My Blog

Yes, History Matters to Teenagers Too

Two happy things happened after a book store visit with my 14-year-old granddaughter Samantha Lovell. First, she picked out an historical-fiction book; second, Young Adult novelists are actually writing stories about history! It lifted me out of the despair I feel...

The More Things Change

I wrote this in 1984 during the controversial proposed law to mandate seatbelts in Michigan. In 2021, what four letter word can you substitute for “seatbelt?” I am ashamed to say I am in favor of the mandatory seatbelt law now being debated in Lansing. As one who...

The Maidens

As if the Greeks hadn’t given us enough from Homer to Socrates to the Olympics, in 1921 we’re relying on their alphabet to name new mutations of the corona virus. After the backlash from China when the former President blamed the pandemic on that country, the World...

The Last Garden in England

Gardeners, historians, Downton Abbey devotees, and Anglophiles will love The Last Garden in England for those reasons alone. But this novel by Julia Kelly is far more. It is the three different generations of main characters in 1907, 1944, and 2021 woven together by...

Dostoevsky. Navalny. Gordievsky. Solzhenitsyn.

The evils of the Russian Empire have long been challenged by dissidents of stunning courage, back to the 1849 staged execution of author Fyodor Dostoevsky. The very word ‘intelligentsia’ was created in the 19thCentury to describe Russia’s educated radicals. Now Putin...

Epiphany

While Christian manger scenes usually feature the three Wise Men at the stable where Jesus had just been born, the Christian church believes differently. The often present camel reminds viewers the Magi came from Persia, India, and Arabia—all far from Bethlehem. Thus...