30 October 2007

More News on the Jackson Documentary

"James I. Robertson Jr., a history professor at Virginia Tech and arguably the best historian on Stonewall Jackson, is one of the major film narrators. The emphasis throughout the film is on Jackson’s faith, Robertson said.

“All the questions and statements are about his faith. It is intended to be more inspirational than educational,” he said.

“I find it to be both.”

Author of the largest biography of Jackson in recent times, Robertson said he thinks faith was the overriding motivation in Jackson’s life and he doesn’t believe it has been emphasized as much as it should be.

“It should have a lot of appeal in Clarksburg. Twice during the film they emphasize his friendship with Lightburn and actually filmed some at the Baptist church where he went as a young boy,” Robertson said.

“I found the actual filming at Jackson’s Mill to be beautiful.”

Full story here.

(Photo was taken at Jackson's Mill, West Virginia.)

27 October 2007

Caretakers of the Memory

"We, the progeny who live in that future, were among the intended beneficiaries of those frightful decisions made so long ago. As such, we are also caretakers of the memory, and the reputation, of those who performed their duty--as they understood it--under circumstances too difficult for us ever to fully comprehend. No one but a fool--or a bigot in their own right--would call on the descendants of those Confederate veterans to forget the sacrifices of those who went before them or argue that they should not be remembered with honor."
~ Virginia Senator James Webb *(Art work by Henry Kidd)

25 October 2007

Quite A Journey

A little over a year ago in October of 2006, I spent several delightful days in Lexington, Virginia assisting in the shoot for the documentary, Still Standing - The Stonewall Jackson Story. The weather was gorgeous, the foliage beautiful and we had several days of "perfect" shooting. Case in point: an extremely eerie fog that settled in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery the morning we shot there. It was hauntingly beautiful. The following month, my publisher set up a book release party at Jackson's Mill in West Virginia where additional filming took place and where C-Span's Book TV showed up to record one of the events. It's been quite a journey - how quickly time passes! The DVD is now completed and being shipped. Several screenings are scheduled for November and the film is already receiving rave reviews from those who have seen it and not so rave reviews from those who haven't. Regardless of whether the project is ultimately deemed successful, I have to say that it was an honor and privilege to be involved in the filming of this documentary. Even as I was in the early stages of writing my book about Jackson and his black Sunday school class, I intended to have the book made into a documentary. (A dramatization of the story would also make an interesting film, I'm sure.) I'm now researching another book with film plans for it as well!

I actually contacted three other film companies besides Franklin Springs which, if I mentioned, most would recognize. One of these companies expressed keen interest, one was interested on a "for hire" basis only (Meaning I would be solely responsible for production costs), and the other never responded. So I had two companies from which to choose. Ultimately, it was an easy choice as Franklin Springs had the technical expertise to produce a high quality, professional video in high definition and enjoys an enviable reputation in not only the Christian community, but among the broader field of professionals in the industry as well. In a word, their reputation is impeccable. It is an honor to be professionally associated with such a wonderful group of Christian gentlemen. It was also an honor to meet and have the cooperation of Col. Keith Gibson of Virginia Military Institute (Though I'd exchanged numerous emails and phone calls with him in researching the book, we'd never met face to face). Colonel Gibson went out of his way to make VMI accessible to the film crew and gave us all a personal tour of the school and all things related to Jackson. We also had unfettered access to the VMI archives and had the distinct pleasure and honor of enjoying supper with Colonel Gibson and the VMI cadets in the recently renovated Crozet Hall. What an experience! Col. Gibson also offered his opinion that Jackson would best like to be remembered ". . . as a Christian soldier who did his duty."

We also had the same level of cooperation and hospitality at Jackson's Mill. The folks there bent over backwards to accommodate us and make us feel right at home. Somewhat "out of the way", I would, nonetheless, highly recommend a visit there to this historic and beautiful site. The unique privilege of meeting direct descendants of Jackson's boyhood chum, Joseph P. Lightburn (and future Union General) was an experience I'll always treasure. Worshipping in Broad Run Baptist Church - where Jackson and Lightburn attended as boys and where Lightburn would pastor after the war - added something very special to our trip. Moreover, the experience of worshipping God with Joe Lightburn's descendants, Tom Jackson's descendants, and descendants of members of Jackson's Sunday school class was, in itself, a uniquely spiritual and historic experience; something I will never forget.

