Monday, September 15, 2008

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming's latest book is The Perils of Peace: America's Struggle for Survival After Yorktown.

Last week I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
One writer I've recently gotten interested in is James L. Nelson. He's written a series of novels about the American Revolution at sea, good stories told with great authenticity. He really knows18th Century ships and seamen. He's also written several novels about the Civil War navy. As an ex-Navy guy, I'm partial to salt water sagas. Nelson made me nostalgic for the years in the 1980s when I was writing my tribute to my fellow WWII swabbies, Time and Tide.

I'm also reading about James Madison, who plays a role in a book I'm writing about women in the lives of the founding fathers. Two books I liked were A Perfect Union by Catherine Allgor, a biography of Dolley, and The Last of the Fathers by Drew R. McCoy, about Madison's old age.

I also enjoy picking up novels I meant to read but missed. One I enjoyed immensely is State of Fear by Michael Crichton, which convinced me all over again that Al Gore and Global Warming are both diseases of the public mind.

I also like to reread something I read as a mere youth. So I went back to F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise. As a novel it isn't the greatest but the prose is wonderful and it reminded me of how deeply F. Scott was involved with his Irish-Catholic heritage. I found that rather moving, having gone back to my own I-C boyhood in my recent memoir, Mysteries of My Father, and served as chief consultant to the forthcoming An Irish-American Chronicle, about the whole I-A experience in the free world (aka the US) which is coming out next St. Patrick's Day.
Thomas Fleming is the author of more than forty novels and nonfiction books, including bestsellers such as The Officers' Wives, Time and Tide, and Liberty! The American Revolution. He is a frequent guest and contributor to NPR, PBS, A&E, and the History Channel. He was the principal commentator on the award-winning PBS documentary The Irish in America: Long Journey Home. A Fellow of the Society of American Historians, Fleming has served as chairman of the American Revolution Round Table and president of the American Center of P.E.N., the international writer's organization.

Visit Thomas Fleming's website.

--Marshal Zeringue