Friday, December 02, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Anyway, here I am in Tiananmen Square. I was going to write "freedom" on a bed sheet and run around with it, but Allyson talked me out of it.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Around 1914, Elias Benedict [the owner] sold the yacht, which was rechristened the Adelante and converted into a towboat. During World War I the Adelante was commandeered by the U.S. Navy and put into service setting up a network of maritime radio stations along the Maine coast. After the war, it went back into service as a towboat, operating out of New York under the names John Gulley and Salvager. By 1941, the boat, once one of the grandest yachts in the world and the site of a unique episode in American history, had been abandoned. Presumably it was sold for scrap.
Well, Robert e-mailed me a photo of a yacht that looks a lot like the Oneida. Here’s what he wrote:
I was flipping through the magazine and saw the first page of your article. As I looked at the picture I immediately remembered a picture I took while vacationing in Nantucket. When I took the picture of that glorious old ship my imagination started to whirl. I really did think there was something “presidential” about this boat, some great history behind it. I snapped the picture and moved on. I'm no expert on yachts either, but the details are strikingly similar with the exception of the center mast and rear deck structure. Over its lifespan the Oneida would have had many retrofits and upgrades. Who knows, maybe she sat dormant for years and was eventually restored to her original beauty. The setting for your article seems to match the region where I saw the boat. I would guess it's a privately owned yacht. This picture was taken on August 19, 2011 in the Nantucket Harbor. I wish I had snapped a picture of the name on her stern. Maybe it's a bit of history lost and now found?
OK, below is the picture that Robert sent me. Below that are two pictures of the Oneida, one taken around the time of the operation in 1893, another taken in 1914, when the yacht was the towboat known as the Adelante (click on an image to enlarge it):
I agree: The boats sure do look similar. Could it be that Grover’s “secret operation” yacht is still out there plying the waters off the East Coast? What do you think? Any suggestions on how I can identify the boat in the photo that Robert sent me? Please let me know.
Monday, September 26, 2011
In a postscript to the paperback edition from 2011 of his book (the original was introduced in 2009) says Algeo that he managed to trace the car to a farm near Kansas City, unfortunately in rather poor condition and impossible expensive to restore (in the overgrown garden of a jew lawyer family outside Philadelphia I invited over a Thanksgiving weekend at the mid-sixties there was an equally imaginative and derelict car, a big station wagon with exterior wooden slats that belonged to the radical artist Ben Shahn ( with the posthumous portrait of Day Hammarsköld with the menacing ash ).
Monday, September 12, 2011
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Did we get lost on the way to Tsetseguun.......
Or was it a clever ruse? Should we have taken the turn to the left instead of the right? You may ask how Tumi, Chuck, and Michelle -- all of whom have hiked Tsetseguun several times could have taken a wrong turn on the busiest and best marked trail in Boghdan National Park? Or was it a planned wrong turn in order to give a real experience of hiking in the forest? Either way, our group, that in included not only the above three but also first time Mongolia hikers, Allyson A, Matthew, Alyson M, and Carrie (friend of Michelle's), experienced a truly great hike and first exposure to the great natural beauty of Mongolia.
Regardless, we found a new way to walk within 20 -25 minutes of the summit without running into other hikers or noise other than our own. Granted, there were more rock outcrops to negotiate and more bogs with hidden holes to avoid, but in general it was a good test for us.
The hike to Tsetseguun on the regular trail takes almost two hours. At the two hour mark on our hike, we were unsure whether we should hike to the left or right to find the trail. So we took a lunch break while Tumi climbed a couple of levels of a nearby rock hill to determine our location. We knew we were close to the summit, but which way to go was the question. Tumi was able to get to the top of the rock hill for a remarkable vista looking north and east. He also saw Tsetseguun and upon his return, we headed in the direction of gradual left. After about 10 minutes we came to the main path. At that point we were about 5 minutes from the plateau and 20 from the summit. Alyson and I hiked another 12 minutes north to a vista point on the plateau while the rest of our intrepid group headed down, or south, on the marked path.
On the way down we were passed by groups and groups of people headed to Tsetseguun -- more people than we had ever seen on the mountain. They were having a great hike up and looking forward to celebrating at the summit.
Tsetseguun is always a great hike whether you make the left turn that is marked or go the path less taken -- just be sure, if you take the path less traveled, you also go with Tumi. The other tip is to depart Ulaanbaatar so you can be at the trail head by 9am at the latest because of the buses and groups that start around 10am.
Sunday, September 04, 2011
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Speaking of money, I have found a job! I will be working as an editor for the English version of the Mongolian news website news.mn. It's only part-time, but I will be working mainly with Mongolians, which should help me pick up the language more quickly. And, I don't mean to brag, but my weekly salary will be well into the six figures!
