From childhood on I have had the dream of life lived as a sacrament… the dream implied taking life ritually as something holy.
Presidents in wartime, embattled presidents, unpopular presidents, they all look to Lincoln. He’s their patron saint because no president was more embattled or more unpopular than Lincoln was during his presidency. We think he was born on Mount Rushmore. Not so.
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.
Just as a balloon filled gradually with air bursts when the limit of its tensile strength is passed, there are thresholds of radical, disruptive change in politics. When those thresholds are crossed, the impossible suddenly becomes probable, with revolutionary implications for governments and nations.
If the present is any guide, government-sanctioned, counterfeit history is in your future.
For me archaeology is not a source of illustrations for written texts, but an independent source of historical information, with no less value and importance, sometimes more importance, that the written sources.
I don’t concentrate on any one period of history; I like to locate my stories in wildly different eras and places. I seem to be drawn to large, sprawling, uncomfortable swaths of American history, finding embedded within them a tight narrative that involves strife, heroism, and survival under difficult circumstances.
Concealing one’s true medical condition from the voting public is a time-honored tradition of the American presidency.
Friends are born, not made.
It takes me three or four years to research and write each book and the individual stories stay with you for a long time afterwards.