Of course, Dr. James I. Robertson Jr.'s willingness to offer his commentary on Jackson was most appreciated and added a level of expertise to the project that would have been unattainable without his involvement. "Bud" is the truest of Virginia Gentlemen and, sadly, one of the last of a dying breed. I have the utmost respect for Professor Robertson.

Other historians made valuable contributions as well, including Dr. George Grant. Besides a historian, Dr. Grant is a pastor, theologian, prolific writer and one of the best read men in America. William Potter, former President of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable, contributed invaluable insight into Jackson's life. Bill is a knowledgeable historian and author and has taught military history at the university level.

The photos seen here are just a couple of shots taken in Lexington during the filming last year. (I hope to post more later.) One is in the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery with some members of the Franklin Springs film crew, including the firm's president, Ken Carpenter. The other shot is with Colonel Keith Gibson on the campus of Virginia Military Institute. There was also additional footage shot at Manassas, Winchester, and Guiney's Station.

I've made many new friends on this "journey" and look forward to making many more. The influence of friends, and their impact in our lives, on history, and on eternity, was one of the main themes of the book and I continue to marvel at the "fruits of friendship." Thanks to all those friends who supported this project. God bless you.

*(Note: The frequency of my posts will likely diminish in the coming weeks and months. This is due to a number of reasons. First of all, I have a number of writing opportunities for various publications of which I need to take advantage. Secondly, I need to spend more time researching and writing my next book project and I am currently working with my daughter on another book - both demand my time. Third, the holiday season is coming up and that is always a busy time for my family. Fourth, the release of the documentary will occupy additional amounts of my spare time. Fifth, I am heavily involved in a fund-raising effort for the National Civil War Chaplain's Museum. For those who care, I will continue to try to post at least once a week.)

Still Standing "Captures Jackson's Essence"

". . . a wonderful job. The production quality is very, very professional, but, more importantly, you captured the very essence of our fascination with Jackson today. I am impressed. This sure looks like a winner!" ~ Kenny Rowlette, Associate Professor of English, Liberty University. (Mr. Rowlette is also a CW reenactor (Union and Confederate), is active in the Lynchburg Civil War Roundtable, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Sons of Union Veterans and is director of the National Civil War Chaplain's Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia.)

Ed Hooper on History & Civics Education

Thanks again to Ed Hooper, editor of Civil War Courier for allowing me to post some comments he recently shared about the teaching of history and how it is impacting our Nation . . .

"The lead story in November's Civil War Courier is a sad commentary on the state of history education in this nation’s finest colleges and universities. The survey frankly illustrates how ignorant college students are of American history and it is unacceptable. Some federal and state officials might say it is a sign that we are approaching critical mass in a field of study that is necessary to our survival as a people. “Might” is the operative word, as few politicians will dare turn on their own alma maters and demand higher standards or threaten funding cuts to correct it. I have often stood in amazement at the relative ease with which some of our elected representatives in Congress attempt to pass laws that defy or tread very heavily upon the Constitution of this nation."

"After a review of the complete study by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, it is easy to understand how they get away with it, as a growing majority of Americans have no knowledge of our governing document. Generally such laws would last only until being tested in the courts, but that safety gap has been closing over the last few years as more and more judges do their own legislating from the bench. With a public largely uneducated about civics, history and government and the “supposedly educated” knowing as much or less, we have a citizenry with no idea or educated point of reference to know what is transpiring in their own government. More and more Americans are being brought up to look upon government as some sort of nanny to tell them what is socially and politically acceptable and doing so as if it is the “American way.” Individuality and the inherent rights and responsibilities that come with that perception seem to no longer prevail in the hearts and minds of the citizenry."

"Iranian “President” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad showed his knowledge of American civic behavior quite well when he accepted an invitation to address students at Columbia University this past September. A true cynic would say there is no reason for our enemies to attack when, according to this study and current social evolution, they can wait a generation or two and take over through the very processes established by the founding fathers of this nation."

