Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
As most of my readers know, since early April I have been nearly totally consumed by our move to our new home and transforming it into our forever home one step at a time. It has involved a lot of physical work, sometimes so much that at they end of most days I was too tired to read, write or do much other than pop up my periscope to see what was going on in the country and world that I would normally be writing about.
The good thing is that we are making a lot of progress and despite lots of work I am not having to do as much every day. Between last week and now I assembled all of our patio furniture including our rocking chairs for the veranda. Tomorrow, after going to an early appointment with my new civilian primary care doctor, I will be hanging some large blinds of the living room and a couple of standing lamps for the living room and our bedroom sitting area.
Likewise, I have been able to get things to my publisher for Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory! and in the process continue to meet great historians, educators and civil rights leaders. I need to get them a recent photo for my author Information sheet, continue building my book and business website, and set up an LLC for my books and the various military history staff rides and Holocaust education travels that I plan to begin as the dust dies down. Finally, I need toset up a Zoom meeting with my agent to plan for publicity related to the book, but that pretty much deals with work, on to reading and observing.
With the additional time I am having more time to spend at periscope depth and observe what is going in the country. For the first time in a while I am digging deeper into the news and beginning to make more comments about it on Facebook and Twitter. There is som much it is almost overwhelming between the GOP insurrectionists and the GOP party of death trying to kill as many people possible in Texas and Florida by exposing them to the Delta variant of COVID, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the natural disasters relations to global warming, and ever present threat of more right wing terrorism. Eventually, when I am ready I am going to begin a series of articles about all of these things and try not to have my writing dictated by the news cycle. I’m want to be more strategic, and to do that I need to digest what is going on to be more effective and place it in context.
To do this I am now taking more time off from the internet and reading, and I realized that in order not to get drawn back on to the internet I need to read books that are not digital. In other words I am going back whenever possible to real live books printed on paper. I have even gone back to get copies of books I have on Kindle in hardcover, softcover or paperback.
Because of my reading I can make some book recommendations to you. The first is Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump by John Fea. Fea is a historian and Evangelical Christian. He is a professor at Messiah University near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His previous books include the very provokative Is the United States a Christian Nation?
Fea is not a part of the Evangelical Trump Death Cult that makes up the corrupt soul and rotten heart of the modern GOP. Believe Me is different than many other books that have come out about the Trump administration over the past few months because he deals with how supposedly conservative Evangelicals got to the point where they threw out everything that they once proclaimed were non-negotiable character traits for the candidates they support in Presidential campaigns. The book deals with the history, theological, societal and political movements that created the modern Evangelical political machine that scarified all for temporal power and a place at the side of a corrupt despot.
I also read Peter Longerich’s The Unwritten Order: Hitler’s Role in the Final Solution which is a necessary read for anyone who has to refute Holocaust deniers. Finally, I am about 40% through Jill Lepore’s incredible These Truths: A History of the United States. Since it is almost 800 pages it is a hefty read, but Lepore is a historian who writes a fast paced fact filled history that is incredibly balanced but cuts through the myths, simplistic narratives, and ideologically driven texts that pervade many recent works dealing with American history.
So anyway, that is all for tonight. Please be safe and take care.
3 responses to “Working, Reading and Observing”
Good to see you, Padre! Sounds like the house is coming right along and by winter you should be able to settle in and do as you please! I have read Jill LePore’s book and highly recommend it. I just now downloaded a sample of Fea’s to see how it goes. Thanks for the recommendations! Hope you have a wonderful rest-of-the-week!
I’ve followed John Fea’s blog for several years now.
email@example.com Good to see you back Steve and starting to get settled into retirement. It’s snap for me. After 45 yrs of history and lit teaching I’ve been retired since last year and just starting to lose the “strange foggy brain feeling” and wake up. [I know you Know]. So glad to read you again. Your ideas and good words make my day. Cheers from Roy Murphy [Ex Military-Police, Now Ex-Teacher!] in Aotearoa-NZ