the media’s love affair with narratives. The other recounts what happened when military families engaged in an amazing act of self-help, doing for their loved ones in combat what the political class in Washington, D.C. refused to do. The subject is the saga of Dragon Skin body armor, still the source of misunderstandings and controversy, and for the first time anywhere this book reveals that its media-acclaimed inventor, Murray Neal, was a charlatan, a fact ignored by the media and hidden by the House Armed Services Committee in one of the most controversial and highly-publicized episodes of the Iraq War. 

It was a scandal that threatened the presidential ambitions of Hillary Clinton and of an obscure Chicago pol by the name of Barack Obama ... until the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) put an end to it. Was Dragon Skin body armor the best personal protection in the world? Generals and visiting VIPs in the Iraq war zone were wearing it, the Secret Service bought Dragon Skin, as did other elite federal agencies. And yet, it was being denied to regular troops. 

The media had gleefully flogged the story ever since Massachusetts senator John Kerry first lit the fuse on it in his challenge to the presidency of George Bush. The Army’s inexplicable resistance to making Dragon Skin available to the men and women doing the fighting and dying in the barbarity of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was an irresistible narrative, serving as a proxy for the political war at home on Bush, on the Iraq War, and on the Republican brand generally. When that narrative got around to blaming it on corruption, something utterly unexpected happened: The grass roots of the left joined with the grass roots of the right, unleashing a fury directed at politicians in both parties. Business-as-usual in Washington, D.C. was about to be upended.  
The only challenge the Chairman of the HASC faced was in coming up with a way to put an end to what was by then known as the Army v. Dragon Skin controversy without revealing political dynamite that would make everyone look like fools. His staff did their job, and both Dragon Skin and its media-acclaimed inventor, Murray Neal—who had become a modern hero and symbol of hope for military families besieging the Congress for answers to why their loved ones in combat did not have Dragon Skin—were thoroughly discredited. The billion-dollar body armor cartel supplying the Army under monopoly contracts breathed a sigh of relief, as did Hillary Clinton, one of the big recipients of the political money they splashed around in Washington, D.C. 
To this day the name Dragon Skin ignites controversy and misunderstandings. In recent focus groups with defense industry professionals both in and out of government, Dragon Skin was cited as an example of Pentagon resistance to anything new, especially if put forward by a small company unfamiliar with the Kabuki of military procurement. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

This book, after leading off with the HASC hearing that left military families fuming, picks up with the extraordinary story of how those families turned the tide and took Dragon Skin right to the welcoming arms of the U.S. Army. 

It was a rescue campaign designed, run, and managed by an unusual—and unusually well connected—team of insiders. The authors were three leading members of that team, and over the course of the effort it came to be supported by a never-before-seen network among the military families who are to be found all over the federal government, at all levels, who opened doors, shared insights, and prayed for the team’s success. The story tells of the involvement of such major figures as Barry Zorthian, described by Life Magazine as one of the most important figures of the Viet Nam era, and later, in his role with Radio Free Europe, one of the architects of the collapse of the Soviet Union. And of John Young, a pillar of the defense industry establishment, a man once in charge of major Pentagon programs and credited with developing some of the nation’s strongest weapons systems. All of them were motivated by their own roles as veterans, as members of military families themselves, or by a conviction affirmed early in the process that Dragon Skin was exactly as advertised: a supremely better armor technology that would save lives.  

The task as initially seen by the team was to balance a visceral dislike of Murray Neal among many government defense officials against intriguing reports from some of the same individuals that Dragon Skin might be welcomed under the right circumstances. The foreseeable challenges involved surviving the assaults of the body armor cartel while overcoming the animus still simmering within the HASC. The unforeseen challenge turned out to be Murray Neal himself. 

The media’s fawning and uncritical coverage of Murray Neal had not only turned him into an international celebrity but bestowed on him an unearned credibility and gravitas as a critic of the Army bureaucracy. The military families that first came to his rescue deferred to him even as he asked them for money, which they readily gave him. As the rescue campaign got underway, working with him proved to be like flying a 747 with a rattlesnake in the cockpit.    

The book follows the team of insiders as the Dragon Skin rescue effort—fueled by a sense of urgency in the race to save lives—first took shape in a meeting that included well-known political operatives from both sides of the aisle. As the strategy unfolded against great odds, first in South Africa, then in the UK, and finally in the U.S., Murray Neal’s role and unexpected interference with the strategy also surfaces. Beginning with his odd circumstances in Fresno where he was surrounded by ne’er-do-wells, the story follows a rescue effort that is ultimately wildly successful externally, even as Neal’s behavior internally ranges from botching a simple assignment to install armor in a FedEx jet, to his explosive and disruptive confrontation with a former member of SEAL Team Six. That former SEAL was personally assisting the management team as the SEAL Command prepared to become the official sponsor of Dragon Skin in an Army test that would mark the success of the entire rescue campaign. 

On the eve of that all-important test Murray Neal took off in the dead of night. The revelations that followed pulled back the curtain on what the HASC chairman had worked so hard to keep from the public’s eye. Murray Neal was a charlatan who had scammed the Army, the nation, and, unforgivably, those whose lives might have been saved by a better body armor.