Books in Progress

Richard Nixon moved into the White House on January 20, 1969, and was quickly thrown into many complicated world events.

I have two non-fiction books in development, both taking a narrative approach to history. I’ve always enjoyed hearing and telling stories, and I think it’s important that history is more than a series of facts and dates.

  • The Summer of 1969: Events that Shaped the World, from Albania to Zimbabwe

I start at the beginning of the summer and proceed day by day, from one of Ralph Abernathy’s 44 arrests during his time as a leader in the African American civil rights movement; Cincinnati, Ohio’s polluted Cuyahoga River catching fire; and Judy Garland’s death at the beginning to Willie Mays joining Major League Baseball’s 600 Home Run club and the London Street Commune bringing awareness to homelessness in the United Kingdom. The events cover 44 countries and progress in the women’s, LGBT, environmental, civil rights, neurodiversity, peace, and decolonization movements. I make sure to balance politics and international relations with plenty of music, sports, and film history. For more information, check out its subpage here.

1969 saw the Vietnam War drag on, with 58,318 American soldiers killed and commemorated on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

 

 

  • 42 Big Baseball Moments

I have few memories of life as a three-year-old, but my favorite one is going to Fenway Park with my dad. Baseball has always been part of my life, and the stories are a big part of this. In this book, I trace the development of the game as part of American history and identity, examining the well-known stories surrounding Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, Babe Ruth’s called short, and Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech. I also focus on the broken records, the oddities, and the once-in-a-lifetime events that make the game so fascinating. A couple of my favorite chapters so far have been Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year-old female pitcher who struck out Ruth and Gehrig; and Rick Monday, who rescued an American flag from two protesters who were trying to set it on fire in the outfield.

Clockwise from top left: (1) My first game at Wrigley Field, fulfilling a lifelong dream, (2) “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, the man who made me a Cubs fan, (3) Couldn’t resist recreating the Bartman pose in Section 4, Row 8, Seat 113, (4) Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium were both being torn down in 2008. My wife’s response: “Book us flights to New York.” Isn’t she great?, (5) My return to Boston’s Fenway Park after 22 years, (6) Might as well catch a White Sox game while in Chicago.