Author Martin Henley | Connecting Point | June 13, 2016

Author Martin Henley | Connecting Point | June 13, 2016


>>MARTIN HENLEY IS THE
PROFESSOR OF EMERITUS AT LIFT FROM WESTFIELD STATE UNIVERSITY
WHERE HE CONTINUES TO WORK WITH STUDENTS TRAINING TO BE
TEACHERS. HE’S ALSO AN AUTHOR AND HIS
LATEST WORK SCOUNDRELS WHO MADE AMERICA GREAT, LOOKS AT UNLIKELY
PEOPLE WHO PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN OUR NATION’S SUCCESS.
>>I WAS IN A LITTLE RESTAURANT OFF BOURBON STREET.
WHILE HAVING DINNER I LOOKED UP AND SAW MURAL ON THE WALL ACROSS
FROM ME. IT WAS A BATTLE SCENE.
BATTLE OF 1812. THERE IS A KIND OF ADVENTURE
TYPE OF CHARACTER WILLING TO BE IN THE FOREFRONT.
I SAID WHO IS THAT ANYWAY? IS THAT A REALLY — IS THAT
BASED ON A REAL PERSON? AND HE SAID THAT’S THE ROBINHOOD
OF NEW ORLEANS, AND I SAID WELL, WHO IS THAT?
HE SAYS JOHN LAFEET, AND HE STARTED TELLING ME STORIES ABOUT
LAFEET AND HOW POPULAR HE WAS. ONE STORY WAS THAT THE GOVERNOR
PUT A $500 REWARD ON LAFEET’S HEAD, AND HE PUT A $1500 REWARD
ON THE GOVERNOR’S HEAD. I KIND OF LIKE THAT.
THE FIRST IDEA THAT SOMEBODY COULD BE A ROGUE AND A ROBINHOOD
TYPE OF HERO AT THE SAME TIME. A SHORT TIME AFTER THAT I TOOK A
TRIP. I AM READING THE PLACARD.
HAVE YOU BEEN UP THERE?>>I HAVE.
>>IT’S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, REALLY, YOU KNOW, QUITE
EXPERIENCED TO GO THERE. ONE OF THE PLACARDS WAS ABOUT A
MAN SYNONYMOUS WITH TRADER, AND THAT’S ABOUT ALL I KNEW ABOUT
HIM. IT WAS DISCOVERING ABOUT AN
ISLAND WHICH I HAD NEVER HEARD OF AND HOW HE STOPPED THE
BRITISH INVASION COLD, AND THE BRITISH TURNED AROUND AND WENT
BACK NORTH AGAIN, WHICH GAVE THE AMERICANS TIME TO BUILD UP THE
DEFENSES SO THE NEXT YEAR WHEN THE BRITISH CAME DOWN, AND THIS
IS SOMETHING THAT I KNOW THAT YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH, THE
AMERICANS SOUNDLY DEFEATED THEM AT THE BATTLE OF SARATOGAA.
>>ACTORS SAY IT’S MORE FUN TO PLAY A VILLAIN.
FOR A HISTORIAN IS IT MORE FUN TO RESEARCH AND WRITE ABOUT A
VILLAIN, DO YOU FIND?>>OH, YES, IT IS BECAUSE ALL
THE HEROES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT.
THERE IS NOT ANYTHING FRESH THERE.
BUT WITH EACH OF THESE INDIVIDUALS I HAVE DISCOVERED
FRESH INFORMATION THAT REALLY SOMETIMES STUNS PEOPLE.
FOR INSTANCE IF I SAY TOKYO ROSE TO YOU, WHAT COMES TO MIND.
>>TRADER.>>TRADER.
>>THE SURPRISE IS THAT THERE WAS NO PERSON WHO REALLY WAS
TOKYO ROSE. IT’S A GENERIC NAME THAT
AMERICAN AND AUSTRALIA IS SOMEN SERVING IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
GAVE TO ANY ONE OF A NUMBER OF WOMEN WHO WERE BROADCAST IN
JAPANESE PROP DWANDA AT THE TIME.
SO THEY DID NOT KNOW THEIR REAL NAMES OR DIDN’T CARE ABOUT IT,
AND THEY WOULD JUST SAY SOMETHING LIKE I GOT TOKYO ROSE
ON THE SHORT WAVE RADIO, AND THAT’S WHERE THE NAME CAME FROM,
FROM THE AMERICANS.>>GOT A REAL STRONG SPRINGFIELD
CONNECTION, JOHN BROWN, THE MAN WHO LIVED NOT TOO FAR FROM WHERE
WE’RE SITTING RIGHT NOW, LIVED IN SPRINGFIELD AND GAVE HIS LIFE
