Songsmith, Giraffe-whisperer, Ninja, Archeologist from Pluto and elsewhere, Model, Former Ambassador to Chad, Ice skating champion, part time Falconer and Chef. None of the above is true. My books speak for me. All else is commentary or speculation.
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On Father's Day, sharing photographs of my late father
My late father, John Baptist Crasta, whose memoir Eaten by the Japanese: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War is available on Amazon and elsewhere as an e-book and paperback, here in some old photographs:
Will someone please tell me if the man in the first picture pinning a medal on my father's chest is the man who turned out to be Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw?
Above is the latest paperback edition of my father's book, and it features a photograph of him autographing the first edition at the age of 87.
Much of politics and history, especially in the U.S., is about Us and Them. Us, the Good Guys, versus much of the Rest of the World: the Bad Guys. If you're with us, with moral as well as material and diplomatic support, you're also good guys (though not as good as us). If you're against us, or simply not with us, you're bad guys. And our mission is to bomb, starve, and sanction you into changing your mind.
Historian Mark David Ledbetter does not accept such a simplistic view of wold affairs. His study of history, contained in three works of towering research, America's Forgotten History: Parts 1-3, tells him that every nation, at some point in its history, has been guilty of genocide or war crimes. It just happens that different nations are at different points of development and engagement with the rest of the world, and therefore, we don't all behave and think the same.
But that's just one element of Ledbetter's new book, Dancing on the Edge of the W…
When I was in my late teens, I used to read Punch magazine, and one of my favorite writers was Alan Coren, who published a humor collection titled Golfing for Cats. It turned out that the book had nothing to do with either golfing or cats; but golfing and cats were the two hottest subjects on the bestseller list at that time, so he married the two and made up the title. (Alan Coren's book ended up doing quite well.)
My story is totally different. Neither cats, goats, nor Mahatma Gandhi are particularly hot at this moment (the Mahatma, if resurrected, would be horrified by Donald Trump and prefer to return to his grave), so the Alan Coren anecdote only partly explains the title of my new book: The Mahatma, the Goats, and Young Cats, all of which do occur in my collection of humor and satire, but are not its main subjects: this being a diverse humor collection ranging from Jesus to Ronald Reagan, from Indian politics to American nukes and deficits, from Adam and Eve to modern puber…
Three generations of fathers and sons come together in "Fathers and Sons, War and Love," which consists of 3 books in one bundle. The first book, "Eaten by the Japanese," is the World War II memoir of John Baptist Crasta, the father of Richard Crasta, who is an editor and minor co-author of his father's memoir, and the author of "Father, Rebel, Dreamer" and "Letters to My Sons." [June 2015 expanded edition.]
"Eaten by the Japanese," written by a recuperating John Baptist Crasta in 1946, was published by his son just two years before his father's death; the act of reading and publishing his 87-year-old father's almost forgotten memoir was a process of discovery and reconciliation for the son.
The second book consists of fictional and nonfictional reflections, essays, and humor loosely collected around the theme of "Father, Rebel, Dreamer."
The third book is a book of letters from a father to his sons: poignant…