The Impossible Presidency

Professor and historian Jeremi Suri’s The Impossible Presidency shines. Neither ornate nor prosaic, his words are well-chosen, his metaphors apt, the construction of the argument convincing (to me, at least). A previous work, Kissinger, rests on my desks...

Louts, Predators and Daughters

I am a hard case for the homilists of Holy Wisdom, the Benedictine Monastery, Madison, Wisconsin, where I attend mass. I tend to zone out. However, the first reading during last week’s mass, Numbers 27:1-11. caught my attention. Here, before Moses, the daughters...

First Impressions and bad judgement

I work on my next novel “Resurrection” every day. My first objective is to tell a good story. My second it to get the spelling, punctuation and grammar right. Somewhere along the way, I would hope to illuminate how good-intentioned (at least in their own minds) men...

The Redneck Howards

And Michelle married Nigel Howard, formerly British Army, Royal Engineers (Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)). Think the movie Hurt Locker, the difference being the British Army does not provide metal full body armor (makes the lads pay attention, eh?). During the...

A Wedding In France

On 10 August 2017, in Bergerac, France my daughter, Michelle Elisabeth Townsend, married. Michelle gave me 45 seconds to summarize before the assembled my impressions, recollections, hopes and fears. I wanted five days. Patrice made me sit down, write what I wanted to...

Resurrection

Jon Einarsson Jon Einarsson crossed the parking lot to the The VFW Post in Iron Mountain, Michigan, a single-story building sided with local material––varnished and rounded remnant ends of sawn white pine logs––and in the local style––an asphalt-shingled single-story...

On Bullshit: Liars and Storytellers

On Bullshit and On Truth I had long visualized the lexicon landscape between The Truth and The Lie as a continuum along which lay a rich and varied vocabulary––deception, denial, camouflage, working truth, baloney, etc––with full equivalents in every language on the...

Lying: Sissela Bok

Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life (Sissela Bok) deeply informs  Liars and Storytellers. I have carried a copy in backpack and briefcase for decades,  reading it cursorily now and then, edition after edition disintegrating from disuse,  always children,...