Martin's Must-Reads

“On August 1, 1953, the United States Congress announced House Concurrent Resolution 108. The announcement called for the eventual termination of all tribes and the immediate termination of five tribes, including the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.”

“The young soldier was part of the “Baby Bottle Conscription,” the boys called up when there were no more men, young or old, to fight the war. Victor Dalmau received him with the other wounded taken from the supply truck and laid out like logs on mats.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are lines from Isabel Allende’s newest novel A Long Petal of the Sea. The year is 1938 and the soldiers are fighting in Spain’s civil war when General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government.

Late in the afternoon of April 12, 1945, Vice President Harry Truman had just finished presiding over a session of the senate.  As was his custom, he was relaxing by having a drink with senators when he received an urgent message: come to the White House as quickly and quietly as possible. The next 116 days changed everyone involved, indeed the entire world.

“Emerging onto the street, I nearly walked into a disinfection cart. It’s sweet, tangy tang marked the air. I ducked away from the masked men who were spraying the gutters and feeding their hose through the grating of gully after gully. ...Children carrying suitcases were filing into the train station as we swung past, being sent down the country in hopes they’d be safe. But from what I could gather, the plague was general all over Ireland. The specter had a dozen names: the great flu, khaki flu, blue flu, black flu.”

“I’ve never done a job like this. I’ve never moved so fully into someone’s life, infiltrated their home and coerced them to be my friend. Most of my cons have taken place in the dark, under the cover of intoxication: parties nightclubs, hotel bars.”

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