BOOKS

Historical novels, memoirs, books about pirates.

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Comments on politics, history, education, and whatever needs commentary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

What I’ve done and where I did it.

AUTHOR’S BLOG

Technology Changes How We Live

Who needs fancy pens when nobody writes letters?  The old companies- Parker, Waterman, Cross- don’t exist any longer. Their brand names now belong to foreign firms that manufacture mostly in China. We communicate through smart phones and the internet.

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Communication and Dictatorship

The old dictatorships could manipulate radio, movie and print communication.  If they didn’t like a newspaper, they sent thugs to destroy the printing presses.  They could forcibly take over radio stations and stop the showing of movies they didn’t like. When everyone is a communicator, the dictator has a harder time monopolizing thought and communication.

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Pirates and Law and the Development of Chocolate

During the Golden Age of Piracy (the early eighteenth century) royal governors treated pirates as criminals, even though no established law of the seas existed. Pirates operated outside the law, and brought prosperity, and even chocolate.

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Letters and Understanding

My latest book, Washington’s Shadow, is based on the personal correspondence of Leven Powell with his family and about his work for George Washington . It’s a story of Powell’s children and the first wave of western expansion.  Washington’s presence permeates their decisions. 

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Learning About History: The Place of Women

But adults don’t come to Jamestown simply to entertain the children.  When they enter the museum they ask questions. They want to know where they fit into the mosaic that makes up American history.

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Blackbeard and the Use of Power

Under the rules that existed in his time, Blackbeard sometimes operate legally with a royal pardon, and sometimes without the pardon. However, Blackbeard’s power and popularity rested on his position as a sea captain and commander of a large fleet, regardless of legalities.

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Learning about American History

My own children have no living memory of any major war: World War II, Korea or Vietnam.   They and their children know nothing about the gas shortages of the 1980s and Jimmy Carter’s inflation that destroyed our small community banks. They do know about wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of the twin towers in 2001.  My grandchildren don’t even remember that. What do they teach in American history courses in today’s high schools?

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