Kiwanis will feature renowned local author Charles Bracelen Flood, whose latest book chronicles Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War.
Flood will speak on February 7th at the regular Kiwanis Club of Richmond meeting.
Civil War Interactive said of Flood's 12th book, published this fall by Farrar, Straus and Giroux: "Moving and elegantly written, 'Grant and Sherman' is an historical page-turner, a gripping portrait of two men, whose friendship, forged on the battlefield, would win the Civil War."
Flood, who also authored an award-winning book about Robert E. Lee as well as books dealing with several other military conflicts, said, "I don't start these wars, I don't think I glorify them, but I do like writing about them."
A New York City native, Flood graduated from Harvard. In 2001, he was honored with the Harvard Lampoon's Clem Wood Award, past recipients of which have included George Plimpton, John Updike and Conan O'Brien.
He and his wife, Katherine, live on a farm in Richmond, an environment he says is most conducive to his literary labors.
"I can't think of better writing environments than the ones in which I work," he said. "For nine months of the year I work in a quiet, well-lit area of Eastern Kentucky University's superb million-volume library, where my laptop and I have constant access to that collection and to the Internet, as well as to interlibrary loan and a staff of skilled young reference librarians.
"In the summers, my lovely wife and I are in our cottage in Maine, where I spend the cool days working at a desk beside a big window overlooking a beautiful lake a mile from the salt water. I never take my blessings for granted."
Flood's first novel, Love Is a Bridge, received national acclaim, was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 26 weeks, and won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award.
His Rise, and Fight Again won the American Revolution Round Table Annual Award in 1976, and his Hitler The Path to Power, a History Book Club selection, was among the successful studies in history and biography that followed.
Flood's first venture into the Civil War era was Lee The Last Years, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and won the Colonial Dames of America Annual Book Award.
His short pieces have appeared in numerous magazines, and his journalistic experiences have taken him to many countries. He covered the war in Viet Nam for the Associated Press. Flood has been a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan and taught World Literature for two years at Sophia University in Tokyo.
According to American Heritage magazine, Flood argues in his latest book that neither Grant nor Sherman "could have achieved what he did without the other nor could the United States."
The two generals "were more than a pair of strategists," according to the review. "They were like-minded friends. Yet in some ways they couldn't have been more different. Sherman was intellectual and voluble, Grant intuitive and reserved."
Their "subtle and complex relationship deserves attention from a sophisticated and experienced writer," said John Y. Simon, editor of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. "Flood is up to the task."
Flood, a 1982 recipient of an Eastern Kentucky University honorary doctor of letters degree, will have copies of Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War available for purchase, inscription and signature.
Much of the above information was provided by the EKU public relations office.
by Rachel Nobel
4-H is a huge part of my life, and through 4-H I've become the person I am today. Before I set out on my journey through 4-H I didn't know who I was. I was a talented student in school, but I had no extracurricular activities that really set me apart from any other student in my class. I danced for four years, cheered for one, and also played soccer, but out of all of those activities I never found my "niche." My older brother joked around with me about how I never fit in anywhere, I was always "searching" for a group, other than my friends, that I could call my own. Once I set foot inside the door to the 4-H Extension Office I was instantly accepted for the person I was. The second Teen Club meeting I went to was on my 16th birthday, I realized how much I loved everything about 4-H that day when our leader, Rhonda Macintyre, walked in with a birthday cake for me. I guess you could say that 4-H got to my heart through my stomach. 4-H was like a birthday gift that just keeps on giving.
Becoming a Kentucky 4-Her has been the best part of my life. I've met people through 4-H that have changed my life forever, people that will always have footprints in my heart. Gina Noe, the extension agent that I have known since I started 4-H as a camper when I was nine retired from 4-H this past year. With her retirement I realized that although "things" in my life will change, 4-H and the life lessons it has taught me will always be a constant.
People my age don't understand why I'm still in 4-H and how I can still go to camp at my age. Although they aren't involved in 4-H anymore, if you ask any teenager today about 4-H they can relate because we all were 4-Hers when we were little. Learning through using my Head, Heart, Hands, and Health has been one of those things that my parents and my teachers' incorporated into my life without me knowing about it. I didn't catch onto the underlying message 4-H has until now. Through 4-H I've learned that being too quick to judge will hurt you in the long run, because I almost didn't give 4-H a chance.
Through 4-H I've learned to love people, although we may have physical features that set us apart, everyone is just the same on the inside. At camp this past summer there was one little boy I remember in particular. He was in my brother's cabin and was a first year camper. Throughout the entire week he stayed to himself and played with the personal fan he had bought from the camp store. He would only talk to my brother and the other counselors. I remember watching him, he captivated my thoughts, and I always wanted to make sure I knew where he was. I remember one day while we were having free time he was on the playground playing in the dirt by himself. When I walked by him he looked up at me and smiled. He was covered head to toe in dust. The powdery dirt was even caked around his mouth in the form of mud. That incident happened in the early part of the week and from that day you could tell that he didn't take a shower for the remainder of the time we were at camp.
This young boy didn't hang out with other kids not because no one wanted to play with him; he wanted to be by himself because that was his own choice. That is the greatest thing about 4-H. 4-H is about you, whoever you may be. The pledge tells it all. I pledge MY head, MY heart, My hands and MY health so that I can be whoever I want to be, to be the best I can be, for MY club, MY community, MY country, and MY world.
People say giving is contagious, if it is then 4-H has given me a bad case of it. Because 4-H has been so accepting and giving to me I feel that for the rest of my life I should give back. I've learned that everyone wants to feel wanted and wants to be accepted. Therefore, I try to include as many people as possible in any activity I do in 4-H. I never stop inviting my friends to come to a teen club meeting, even through their excuses and refusals. 4-H has also become a family thing for me, which is another reason why this organization is such an important aspect in my life. My family is very important in my life and because of the generosity of 4-H they haven't missed out on anything that I've been involved in. I'm sure they are really thankful for that when Marty Sewell calls and asks if they want to work the 4-H concession stand at the county fair.
Another important part of 4-H is the experiences that it offers you. Through 4-H you can go to different conferences in your own state, to other states, and to other countries each of these opportunities give you the chance to broaden your horizon in a different way. I serve the state on the State Teen Council, and through that council I've built relationships with people from across our state. These people come from all across Kentucky. From places I've never heard about.
This past November I represented Kentucky at the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta Georgia. At this conference I had a chance to meet people from all across the United States. I especially remember people from Missouri, Idaho, Georgia, Louisiana, Indiana, Delaware, Hawaii, New Mexico, The Dakotas, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Before that conference I didn't realize what a huge part 4-H plays in students' lives all across the country. Because of the values 4-H implants in the minds of children the effects of this program trickle into making a difference in generations. I've also learned from people I've met through 4-H that Madison County and Kentucky in general is very blessed with the 4-H program we have because states like California, New York, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island didn't even have students at the conference representing their state.
When I'm talking with someone about 4-H and they ask, "What is 4-H really about?" I tell them, "4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills." 4-H has been a stepping stone in my life, separating me from the others and making me a well-rounded person. My thoughts are saturated with the 4-H motto, "To Make the Best Better," and that is exactly what I'm trying to do.
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