White Australia has a Black History

White Australia has a Black History. Barbara Miller Books copyright and written by Barbara Miller.

The author has set forth a monumental production examining injustice perpetrated upon an indigenous people. In her exhaustive examination of the basics upon which the moves were initiated and the manner in which they constantly were re-initiated and enforced she has presented a quite scholarly work supported by a large number of references as well as a hundred and ninety pertinent end-notes. Truly a remarkable accomplishment that does indeed show a dark history of disdain for the rights of individuals. It also is a tribute to William Cooper and the many others that attempted to regain not only the aboriginals land but their self-respect. The government’s demonstration of utter disdain is so reminiscent of that of the United States and its rough shod over-ride of the American Indian by their false treaties and promises, and the resulting “Trail of Tears”, the massacres and more. These quite parallel situations bring to mind a most interesting situation extant in each country – a basic and undying pride in their heritage demonstrated by an Australian woman and an American Indian man. Both often have been criticized for their early actions when others were immersed in the struggle for their people. Again simply demonstrating a somewhat similar lack of understanding with little knowledge of a situation and similarly lacking empathy. Isn’t it often said the “Everyone should have a dream to pursue and the more dire one’s circumstances, the greater the need for that dream”? And after the younger age at which they forged ahead with their dreams, both later returned to their roots with pride and proceeded to provide extensive help for their people.

The young Australian woman was Evonne Goolagong, daughter of a locally famous athlete mother who persisted in urging on her daughter, who became one of tennis’ multi-winning champions, including Wimbledon, in the 1970’s – 80’s. The young Indian was Billy Mills, the Oglala Sioux boy who against all odds gained the 1964 Olympic Gold Medal following a dream implanted by a desperate father in the mind of a grieving 8-year-old who had just lost his mother.

Discussion: Thus to reiterate, the author has provided a well-documented, exhaustive history of the manner in which still another group of indigenous people have been severely mistreated. Her extensive research has set forth and examined in detail each abominable act and has provided more than ample supportive data. It is a treasure trove of indisputable fact. The almost overwhelming detail leaves no space for any type of denial. Regrettably however, this makes movement through the material quite slow so readers, other than those interested in the many unacceptable actions perpetrated by governments, may find this to be somewhat of a deterrent to acquiring this fascinating material.

3* 5* Comprehensive expose; regrettable caveat for many readers.

Master Your Financial Success

Master Your Financial Success ISBN: 9781628656800 Published and copyright by Authors Place Press written by 14 Authors Place Financial planners.

The book opens with a disclaimer and an introduction that explains that the authors of this book wanted “to give back by educating others how to address several meaningful areas that impact everyone’s financial planning lives. We are hopeful you will learn something new and be inspired to action at the same time, as even the best intentions that are never implemented can prove worthless, if not tragic.” Eleven chapters follow that cover different aspects of financial planning. One –“Retirement is a New Dawn” explains and offers suggestions for you to “Define your Future” and assess the many opportunities, both good and bad, awaiting you because of the many changes that have occurred. “It almost certainly will not be your parents’ retirement.” Two discusses Financial Stewardship and how important is “Proper financial stewardship (because it) exponentially increases value; conversely improper financial stewardship dramatically dilutes value.” Three discusses “Financial Planning for Today’s Unique Family” which may consist of a single parent, same sex parents and more. Four, is a somewhat more specialized chapter in that it deals with “Advanced Planning for Senior Executives” Five, discusses “Generation Wealth Planning and admonishes “You have prepared your wealth for your family .  .  .  but have you prepared your family for your wealth?” Six, “Creative Strategies to Preserve Family Wealth” and Seven, “Considerations for a Business Owner” like chapter Four, again are a little more specialized. Eight – “Investing Demystified” provides basics of the activity. Nine – “Corporate Retirement Plans” is heavy on 401(K) retirement plans, Ten– “Using Life Insurance in Financial Plans” provides interesting discussion on the subject. Eleven – discusses “Charitable Planning Strategies.

Discussion: The authors collectively have presented interesting and most credible suggestions in each area of their expertise. Readers no doubt will discover many useful, and quite possibly unthought-of points to consider in any of the areas defined. From this reader’s perspective, this is a quite valuable contribution to individuals who have managed to attain a somewhat greater position and/or collection of wealth but unfortunately it is not exactly geared to those lower on the ladder of business or monetary attainment.

3* 5* for those at higher levels of accomplishment; limited otherwise.

Hope of Ages Past

      Hope of Ages Past ISBN: 9780999881101, an e-book 1st edition 2018 by Zeno Publishing written by Bruce Gardner.

The author has presented “An Epic Novel of Enduring Faith, Love, and the Thirty Years War” fought in Germany between the newly advancing members of the Lutheran faith and the proponents of the long-established Catholic church. The story’s protagonist, around whom part of the story centers is Peter Erhart as he follows a calling to the ministry rather than following his father’ desires to have him be an accountant. The young man first becomes an assistant Lutheran pastor and with training from his particularly gracious mentor a seemingly gifted orator gradually ascending in position. The second protagonist sharing the trials and tribulations of the horrendous conflict and resultant chaos is Anna Ritter, a peasant girl who falls hopelessly in love with Peter, although he is married to the lovely Ursula, the mother of his two small children. Most of the early action takes place in the wealthy trade center of Magdeburg and the surrounding area and gradually shifts to Leipzig. The tale is a brutal account of the destruction of Magdeburg and the results thereof as affecting all of its citizens and particularly Peter, Anna and their immediate families followed by their subsequent activities as they continue on to again meet in Leipzig.

