Review in the New London Day

John Ruddy of the New London Day has given me a very positive review. He could have mentioned that "Homegrown Terror" is similar or nearly identical to the term the people of the time used, "parricide," in order to show that I wasn't just pulling that concept from a hat. But otherwise this is a perfect reading of my book, with a complete understanding of what I was trying to do. The article was later picked up by Stars and Stripes and a couple other sites.

Building a Better Argument

Read my 'closing thought' in this season's alumni magazine Knightlines. It is called "Building a Better Argument" and could be a primer on how not to argue with people on the internet. As an example I chose Ezra Pound's ABC of Reading, which I loved during college and now feel less enthused about. So, if you're a big Pound fan, you might not like it.


Danbury First Congregational Church

Enjoyed our book signing the other day at Danbury's First Congreational Church with David Leff for Alice at Byrd's Books, one of my favorite stores in the state. The bonus was the pulpit below, which a certain Ralph Waldo Emerson preached at, lo these many years ago. It was saved from the fire that destroyed the original church.

Becoming Tom Thumb wins its First Award

Becoming Tom Thumb has won its first award, the 2014 Henry Russell Hitchcock Prize from the Victorian Society in America.

They write:

“Deeply humane and splendidly researched, we believe that Becoming Tom Thumb is the first to do justice to Charles Stratton...It shows him to be a charming and dynamic entrepreneur who shrewdly exploited his international celebrity, by no means a hapless victim, and it does so with great insight and sympathy.

         —The Victorian Society in America, awarding the 2014 Henry Russell Hitchcock Award

Easton Historical Society

Amy and I had a lot of fun speaking at the Easton Historical Society the other day. So many people turned out - it was great to see the enthusiasm for our state's culinary treasures.

Nearby is the Helen Keller Middle School - she lived in Easton for three decades! Most people in Connecticut don't even know that. We'll be discussing her more in our next book.

Fieldstone Common

I was interviewed by Marian Pierre-Louis of Fieldstone Common for her podcast series. Check it out here. Marian writes: "In this interview Eric and I talk about Charles Stratton, the successful man. It’s hard to call him Tom Thumb after reading this book and seeing him as a real person. This story will challenge all the preconceived notions you have of General Tom Thumb. He was smart, talented, entertaining and a leader in his community. We discuss, as well, the success of P.T. Barnum and the prejudices faced by little people later in the 19th century." It was a pleasure to talk with someone so knowledgeable about New England history. Marian (and others) have convinced me that podcasts are the wave of the future, and that radio is pretty much dead. Clear Channel and others have killed it - pretty much made it no different than listening to Spotify, etc. With some exceptions of course! We could look at it another way...after a narrowing of radio's impact and variety, podcasts have expanded the audio world once again, filling a real need.

Old Saybrook Historical Society

Gave a presentation on Tom Thumb for the Old Saybrook Historical Society at the Acton Library, and had a lot of fun. I met a man (above) who graduated in the first class of the University of Bridgeport. He actually went to the Junior College of Connecticut, and it changed to UB during his senior year. Amazing guy, and still sharp as a tack.