Rails of War Featured at BookExpo 2017

It’s hard to overstate how excited and thankful I am that University of Nebraska Press chose to include Rails of War in its presentation at BookExpo 2017 in New York City. For readers not familiar with BookExpo, it’s the largest annual book trade fair in the United States. I cannot say enough about the support Rails of War is receiving from UNP and its marketing staff, especially Rosemary Vestal, Publicity Manager (shown in photo) and Tayler Lord, publicist.

Rails of War at BookExpo is personally rewarding; I won’t deny it. And, in that egotistical vein, let me share a conversation I had last night with Ed Rondeau from Rhode Island. I saw Ed at a reception and later at a party and his kind words, were well received. Ed used that code phrase that every author seeks, “I started reading, and I couldn’t put it down.”

Ed is an artist, a sculptor with public works in the Northeast. He’s a sensitive guy and, as are most artists, a constructive critic by nature. So, his effusive endorsement of my “very personal narrative” carried some weight. Ed’s father served in World War II in the island-hopping Pacific offensive where he was a U.S. Army infantryman and medic. Ed said that Rails of War stimulated his interest in researching his father’s unit and better understating his father’s experience. I had heard this before, that Rails of War spurred a reader to grasp a family narrative better. It’s an incredible feeling to think that the story of the 721st can still motivate people seventy-two years on. – SJH

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