Discussion: This is a book of historical fiction featuring fictitious protagonists but populated additionally by numerous historical figures. The whole has been rendered into a highly readable account of the actions of individuals under the most devastating circumstances. The prose appropriately and graphically descriptive, the characters easily acceptable and empathetic and the horrendous actions taken in the name of religious faith almost impossible to understand, as are some of the Godly reactions of ‘true believers’. For any person interested in this rarely described era, this is a scholarly book, written in an interestingly manner about a rarely illuminated era in history that is a MUST READ.

5* Must read historical novel.

Fractured: Dereck Dillinger and the Crystal Ball

Fractured: Dereck Dillinger and the Crystal Ball ISBN: 9781543939651 assumed published copyright and written by Eddie McPherson.

Dereck constantly is baby-sitting his 6-year-old sister Jessie because his mother has had to find a second job since his father died last year. He loves her and doesn’t mind except when meeting his friends who mock him. He has taken Jessie to the carnival where she now is riding a horse on the carousel and waves every time she passes him. Two of his friends see him and begin their usual routines. While he is occupied with them, he looks back and finds that Jessie is nowhere to be seen. From this moment, he is whisked away on an incredible journey through the land in which all of the characters about whom he has been reading to Jessie, reside. It is a world in which monsters, dragons, witches, fairies, magic and more and where Little Red Ridinghood, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel and other of these famous people live.

Discussion: The author has provided a second novel to accompany the first which also had deposited him in this other world for a time before returning him to his home. His creative style is one that young readers will find entertaining and adults involved may discover amusing reminiscence. It is somewhat longer than most children’s books, but its pace and frequent introduction of new scenes and players should overcome any deterrent influence.

5* Enjoyable children’s book even adults reminiscently may enjoy.

The Winter Sisters

The Winter Sisters: A Novel ISBN: 9780984974894 QW Publishers, Copyright and written by Tim Westover.

The story opens with a prologue set in 1811 that introduces the three Winter Sisters – Rebecca, the oldest, Sarah and Effie the youngest. They are ‘healers’, taught by their now deceased mother, well known for their abilities by residents of the nearby town of Lawrenceville and the surrounding area of Georgia. Raised in Hope Hollow in which the mother had settled long before the town existed, they had moved to town, largely because of Rebecca’s association with one of the town’s inhabitants and lived there for some time until driven out by a ‘fire breathing’ minister who had incited the townspeople to riot against these ‘devil’s advocates and witches who produced their cures through potions and other demon-directed methods’. In the resulting action, the man with whom Rebecca related was badly burned and even Effie, the youngest who did appear to have some manner of occult power, could or would not save him (causing something of a rift in her relationship with Rebecca). The sick, if still desperate enough, still followed them when they returned to Hope Hollow, but now were threatened on the journey by a rabid panther that roamed the forest. An animal that the minister insisted was the Devil’s own creation serving the desires of these witches. Because of the new difficulty encountered by the sick and infirm residents, the Mayor persuades Dr. Aubrey Waycross, an urban hospital trained physician to move there. The story gradually unfolds as Waycross arrives with his training of the day that still embraced Galen and Hippocrates. This consisted of using lancets, emetics, enemas and blistering agents, with bloodletting when called for, as well as other treatments obvious to the names of the agents employed. Thus, his practice vies with the herbal and holistic approach as developed to that time because he sees their results effective in many instances. So, simultaneously he attempts to combine the two approaches as he also becomes enamored of Rebecca. During the development of the plot, the characters of each of the three sisters proceed along quite different lines that aid in its development and a number of supporting characters including a travelling medicine man, the minister, and several other town characters, also provide different aspects of the story.

Discussion: The author has set forth a fascinating description of medicine as it existed, and was practiced, in rural (often to a degree urban as well) areas and populations of the era. As such, the tale is well worth reading. Unfortunately, a number of hiccups occur in recounting the tale. Most prominent, from this reader’s perspective, is difficulty attempting to define and empathize with the main characters. Waycross’ activities frequently appear quite thoughtless, even at times ridiculous; Rebecca appears to act in accord with her position in that place and time, but still is rather wraith-like in presenting a persona; Effie is even more of a wraith as she wanders about with her apparent occult power, and her ultimate close relationship with Thumb, a typical medicine man, seemingly unpredictable; Thumb, in turn offers his share of question marks; Sarah is a ‘loose cannon’ wandering around; Other, supporting characters also provide interesting, often amusing additions to the story. The ending, at least for this reader, was abrupt, somewhat inexplicable and unfulfilling.

Summary: A look at the practice of medicine in the 1800’s, perhaps particularly of interest at this time because of the surging interest among patients and even physicians in the holistic approach to treatment.

4* Special interest for current holistic medicine interest; hiccups as noted.

Are you Scared?

Are You Scared? An e-book copyright and written by Ingo Blum, Illustrated by Mark Balita.

This small book is subtitled “Help Your Children Overcome Fears and Anxieties”. The story tells of little Susie whose mother sent her to a store to obtain ingredients she needed to bake. Susie leaves on her journey and encounters numerous imaginary fears that fortunately no longer scare her on her return. The reason is that her beloved grandfather happens by and gives her a ride home. It is then she sees that she was imagining the fearsome figures.

Discussion: The author has presented a very short book purportedly to aid small children in handling their fears. On the good side, the idea is sound and the illustrator has provided charming drawings. However unfortunately, most of the book expresses Susie’s imaginary fears and only a few lines actually are directed toward a solution. In fact, much of the book could be scary to a child with imagination. The author has brought forth an excellent matter about which parents unfortunately give too little thought and he is to be commended for doing so. It is just that, regrettably, pragmatically and apologetically from this reader’s perception, he has written an excellent reminder for parents, but not a book per se for young children.

3* 5* Reminder for parents; far less for small children.