"It can’t be said enough that, as a citizen of the U.S., whether born or naturalized, there is no excuse for not knowing this country’s history and civic procedures. You have to remember that many of the institutions this study profiled are where U.S. leadership’s cream of the crop are educated and trained. At least, that is what tradition would have you believe. This study fairly illustrated that being “Ivy League” is more about the location of a college or university rather than its educational system. Their failures as institutions to address these shortcomings are incredible, especially given the fact that public schools often point to American history and civics as a “college” subject."

"There are government leaders and educators who repeatedly warn that political correctness and social engineering are supplanting American history and civics in our educational system. They have been chastised, ridiculed and called “Chicken Little's” for claiming that American culture is in danger of being destroyed or lost to future generations. After a review of the study, is there any question now as to the validity of their arguments? It seems their claims and suspicions are a point of fact that can no longer be easily dismissed."

"The irony in the ISS story is that the Civil War Courier published it in the month where we commemorate the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock and give thanks for the bounty this nation has provided. It is a simple story of a people searching for the freedom we easily take for granted today. The who, what, when, where and why of that story has been chiseled away at for more than 400 years and now is but a shadow in a textbook saved only by a Holiday created in 1863."

"We used to be a nation of great storytellers, whose tales of accomplishment pushed the next generation of Americans to greater things than the one before. They are great stories and a rich history, which led those generations to do such things like putting propellers on two wings and flying, then building planes that crossed the ocean, developing jet engines and eventually sending men to the moon. In addition, the “going one better” philosophy led to new industries being spawned in this nation, inventive ways being created that changed the faces of government and revolutionized market economies around the world. The one commonality is these changes were brought about by through the efforts of common men and women who knew their history as a people and were unafraid to face bold challenges. The glory of being a U.S. citizen meant being used to the unknowns of tomorrow and facing them as individuals. Those fires forged an indomitable nation of people unafraid to speak, write, create or invent to make a better tomorrow."

"We know our history is out there and we know it is something that must be preserved and taught to the next generation – free from the political correctness and historical revisionism that is so prevalent in today’s society. In fact, more value is placed on those two superficial subjects than the realities of maintaining a nation of free and independent people. Our national educational system – once the best and the model for the free world – is now failing the nation it is sworn and paid to serve."

"Sadly those who can are doing little – even in the trenches. It is a rather simple process to help. All that is needed is a pen, paper, envelope and the U.S. Postal Service. The telephone and email messages are easily dismissed as partisan politics these days. If you are among those who send Christmas cards, add a few names to the list. Your congressmen, senator and state legislators’ addresses are found easily enough. Without government money, subsidies and tax breaks, these colleges, universities and public schools wouldn’t have a brick to build or door to close. It is time to flex the muscle of civics and let’s get something done about this."

23 October 2007

A New Ideology (Actually just repackaged)

"Starting in the mid-1960s, we have thrown away the values, morals, and standards that define traditional Western culture. In part, this has been driven by cultural radicals, people who hate our Judeo-Christian culture. Dominant in the elite, especially in the universities, the media, and the entertainment industry (now the most powerful force in our culture and a source of endless degradation), the cultural radicals have successfully pushed an agenda of moral relativism, militant secularism, and sexual and social 'liberation.' This agenda has slowly codified into a new ideology. usually known as 'multiculturalism' or 'political correctness,' that is in essence Marxism translated from economic into social and cultural terms." ~ from the Marine Corps Gazette, and an article titled: "Fourth Generation Warfare: Another Look" by William S. Lind, Maj. John F. Schmitt, and Col. Gary I. Wilson - December 1994, Pages 34-37

22 October 2007

A Culture of Children

"Can a culture of children wage war against a culture of aggressive confidence? With the loss of the virtues typical of adults­­, such as courage, loyalty, and duty; with a childish preference for passive victims rather than active heroes, one evident in the media’s depiction of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, what hope of success can we have?"

Here's one man's opinion.

(Hat tip to my friend, Doug Hill)

20 October 2007

Is Peter Carmichael "Dangerous"?

I just read Peter S. Carmichael’s comments about Elizabeth Fox-Genovese’s book, Within the Plantation Household – Black and White Women of the Old South in the October issue of Civil War Times. I found this comment of Carmichael's particularly interesting:

“No one can ignore the overwhelming historical evidence of mutual closeness between blacks and whites within the Slave South . . .”

No one except those who have an agenda or who cannot grow beyond their own preconceptions.

Would it be unreasonable to suggest that “mutual closeness” is synonymous with “friend” and “friendship”? No, it would not. As a matter of fact, MS Word lists “closeness” as one of the synonyms for the word “friend.” So does www.synonym.com and further includes the word intimacy. And my electronic version of Meriam-Webster includes this in its definition of “closeness”: intimate, <close friends>

Some ill-considered, ill-informed, and reactionary comments on various blogs, as well as other places, have suggested anyone believing that slaves and slave-masters could be friends is “dangerous.”(?!) Thus implying those who hold such views should be discredited or silenced (Typical of those who say they believe “tolerance” of diverse views is so important.) and charging them unfairly with perpetuating stereotypes that are inaccurate and over-simplified when, in actuality, the exact opposite is true.

Would “dangerous” include Dr. Camichael? Would it include the late Ms. Fox-Genovese? Would it include Professor James I. Robertson, Jr.?

As Professor Robertson wrote in the foreword to my book:

He became [Stonewall Jackson] a spiritual teacher for scores of slaves and freedmen as well as the best friend many of them ever had.- Page 12

The following quote is taken from my book, Stonewall Jackson – The Black Man’s Friend:

“There is ample evidence that he [Jackson’s slave, Jim Lewis] was intimate with Jackson and familiar with many of his personal habits, including prayer.” Page 139

and . . .

“Such thoughts [of Jackson’s] reveal again the complicated relationship in which master and slave found themselves. Drawn together by what became familial connections over time, black and white Southerners in nineteenth century America were captive to a strange dichotomy. Many slaves discreetly resented being owned by another and longed for their freedom. At the same time, they could not help growing emotionally close to their masters and even loving them and their families. Whites, on the other hand, though prejudiced and discriminatory in their practical interactions with blacks, often grew to respect and love their slaves. Sharing the day-to-day burdens, the toils of life, sicknesses, and the deaths of children and loved ones along with the joys of a shared existence constrained slave and master in mutual attachment. The injustice of slavery coexisted peacefully with feelings of affection and compassion in many Southern homes. This was especially true in regard to the Jackson household.” - Page 77

Carmichael further notes similar thoughts in the late Fox-Genovese’s book:

“Fox-Genovese reminds us that such feelings were expressed in a system that bought and sold African-Americans. Rather than proclaim the universal loyalty of the slave and applaud the tireless benevolence of the master, or condemn all owners as cruel beasts and celebrate every slave as a rebel, the author asks us to put aside simple generalizations and explore the complicated world that masters and slaves built together on their terms, not ours.” I agree. As with so many issues, the truth lies somewhere between the extremes of two views.

These simple generalizations would include, in Carmichael’s words, Gone With the Wind’s portrayal of plantation life as an “idyllic haven for blacks and whites. . .” Again, I agree.

But, as Carmichael further acknowledges, Fox-Genovese’s “agrees that the plantations facilitated physical and emotional intimacy between slave and master . . .” (These are Carmichael’s words, not a direct quote from the book.)

Another quote from my book . . .

“Amy was also purchased before Jackson’s second marriage. She was an elderly woman, and he purchased her because she ‘was about to be sold for debt . . . who sought from him a deliverance from her troubles.’ Anna [Jackson] wrote that his heart ‘was moved by her situation, and he yielded to her entreaties, and gave her a home in a good Christian family. Jackson became especially attached to Amy; Professor Robertson noted that she ‘was closest to Jackson’s heart.’ Anna was particularly fond of her culinary abilities. And Amy received religious instruction from Jackson and, after he left Lexington when the war began, from Margaret Junkin Preston. Jackson was grateful for his former sister-in law’s attention to Amy and expressed his appreciation in a letter to her in October 1861: ‘I am under special obligations for the religious instruction that you have given Amy, and hope that it may be in your power to continue it.’ Such sentiment reveals that he was motivated by more than mere duty or facade; he had a genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of those in his charge.” - Page 75-76

Of course, as I also point out in my book, not all slave-owners were “benevolent.” Many were cruel, not only in their abusive physical treatment of slaves, but also in a way that I would consider even crueler: the separation and break-up of families. As inhumane as physical abuse is, most physical wounds heal over time, but the emotional wound of unjustly being separated from a child, parent, spouse or other close loved one lingers throughout life. No one outside of that experience can comprehend it.

