I DON'T READ MANY BOOKS, BUT THIS ONE IS A MUST READ
I own lots of books. I check out books from the library. But to be truthful, I don't read many books. Rarely do I get through an entire book, even when I start it. I read biographies, non-fiction, seldom does a fiction book get more than a promise that some day I'll sit with it. And yet, I prefer the book over the kindle and similar inventions. And when I do read a book, I like to mark it up for favorite lines and passages.
Yesterday, I sat down and finished a book that I had started a few weeks ago, liked and wanted to finish. But that has happened before, the wanting part and the book never gets read. But, I had a day that I decided to sit down and actually use the hours to read. No television on as background to my life, no music, no computer to gobble up my attention and time. First, I went to bed early the night before, which is also a rare thing for me to do and I took the book to bed and read a little before closing my eyes. In the morning, as the pen went dry that I was journaling with I decided to get my day started and then sit down with Michele Norris' book, The Grace of Silence. That is the book I finished yesterday. Of course, knowing that it was due at the library tomorrow was a bit of a motivation. And my son, inspired me, as well. He loves to read books and spoke of it on Saturday.
This book was an inspiration to me because I want to write about chapters in my life. And it was also relevant because the years that she wrote of her father's life was during the time I was about to be born and the time my father was also the age to go into the service for World War II as her dad was.
I highly recommend this book and hope that high schools and colleges will put it on their reading lists. It should be included certainly on history course book lists.
Click on the images to enlarge
The chapter The War at Home is worth the price of the book.
There is an excerpt at Michele Norris' website.
You can buy the book at Amazon
Or you can check it out at your library. It is a "must read" if you want to take the advice from someone who doesn't take the time to read a book very often.
The portion below from page 81 in the chapter Service is relevant to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy today by Senator Mc Cain and the like. The color added is mine.
Over the course of my father's enlistment, the navy adopted new attitudes toward Negroes and their abilities, deciding that the marginalization of men with able bodies and agile minds only served to undermine the war effort. In February 1945, the navy published a new pamphlet for all naval officers, called the Guide to Command of Negro Naval Personnel, it spelled out the reversal of p0licy: "In modern total warfare any avoidable waste of manpower can only be viewed as material aid to the enemy. Restriction, because of racial theories, of the contribution of any individual to the war effort is a serious waste of human resources." 6
Personally, war is a waste of human resources to me. But Michele Norris book is about racism in the USA and she covers it in ways that I never learned about in my history courses.
These pictures are not from The Grace of Silence. The link is below for more pictures of African Americans who fought in World War II
1. "On parade, the 41st Engineers at Ft. Bragg, NC in color guard ceremony." N.D. 208-NP-4HHH-2. (african_americans_wwii_001.jpg)
Pictures of african-americans World War II
Also, I saw the HBO documentary Wartorn-1861-2010 recently. It is about post-traumatic stress and the veterans and their families who live with the effects of it after serving in the military.
Labels: Alabama, Birmingham Jail, COME ON MINNESOTA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Eugend Bull Connor, Human Race, Michele Norris, Navy, PTSD, Racism, Roosevelt, Sandra Hammel ilovemylife, Truman, World War II