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
We arrived in Ulaanbaatar late Thursday night. The kitties were on the same flight (they had been shipped separately from Washington). Our apartment is great! We don't have Internet yet, so I can't go into much detail, but it suffices to say that we are well and happy. The photo above was taken yesterday (Saturday, July 23) in front of one of the Buddhist temples in UB...
Monday, July 18, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The movers came yesterday and packed up our stuff. Now we're living out of suitcases until we get to Ulaanbaatar. We leave Washington on Friday for Maine. We leave portland for UB on the 20th - a week from tomorrow. Hard to believe!
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Really looking forward to tonight's event in Brooklyn. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Here's s rundown of recent publicity for the book... Here's an op-ed about Grover that I wrote for the Christian Science Monitor... Here's my appearance on Inside City Hall, a great program on NY1 in New York... And here's a nice plug for my Buffalo appearances in the Buffalo News.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Last night I did my spiel at Boswell Books in Milwaukee - an awesome bookstore. About 25 people turned out - not bad for a Monday night in Milwaukee!
Tomorrow I have a busy day in St. Louis: On KTRS (550 AM) at 9 AM, St. Louis Public Radio (90.7 FM) at 11 AM, and a reading at Pudd'nhead Books at 7 PM.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Monday, May 02, 2011
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Oh, and the Wall Street Journal reviewed my book. Not too gushing, but still not too bad.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Yesterday I drove from L.A. to Flagstaff, Arizona (466 mi., 7 hr., 29 min.). This morning I stopped by the Flagstaff Barnes and Noble, where I saw The President Is a Sick Man in a bookstore for the first time. Then I drove to Santa Fe (392 mi., 6 hr. 34 min.). Winds of 50 mph with occasional dust storms the whole way. My friend's Prius, which I'm driving, is holding up well. (Don't worry, Phil.)
Tonight I'm staying at the home of James McGrath Morris, whose acclaimed biography of Joseph Pulitzer is now available in paperback. Jamie's already written a great blurb for my book, so now I am even more indebted to him!
Tomorrow I'll meander into Kansas. Looking forward to visiting the Eisenhower Library in Abilene (finally). First official event of the book tour is Tuesday night in Kansas City.
Oh, and the book got a nice mention on the Washington Post book blog this week.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Just a reminder that I will have a booth at the Philadelphia Book Festival this Saturday, April 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. My booth is No. 6 on 19th Street (right beside the library). I'll be selling copies of all my books, including the new one hot off the presses!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Forgot to mention that I will have a booth at the Philadelphia Book Festival on Saturday, April 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. My booth is No. 6 on 19th Street (beside the library). I'll be selling all my books (hopefully my copies of the Grover book will have arrived by then), as well as a few other goodies. So please go to the festival and stop by my booth!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Annual Grover Cleveland Birthday Conference Presents: A Lecture By Matthew Algeo
The President Is a Sick Man
10 a.m., Saturday March 19th, 2011
Author and journalist, Matthew Algeo, will speak on the secret surgery of President Cleveland in 1893, the ensuing cover-up, and the news reporter who, after publishing the story, was labeled a liar and a “disgrace to journalism”. Twenty-four long years would pass before one of Cleveland’s doctors finally revealed the truth.
As a journalist, Algeo has reported from three continents. His stories have been featured on public radio programs; All Things Considered, Marketplace, and Morning Edition. Mr. Algeo is the author of Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure, named one of the Best Books of 2009 by the Washington Post, and Last Team Standing, a history of the Eagles and the Steelers. Wife, Allyson, works for the United States government as a Foreign Service officer. The couple currently resides in Washington.
Excerpts from his latest book, The President is a Sick Man:
“. . . some presidents have gone to remarkable lengths to hide their infirmities . . . Edith Wilson, for all intents and purposes, oversaw the executive branch after her husband’s stroke. It has been said that she could be considered the country’s first female president. . . .Even his valet knew Harding was deathly ill, telling a Secret Service agent that “something is going to happen to our boss . . .”
“. . . at the very moment President Cleveland was slumped, unconscious, in a makeshift operating room . . . the nation's attention was fixed on the opposite end of New York State . . .A steeplejack and tightrope walker . . . was attempting to cross a wire strung over Niagara Falls. According to one report . . .”
Date: Saturday, March 19th
Time: 9:30 Registration, Lecture 10 am, Luncheon to follow
Location: First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell, 326 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell NJ
Fee: $25 fee for lecture and luncheon.
