A New Birth of Freedom
Review by Nancy (my friend)
A New Birth of Freedom by Robert Pielke.
Edwin Blair is a man with a mission. He feels so strongly about it that he allows himself to be transported back in time to 1849. On a train. To meet Abraham Lincoln. He tells Lincoln they will meet again. And they do. Fourteen years later at the White House. Edmund explains to Lincolln and his trusted advisors and he is from a future and has come to warn them against an invasion.
The Pests, gigantic locust who have killed nearly all of the humans in Edwin's time. He figures if he destroys them in the 1800's he has a chance of saving humankind (plus his wife and daughter). We shall see.
In an unprecedented move, Lincoln sends Edwin, with an escort to Gettysburg. There he meets with General Meade who in the midst of battle. Blair has come in under a forced truce and tells Meade he also needs to meet with General Robert E. Lee. Meade reluctantly argees, with persuasion from Lincoln's escort. It turns out that Lee has met Edmun before: once when he was a young child and again after he turned down command of the Federal army. Lee is saved from an assassin's bullet and finally agrees to help.
The story caught me up and kept me there until the end. I won't add a spoiler, but Pielke has one of the best end sentences I've read in quite awhile. This tale is full of history lessons well-researched, illustrations a bit primitive but to the point and they do help with the story. Excellent beginning - now, please Mr. Pielke, GET ON WITH BOOK TWO!
Robert G. Pielke, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, now lives in Claremont, California. He earned a B.A. in History at the University of Maryland, an M. Div. in Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the Claremont Graduate School.
He taught on ground and online for countless years at George Mason University in Virginia, El Camino College in California and online for the University of Phoenix. Now happily retired from “the job,” he is doing what he always wanted to do since he wrote his first novel at ten in elementary school. It was one paragraph, three pages long and, although he didn’t know it at the time, it was alternate history.
His academic writings have been in the area of ethics, including a boring academic treatise called Critiquing Moral Arguments, logic, and popular culture. Included in the latter is an analysis of rock music entitled You Say You Want a Revolution: Rock Music in American Culture. He has also published short stories, feature articles, film and restaurant reviews. His novels include a savagely satirical novel on America and its foibles, proclivities and propensities, Hitler the Cat Goes West, and an alternate history, science fiction novel, The Mission.
Most recently, he has updated and revised his book on rock music, which is being republished by McFarland & Co.
He swims daily, skis occasionally, cooks as an avocation, watches innumerable movies, collects rock and roll concert films, is an avid devotee of Maryland crabs and maintains a rarely visited blog filled with his social and political ravings. His favorite film is the original Hairspray; his favorite song is “A Day in the Life”; his favorite pizza is from the original Ledo Restaurant in College Park, MD; and he is a firm believer in the efficacy of “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” Somehow his family and friends put up with him.
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