Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Maximilian Update: An Invaluable Resource for Mexico's Second Empire / French Intervention

A new book, invaluable for anyone researching Mexico's Second Empire or "French Intervention," has just been published in Spanish by leading researchers Konrad Ratz and Amparo Gómez Tepexicuapan, Los viajes de Maximiliano en México (1864-1867). Read more about it over on my occasional blog, "Maximilian and Carlota," where I share my research from The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, my novel set during the period-- as well as other tidbits.

Update on my Dad's Book, Captured: The Forgotten Men of Guam

His editor, Linda Goetz Holmes, will be presenting it on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 2012 in Shelter Island, NY
>>Read more about that here.

>>Review by Kinue Tokudome

>>Watch my Dad's talk on the vital importance of sharing research

>>Visit the book's webpage

>>Order a copy of the hardcover or download the Kindle here

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyberflanerie: From Mexico to Marfa, and a Bit About Mojo

One of the houses on the recent Marfa house tour featured this nifty "poster" by John Waters, "Visit Marfa." Turns out it's a rah-ther pry-say limited edi-shun. Check it out.

(What's up with the Marfa Mondays Podcasting Project? Slow but sure... four more podcasts, including an interview with painter Mary Baxter, a tour of Swan House, and Exploring Pinto Canyon Rd, are in the works. The latest is "A Spell in Chinati Hot Springs." Listen in anytime. I recently did an article for Cenizo Journal on Swan House-- the visionary Nubian-style mud-roofed compound outside of Presidio, which is about an hour and a jog south of Marfa. Stay tuned for more about that.)

My amigas the poet, essayist and translator, Brandel France de Bravo, and Mexican writer Silvia Cuesy have beautiful websites, ¡felicidades!

Wouldn't it be bodacious to drive from Mexico to Marfa in the Mojo Car?
(Scroll on down that page for the hilarious FAQs.)

(You might be wondering how I happened to surf onto the Mojo Car page. It so happened that, as part on my reading to expand and revise the introduction to my translation of Francisco I. Madero's Spiritist Manual of 1911, I was reading Mitch Horowitz's excellent Occult America, which provides an overview of the many American traditions, from Spiritualism to Mormonism to hoodoo. Yes, hoodoo. So I was reading all about those African-American root doctors and mojo and I just had to go and google. Up came the Lucky Mojo Curio Company of California and the owner's Mojo Car. Read more about the true meaning of mojo -- which is probably not what you think, you Doors fans, you-- here.)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Captured: The Forgotten Men of Guam by Roger Mansell (my dad)

Just before he passed away in 2010, my dad, Roger Mansell, left the advanced draft of his book, Captured: The Forgotten Men of Guam, to be edited by his colleague, Linda Goetz Holmes, the author of Guests of the Emperor: The Secret History of Japan's Mukden POW Camp, among other titles. I am thrilled and delighted to say that Captured has been published this month by Naval Institute Press.

Full Description:

Prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War, Guam was a paradise for U.S. military and civilian employees stationed on the island. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, the Japanese invaded the tiny island, captured the Americans, and shipped them to Japan. Drawing on interviews with survivors, diaries, and archival records, Roger Mansell documents the mostly unknown story of these American POWs. The men endured horrific hardships, many of which are chronicled in this book for the first time. Also included are moving stories of their liberation, transportation home, and the aftermath of their ordeal.

“In the days of shock and horror that followed Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, another monumental event, occurring almost simultaneously, was largely overlooked: Japan's bloody seizure of the strategically critical island of Guam. For the American troops, civilians and native people captured in the invasion, so began an epic ordeal. The Americans were shipped off to be slaves for the Japanese, while the natives remained behind to endure four years of brutalities under their captors. Roger Mansell, the pre-eminent historian of Pacific POWs, devoted the last years of his life to unearthing and telling this forgotten story, and after his death, the work was completed by his colleague, the esteemed POW author Linda Goetz Holmes. Chronicling a lost chapter of World War II, Captured promises to be an authoritative, fastidiously researched and compelling read.”
—Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption and Seabiscuit: An American Legend

“Roger Mansell worked tirelessly to research and document the stories of American POWs in the Pacific during World War II. His efforts give us a better understanding of the great service and sacrifice of these heroes. The stories he tells are a tribute to the warriors who defend us.”
—Oliver North

“Roger Mansell’s Captured is a beautifully written, richly researched account of the fall of Guam and a searing reminder of the horrific ordeal suffered by American prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese.”
—John A. Glusman, author of Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945

>>UPDATE: Read Kinue Tokudame's review at US-Japan Dialogue on POWs

>Read more about the book and my dad's research legacy at
>Pick up your copy of Captured: The Forgotten Men on Guam from Naval Institute Press and/or

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cyberflanerie: Mysteries of the Past Edition

>>One of the strangest and most profound books about the Viet Nam War is Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam by Wayne Karlin. The other day I happened upon a TV interview Karlin gave to Mark Cohen for Coffee House TV, now archived on the web at this link.

>>For your next side trip from Naples, check out the Stygian tunnels at Baiae, if you dare.

>>So did spirits from the astral realms spur the Mexican Revolution? Its leader said so (really). Later this year I'm bringing out a revised and expanded introduction of my translation of his book of 1911, as well as a Spanish language introduction to the original, Manual Espirita, in 2013.

>>Alexander von Wuthenau and the Multiethnic Heritage of Mexico