Free admission to Grover Cleveland Historic Site
Registration: In advance: 973-226-0001 email@example.com
at the door.
Event Sponsored by: The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 05, 2011
I happened to be working on the newscast desk at NPR last Sunday when the news came across the wire that Frank Buckles, America’s last surviving First World War veteran, had passed away at the age of 110. (He died of natural causes incidentally; I remember calling Allyson to tell her that Jimmy Stewart had died, and her reaction was, “How?” As if he might have died in a parachuting accident.)
I never met Frank, but I feel like I’ve come to known him over the years. I really respected him for embracing his role as the Last Man Standing. He understood the importance of his place in history. He was America’s last living link to the Great War. One week ago, I (or you) could have spoken with spoken with someone who had experienced that war firsthand. Now that opportunity is gone forever. The first draft of the history of the First World War is finished.
I’ve been fascinated by the First World War since I was a kid, and saw the veterans marching at the head of all the parades in Perkasie. (I also remember seeing a few Spanish-American War veterans in the parades, as well; weird to think that I remember the veterans of a nineteenth-century war.) When I worked at Minnesota Public Radio in the mid 90s I did a story about First World War vets for Veterans Day on year. I remember meeting a 99-year-old vet from Wisconsin who still bowled in a league twice a week. He’d shaken hands with Teddy Roosevelt. So I shook the hand that shook the hand...
Another vet I met had lived in the same Minneapolis apartment since the 1920s. His apartment was a time machine. The lamps, appliances, and furniture were at least fifty years old. The neighborhood had changed rather dramatically; it was populated almost entirely by Laotians. It was like something from the movie Being There.
As a history buff, I was drawn to these men. It was almost inconceivable that I could interview soldiers who had served in the trenches on the Western Front. I knew that was a rare opportunity, and I’m glad I took it, because now it’s gone.
Thank you, Frank Buckles. Thank you for your service to our country, and for bearing the standard of your colleagues with incalculable grace.
If the last surviving Second World War veteran lives as long as Frank did, he or she will live until 2039. I just hope I make it that long!
UPDATE: Turns out John Boehner and Harry Reid are refusing to allow Frank's body to lie in the Capitol Rotunda.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Siena College Research Institute has released a new poll of historians ranking the 43 presidents. The top five are F.D. Roosevelt, T. Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson. Truman came in ninth. Andrew Johnson ranked last. (Click here to see the complete list.)
As is usual in these rankings, Grover is in the middle of the pack, ranking twentieth. Here's how the historians ranked him by category (from 1st to 43rd):
1. Background (family, education, experience) 19
2. Party leadership 16
3. Communication ability (speak, write) 17
4. Relationship with Congress 15
5. Court appointments 17
6. Handling of U.S. economy 22
7. Luck 20
8. Ability to compromise 19
9. Willing to take risks 24
10. Executive appointments 18
11. Overall ability 20
12. Imagination 22
13. Domestic accomplishments 17
14. Integrity 19
15. Executive ability 17
16. Foreign policy accomplishments 21
17. Leadership ability 19
18. Intelligence 25
19. Avoid crucial mistakes 14
20. Expert's present overall view 19
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I'd been planning to attend a taping of the Maury Povich show this week, but came down with a wicked bad cold. Didn't want to be "that guy" with the hacking cough in the audience (or on the train up and back). Disappointing. Maybe I'll try again in the Spring...
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Frank Buckles, America's last living World War I veteran, turns 110 today. Happy birthday, Frank! And best wishes for many more. When Frank was born, McKinley was president, and Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison were still alive and well.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
At least by the conservative British politician Daniel Hannan, who puts Grover behind only Reagan, Lincoln, and Jefferson in this article. Grover - who in his second inaugural declared that "while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their government, its functions do not include the support of the people" - has become something of a darling to conservatives of late.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Steunenberg had earned the bitter enmity of miners by sending in the National Guard to end a miners strike when he was governor, so it was widely assumed that he had been murdered by a radical miners union, much as it has been theorized that Rep. Giffords was targeted by right-wing or Tea Party extremists.
In fact, Gov. Steunenberg was targeted by a deranged loner with murky motives - much as it’s beginning to appear Rep. Giffords was targeted. Steunenberg’s assailant went by the name Harry Orchard, though his given name was Albert Horsley. In exchange for escaping the gallows, Orchard agreed to testify against three union officials who were charged with conspiring to murder Steunenberg. But Orchard’s connection to the union was tenuous at best, and the three officials (defended by Clarence Darrow) were acquitted.
I guess the lesson here is to be careful about jumping to conclusions about the motives behind acts of political violence.
(The story of Frank Steunenberg’s assassination is superbly recounted at this wonderful website.)