Carmichael concludes in the final paragraph of his piece:

“Contextualizing these expressions of animosity as well as love and respect are essential if we want to understand the broader patters [sic] of thought and actions in the Old South.”

Once again, I agree wholeheartedly. Interestingly, my book is dedicated, in part, to “all who wish to understand.” Sadly, some prefer their agenda to understanding.

19 October 2007


Harry Reid does a mea culpa. Limbaugh performed a brilliant flanking move on the 41 idiots that signed the letter to Clear Channel's CEO. This would be hilarious if it weren't for the fact that these jack-asses are running the country.

"But if, if that's the best that the U.S. Senate can find to debate and discuss, God help us." - Ted Koppel

Agree with Limbaugh or not, this was sheer genius on his part.

(The donkey is Harry Reid. The cart is full of the $2 million+ that Limbaugh raised for the sons and daughters of dead marines and law enforcement officers. Limbaugh is matching the $2 million and has challenged Reid to do the same. Don't hold your breath, Reid's busy wiping the egg off of his red face. Reid's abuse of power received its due poetic justice and poetic justice is always the most satisfying to observe. By the way, doesn't Reid sound like someone's grandmother?)

The beneficiary of Reid's slander: The Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation encourages the spiritual, moral and intellectual development of children through education. The Foundation was formed in February 1995, by former Marines and law enforcement personnel who strongly believe that our nation's most precious resource is its youth. Fore more information visit: www.mc-lef.org

18 October 2007

New Link Added

Some of you are, no doubt, familiar with the work of Dr. Steven Woodworth. Woodworth is Professor of History at Texas Christian University. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Woodworth last year at Liberty University's CW seminar and enjoyed his presentation. I have had his book While God Is Marching on: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers on my night stand for some time, but have yet to take the plunge. I intend to do so soon as things aren't quite as busy for me now as they have been in recent months. Anyone who reads this blog knows that this is the area of the CW that interests me most. As a Christian, observing how the Gospel impacts the life of the men who lived through this tragic era not only fascinates me, but helps me to grow as a believer as well. Dr. Woodworth is also a fellow believer and approaches the study of history from a biblical worldview. I love this quote from his site:

. . . social history can be written in a lively and interesting style, but also that it can be sifted and analyzed intelligently within the framework of a Christian worldview and is not the exclusive preserve of those who endeavor to cook its data over the neo-Marxist fires currently stoked with the concepts of race, class, and “gender.

Woodworth was also kind enough to send me this comment on my book about Stonewall Jackson and his black Sunday school class:

I like the way the book brings out the strong Christian faith of the bulk of Americans during the nineteenth century. It is inspiring to read of Jackson's faith, in particular, and of how that led him to show kindness to those around him including the slaves.

I have added a link to Dr. Woodworth's site in the left hand column.

17 October 2007

Age of Reason

Atheist: "There is no absolute truth."

Christian: "Are you sure of that?"

Atheist: "Absolutely."

"One who claims to be a skeptic of one set of beliefs is actually a true believer in another set of beliefs." ~ Phillip E. Johnson

Unfiltered & Undistorted

From my book, Stonewall Jackson ~ The Black Man’s Friend:

“With slaves, Jackson not only followed the Golden Rule—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”—in 1855 he organized a Sunday-school class in Lexington solely for blacks. He became a spiritual teacher for scores of slaves and freedmen as well as the best friend many of them ever had.”Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, from the foreword, page 12.

Jackson’s school ‘existed as a paternalistic institution that conveyed values which whites hoped to instill in black participants’” – page 112

“Former slave Solomon Northup attributed his ‘master’s blindness to the evils of slavery’ to ‘the influences and associations that had always surrounded him.’” – page 20.

“In general, a paternalistic ethos influenced both slaves and masters in Rockbridge County. This sensibility deemed masters responsible for protecting and supporting their slaves, in exchange for the slaves’ labor. . . .However, the notion of inequality was always present.”- Megan Haley Newman, former curator at the Stonewall Jackson House, Lexington, Virginia, page 73.

