Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day: My Dad on the Importance of Sharing Research

Apropos of Veterans Day, I'd like to mention a very special video. It's a talk my dad, Roger Mansell (1935-2010), was scheduled to give at a conference in September 2010 in England on the history of POWs in the Far East. But he wasn't well enough to travel, so his friend and fellow POW researcher John Hicks recorded it for him at home. It was played at the conference to much applause for his message-- one he always gave, but in this video, very eloquently-- is such an encouraging one. He stresses the importance of saving stories and sharing research. In my own work -- most recently, on Mexico's Second Empire and Francisco I. Madero's 100 year-old "secret" book-- I have also tried to be as generous as possible in sharing. As my dad says in the video, if you don't write it down, it's lost, and if it stays in the drawer, it dies.

My dad's website is
He founded the Institute for Research on Allied POWs of the Japanese, which is being continued by Wes Injerd and Dwight Rider.
Watch the video of his talk here.