Northern Light Author Feature,17140

The Northern Light newspaper published a nice author feature July 29, 2021. Of course I’m happy to get a bit more publicity for my books!

Here’s a nice quote from the article: “He did a reading here once that was really cool,” Johnson said. “He had voice actors read different parts of his book, so it had this really cool theatrical feel to it, which totally encompasses what Mike is like.” (Rachel Johnson, Village Books publishing director)

“The Roving Fitzgeralds” Is Published!

“The Roving Fitzgeralds: The Memoirs Of Roy Madison Fitzgerald,” edited and with a forward my myself is now available from my publisher, Village Books, or directly from me at this website.

Roy Fitzgerald, my great grandfather, had a long and eventful life. He was raised by a pioneering family in Gardiner, Montana, and was a stagecoach driver in Yellowstone Park in the early years of the 20th century. Later on he mined in Nevada and worked in lumber mills in Oregon. His grandfather, Selleck Fitzgerald, was perhaps the youngest man ever to lead a wagon train over the Oregon trail.

This book will likely be a treat for history lovers, especially those who love the stagecoach-era days of Gardiner, Montana, and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The Fitzgeralds were some of Gardiner’s earliest settlers, and the book fills in some important details about those settlers and their times that we have not had before.

Lee Whittlesey
Former Yellowstone National Park Historian
Retired National Park Service

The Riot of January 6, 2021

Busloads in Kabul, 1973

Some have been referring to the January 6 events at the capitol building as an “attempted coup.”  This is not an accurate characterization of the rioting and looting by the politically naive wannabe fascists who overran the understaffed police lines, vandalized the building, terrorized our senators, representatives, and their staff, and killed at least one police officer and injured many more. Defecating in the halls, breaking windows, looting and trashing offices while taking selfies does not constitute an attempted coup.

A coup needs the cooperation and active aid of the military, or at least a reasonably disciplined organized military force, and is usually planned in detail. Spontaneous risings or enraged mob actions have historically led to revolution, but that’s a different animal, and usually involves a fair proportion of the population, not the small numbers that participated in the January 6 debacle.

In 1973, while I was a Peace Corps trainee in Afghanistan, there was a successful coup. Fighter planes flew at rooftop level, armed soldiers and tanks were in the intersections. The Kabul airport was shut down. Roads were barricaded and guarded. These were not just a bunch of deluded and privileged folks wandering around in a government building, destroying whatever they could while posting photos on facebook. In stark contrast, the armed forces in the Kabul area abandoned the reigning king, Zahir Shah, who was out of the country, and took the side of the leader of the coup, Sardar Mohammed Daoud.

My recently published novel, The Kabul Conscript, was inspired by my time in Peace Corps, and is set during the time of the 1973 coup.  If you want to get an idea of what that experience was like—at least from the point of a foreigner in Kabul—as well as some historical background of how General Daoud, a much brighter man than Mr. Trump, organized and carried out his overnight takeover of the country, read the Kabul Conscript.