This Christian’s view:

“Slavery is inherently accompanied by evils and mistrust. And race-based slavery is particularly evil and sinful. Man-stealing, coupled with the haughty, prideful spirit of superiority by nineteenth-century white Americans—North as well as South— invited the judgment of God. God visited the nation with a war that took more lives than all other American wars combined—decimating a generation of white Americans within four terrible years.” – page 38.


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain--and most fools do.” ~ Dale Carnegie

15 October 2007

Trailer Update

The complete, updated trailer on the Stonewall documentary is now viewable here. The latest version includes commentary from Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. and Colonel Keith Gibson. Screenings for the film are scheduled for Jackson's Mill and Liberty University. All proceeds from the Jackson's Mill event will go to restoring the schoolhouse where Jackson once taught. That screening will be November 11th at 2 PM. All proceeds from the Liberty event will go toward funding for the National Civil War Chaplain's Museum. That screening is scheduled for November 13th at 7 PM. For additional details, please feel free to email me: stonewallbook_at_yahoo.com

11 October 2007

Robert E. Lee Apprreciation Award

Last Thursday evening, I was honored to be the guest speaker at the Kappa Alpha Order's Wood Court at The Maryland Club in Baltimore. The Black-tie event was well attended and I met some great guys. While there, I was given one of KA's highest awards - "The Robert E. Lee Appreciation Award" which recognizes the recipient "for excellence in his interpretation of the life of Robert E. Lee to the American People." This was the first time the award has been presented since 1997. The fact this year marks Lee's 200th birthday, makes this particular award all the more special to me.

Of course, my interpretation of Lee may not be the same as yours. I do, however, believe the facts and research support the traditional view of Lee (including his faults) unlike much of the psycho-babble and straw-man arguments published in recent years which, like so many other efforts to tarnish American heroes, are little more than thinly veiled attempts to demonize American values & heroes and then disguise this as "objective scholarship." Please. No historian or writer is totally "objective" though some do make honest attempts. To deny that is to deny human nature and deny what is so obvious to even the most casual observer. Do I have to state the obvious? Unfortunately, yes. Most of academia leans left and attempts to politicize everything to their advantage. I agree with America's dean of Civil War historians, Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. who I heard say: "Robert E. Lee never existed [in the minds of some] because we don't have a Robert E. Lee today."

It really is no more complicated than that. Thank you gentlemen of KA for your kindness. I am truly honored.

03 October 2007

Kappa Alpha Order

I just discovered that Charles B. Flood, author of Lee - The Last Years, contributed to the Kappa Alpha Journal's 3rd installment of their series on Robert E. Lee. It was my honor & privilege to have written the second installment in this series (Spring Issue.) Flood's concise biography of Lee is one of my favorites and I highly recommend it to every reader. I believe W & L issued a special 200th anniversary edition this year which is now available. Lord willin', I will be traveling to Baltimore tomorrow evening to speak at a black-tie KA event and will post about the experience in a day or two.

01 October 2007

Clarence Thomas Speaks

And he has a lot to say . . .

"These people who claim to be progressive … have been far more vicious to me than any southerner," Thomas says, "and it is purely ideological."

Thomas talks about the virulent racism he encountered growing up in the segregated South, when blacks were considered second-class citizens and kept separate from whites by law, and he equates those attitudes with the stereotypes he believes people hold today.

"People get bent out of shape about the fact that when I was a kid, you could not drink out of certain water fountains. Well, the water was the same. My grandfather always said that, 'The water's exactly the same.' But those same people are extremely comfortable saying I can't drink from this fountain of knowledge," Thomas says. "They certainly don't see themselves as being like the bigots in the South. Well, I've lived both experiences. And I really don't see that they're any different from them."

He says his critics — the people who question whether he is smart or qualified to be on the Court or who suggest he merely does what a white Supreme Court colleague dictates — are as also as bigoted as the whites of his childhood in the deep South.

(See full story, interview here.)

Last week, I pre-ordered Justice Thomas's new book from Amazon and can't wait to read it. I LOVE the title! I've been told it is a page-turner and hard to put down. I've admired Thomas ever since I watched liberal democrats submit him to an "electronic lynching" [his words] during his confirmation hearing. That sham of a hearing exposed those who attempted to smear Justice Thomas for what they are: phonies. I'll post a full review of the book at some point in the future.