TO ABOLISHED SLAVERY AND EXECUTED BY THE UNITED STATES.
>>WHY HE.>>WASN’T A PLEASANT MAN.
IN FACT, IT WAS IN SPRINGFIELD WHERE HIS STRONG CONVICTIONS
AGAINST SLAVERY TURNED TO VIOLENCE.
WE DECIDED THE ONLY WAY THAT SLAVES WOULD BE FREE WAS THROUGH
SLAVE REBELLION, WHICH LED TO HARPER’S FERRY AND HIS DEMISE AS
HE WAS EXECUTED IN CHARLES TOWN, A SMALL TOWN OUTSIDE OF, OUTSIDE
OF HARPER’S FERRY, BUT HIS — AS A RESULT OF HIS EXECUTION, HE
BECAME AN ICON AND A MARTYR TO MANY PEOPLE DURING THE CIVIL
WAR. JOHN BROWN’S BODY LIES OF
MOLDING IN THE GRAVE, AND YOU KNOW THAT SONG, AND THE LYRICS
FOR THAT BECAME THE BASIS FOR THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC.
>>GOT TO ASK YOU ABOUT SOME OF THE PEOPLE YOU MENTIONED AN
ARTICLE WITH THE REPUBLICAN. SOME FOLKS YOU THOUGHT ABOUT.
AND GERONIMO, THE APACHE LEADER, YOU LOOKED AT.
>>I WANTED TO GET A NATIVE AMERICAN IN THERE, AND BUT
GERONIMO, HE MURDERED A LOT OF MEXICANS AND MEXICAN FAMILIES,
AND HE DID ACHIEVE A GOOD DEAL OF NOTORIETY IN THE UNITED
STATES, BUT HE WAS A BAD GUY. SO I CAN’T SAY REALLY ANYTHING
TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT. I GOT STARTED WITH GERONIMO
BECAUSE I REMEMBERED YOU KNOW, THE PHRASE THAT THE AMERICAN
PARATROOPERS WOULD YELL WHEN THEY WOULD JUMP OUT OF PLANES,
GERONIMO, SO THAT GOT ME THINKING, WELL, YOU KNOW, MAYBE
THERE IS SOMETHING THERE, BUT THERE WAS SEVERAL OTHERS, AS
WELL, THAT LOOKED PROMISING TO BEGIN WITH, AND EVENTUALLY GOT
CHECKED OFF THE LIST.>>ANOTHER ONE, P.T. BARNUM FROM
CONNECTICUT.>>RIGHT.
>>THE CIRCUS GUY.>>THE CIRCUS GUY.
>>YEAH.>>AND YOU KNOW THAT FAMOUS
LINE, THERE IS A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE, HE DID NOT SAY IT.
SO YOU KNOW, THAT’S THE KIND OF STUFF THAT — HE DID NOT SAY IT.
P.T. BARNUM WAS CLOSE, HE WAS CLOSE, BUT WHAT I TRY TO DO IS
TO SPREAD THE PEOPLE OUT THROUGH THE 16, 17, 18th CENTURY, AND
P.T. BARNUM WAS IN 19th CENTURY, AND HE HAD JOHN BROWN
IN THERE, SO P.D. BARNUM DIDN’T MAKE IT BUT MAYBE THE NEXT ONE.
>>IT SOUNDS LIKE, WHAT YOU GOT, A LOT OF MATERIAL, SO IN THE
BACK OF YOUR MIND, MAYBE NOT SO MUCH IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND
BUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A SEQUEL BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF
SCOUNDRELS WHO CONTRIBUTED TO OUR COUNTRY.
>>THAT’S TRUE BUT I DON’T THINK SO.
I THINK I NEED TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING THAT’S LESS
BIOGRAPHICAL. THE BOOK I AM WORKING ON NOW IS
THE SIEGE, AND IT’S A STORY OF THE SIEGE OF BOSTON BY GEORGE
WASHINGTON. I THINK THAT THAT’S A REMARKABLE
STORY, THAT REALLY, REALLY COULD STAND A LOT MORE DRAMATIZATION
AND DESCRIPTION. GREAT STORY.
>>MARTIN HENLEY, THANKS SO MUCH FOR SCOUNDRELS WHO MADE AMERICA
GREAT AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE BOOK ABOUT THE SIEGE OF BOSTON.
IT IS A GREAT STORY. THANKS FOR COMING IN.
>>THANKS.>>APPRECIATE IT.
>>THANK YOU.

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