Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lincoln's Labels - An Unsolicited Testimonial

You'll recall that I gave a talk in Chicagoland a couple of weeks ago - to the Northern Illinois Civil War Round Table - based on my forthcoming book, Lincoln's Labels: America's Best Known Brands and the Civil War.

By the good graces (and hard work) of my publisher - Dan Hoisington at Edinborough Press - we were able to secure some "advance-double-top-secret-special-edition-softcover" editions to sell at the speaking engagement.

Well, a couple of weeks have passed, and I am starting to get some very nice feedback from people who have read the book, including this kind note I received today:

"I think M------ D---- probably mentioned to you how much I was enjoying Lincoln's Labels, but I finished the book over the weekend, and wanted to tell you myself what a great read your book is!

"I don't normally read much non-fiction, and particularly not about war, having been numbed in history class be endless generals' names and battle dates. I couldn't put your book down! It gives social context to the Civil War era, depicting life at that time through the stories of commercial products. As a long-time reader of Scientific American, I was fascinated to learn that it originated as a Popular Mechanics type of publication. And of course, the story of Squibb pharmaceuticals was of great interest. And on and on...

"One of my problems with most non-fiction books, especially historical ones, is the laundry list of facts that have to be slogged through. Your stories were wonderfully told, the writing interesting, and the informative "data" communicated without being didactic. Great job, and thanks so much for writing history as it should be written!"

Like many writers, I am my own worst critic...I know this testimonial for Lincoln's Labels will be paired with some criticism as time passes, but the fact that this reader took the time to write me, and that my mission in writing the book was accomplished - at least in her eyes - heartens me considerably.

1 comment:

Skip Haynes said...

this doesn't pertain to medicine or health, you still might find this interesting. Check out http://www.petcds.com/Hunley.htm “The H.L. Hunley Era” – Music, songs and atmosphere of the South during the Civil War. Very authentic and true to history – musically speaking