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Writer & Historian

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A Funeral in Sweet Home – A Personal Reflection

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January 27, 2018

I attended a funeral a while ago. No one I knew. A friend of my wife’s family. A disabled woman. Fifty-three years old. In her fifty-fourth year, as we say. Fifty-three orbits round the sun and Lynette was gone. Cremated. A family memory of both loss and some relief. Lynette left several stuffed animals...
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Hands Up If You Think You Can Win a Nuclear War – A Book Review

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January 27, 2018
Hands Up If You Think You Can Win a Nuclear War – A Book Review

Hands up all those who believe that a nuclear war is winnable and that you will survive to tell your grandchildren about it. If we trust whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg’s new book The Doomsday Machine (Bloomsbury, 2017), the answer is no there would be no winner and it “would kill nearly every human on earth.”...
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Critics Misjudge Vietnam War Series – A Film Review

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January 9, 2018
Critics Misjudge Vietnam War Series – A Film Review

The other day a friend at the gym mentioned that he had been watching the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary The Vietnam War. “I was on the wrong side,” he concluded repeating a phrase heard in the film. “We didn’t know what we were fighting for and they had everything to fight for.” Not all...
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Vietnam War Truths vs. Iraq War Propaganda

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January 9, 2018
Vietnam War Truths  vs. Iraq War Propaganda

America is a confusing place to live at the best of times, but in Trump times it gets even more puzzling. Are we really back to Cold War nuclear arms rattling? Are the top generals serious about reviving the notion of a winnable nuclear war? Are we any safer in this Twitter-riddled circus than...
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Venice Observed – A Travel Booklet with Photos

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December 26, 2017
Venice Observed – A Travel Booklet with Photos

She is “like many a beautiful mistress and a strong dark wine, never entirely frank with you . . . . Her past is enigmatic, her present contradictory, her future hazed in uncertainties.” – Jan Morris in The World of Venice Why Venice? That’s what some of our friends asked when we announced that...
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Hip Capitalist Journalism – A Book Review

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December 25, 2017
Hip Capitalist Journalism – A Book Review

I just resurfaced from reading 500 pages of a new biography on Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner. It’s called Sticky Fingers and my fingers are definitely feeling sticky. In fact, I feel icky all over after learning who Wenner has been all these years: unpleasant, greedy, boastful, untrustworthy, a cheat, and it goes on...
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City Slicker Goes Under Ground – A Coal Mine Article

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December 5, 2017
City Slicker Goes Under Ground – A Coal Mine Article

Twenty years ago, I found myself in a coal mine two kilometers under the Atlantic Ocean in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Recently I was reminded of the experience and the article I wrote about it. The Cape Breton Post reprinted the piece under the headline “City Slicker Goes Under Ground.” The article begins as...
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Venice Observed – A Photo Essay

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December 3, 2017
Venice Observed – A Photo Essay

Novelist Thomas Mann once described Venice as a “flattering and suspect beauty.” That enigmatic comment and others pushed me to learn more. So in September 2017 Leola and I spent three weeks immersed in the City of Islands, with daughter Alex joining us for one week. This photo essay attempts to capture what we...
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Balkan Roots – A Travel Essay

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October 24, 2017
Balkan Roots – A Travel Essay

It is pouring a hard, unforgiving Balkan rain that threatens to scupper my plans to visit Lukovdol, a small village in Croatia where I hope to find the ancestral home of my grandfather Francisus Verzuh. We are in the mountainous region of Gorski Kotar, a county near the Slovenian border. Wikipedia dubs it Croatia’s...
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History Quiz Time!

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October 21, 2017

A friend recently suggested to a group of history lovers that they guess when the following statement was made and who made it. Here’s the statement: “When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be...
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Books

Venice Observed - A Travel Booklet with Photos by Ron Verzuh Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh