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The FDR Library BookFestival June 19, 2010
Each year the FDR Libraryhosts a full day book readingfestival and invites the authorswho have written recentlypublished books that touch onthe life of the late President tocome and speak about their newbook. Dr. Steven Lomazowwhose
FDR's Deadly Secret
was published in January wasinvited this year. RichRosenthal, and Dr. John J.McLaughlin accompanied Dr.Lomazow as his guests. Thelectures go on all day and thereis a dinner in the evening atwhich we were able to meet withand talk to all the authors abouttheir new books. It was anexciting and worthwhile day, andas a special bonus, theexposure to these authorsenabled us to securecommitments from some of them to come to the World War 2 Book Club and speak to us.We were delighted to seeAndrew Roberts on the list of speakers, and more delighted tolearn that he just recently movedfrom London to New York.Andrew and I had exchangedmany e-mails at about the timewe were arranging for thelecture by General Bunting lastyear, and he told us then that if he was in the area he would bedelighted to come and talk to us.Well, he is now in the area andtold us he would be pleased tocome some time next Spring.We will work out a date as soonas possible.We were also pleased tomeet Terry Golway who gave awonderful lecture on his newbook
Together We Cannot Fail:FDR and the AmericanPresidency in the Years of Crisis.
Terry is director of theJohn Kean Center for AmericanHistory at Kean University. Hisbook is about the mostimportant of FDR's speechesgiven over the radio and inCongress, mostly during WorldWar 2. An interesting feature of his new book is that it comeswith a CD with about 20 of thespeeches recorded thereon. Wehave listened to several of themand the sound reproduction isexcellent. You could close your eyes [those of us old enough toremember] and transportyourself back to the time whenthe speeches were deliveredover the radio Like him or notthere is no denying PresidentRoosevelt had a golden voiceand his delivery is reallyimpressive.Terry has agreed to give usa lecture in the Spring on a dateto be agreed upon. We also metand were impressed with HannaPakula who just published her excellent biography of MadameChiang Kai Shek. She also livesin New York and has agreed tocome and speak about her book,
The Last Empress
.In short, the expedition tothe FDR Library was not only awonderful day, but we were ableto obtain commitments fromthree speakers for futurelectures. As the popularity of theBook Club increases it becomesthat much easier to engageauthors.
On September 21 when westart our news series we willhave Johathan Gumz Professor of History at the United StatesMilitary Academy as our guest.He will talk to us about littleknown facts of the June 6, 1944invasion of France [D-Day]. OnOctober 19, we will haveThomas Fleming who willdiscuss his award winning
TheNew Dealers' War
. This is theintriguing story of the behind thescenes maneuvering of President Roosevelt and hisgroup of advisors and how theymanaged to control strategy andpolitics during the War. This is awonderful book, and werecommend that it be readbefore the lecture to gain fullpleasure from the lecture. OnNovember 16 we will have EricMetaxas who will lecture on hisnew book Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
.Again, this is a wonderful storyabout a Lutheran pastor whodefied the Nazis, defended theJews in Germany, and sought toprevent the Nazi takeover of theLutheran Churches just prior toWorld War 2, and paid for hisefforts with his life.
We now have 68 fully paidmemberships, and we areoptimistic that this number willcontinue to grow. In additionseveral members have madeadditional contributions and for this we are grateful.
We are always looking for volunteers to come forward withideas for a program or aspeaker. Two of the programsthis season were put on bymembers who arranged for thespeaker and chaired theprogram. One was Rob Gagnonwho ran the program whenStephen Sussna spoke abouthis book on OperationDRAGOON, and of course, thelast one chaired by Dr. Kristeller.Come forward with an ideafor a program and/or a speaker and you will be named Chair of the event. There is plenty of work to be done, and we areglad to have additionalassistance.