Book Trailer For Madam President

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Shots Fired in Terminal 2

My family was in the shooting in Florida at the airport. I saw my twelve year old hiding under a plastic bin and my wife and kids flat on the sidewalk. I just finished a book on mass shootings in America, Shots Fired in Terminal 2. Here is the bad news. When you send your kids to school they are not safe. One in 300 is the statistic that each of us will be in a firearm related incident now. It gets worse. The front lines of this undeclared war on the American populace is the very place we send our children. The schools. This is the free fire zone of our times.

Being in a shooting is like being in a war. You do think you will die. Your heart does race. You breathe like you ran a marathon. And you cannot shake the feeling that something terrible will happen to you any second. And that feeling can come back any time. You may think it happens to other people it does not. The statistics are closing in on everyone. AR15s Assault Rifles make those statistics narrow because they kill with such efficiency and intensity. They are the Tommy Gun of our times which by the way the Thompson Machine Gun was called, The Annihilator by it's inventor.

This may sound grim. It is. It is a time bomb because every day more people buy assault weapons. Of the ten shootings I studied every one one of the shooters was considered mentally ill. So there you go. Here is the math. 350 million people. Even if 5 percent of the population is mentally ill that is 17 million people. There are 310 million guns. That one in 300 will soon be one in 200 then one in 100... then it will come into your life.

Channel 32

Shots Fired in Terminal 2

Friday, February 2, 2018

Sally Rand Rode Naked into The Worlds Fair of 1933 and Became a Star

Sally Rand looked like something from the heavens on her white horse, her bare skin painted white. Holding onto a bridle, she sat bareback atop the skittish horse and glided across Lake Michigan toward the back of the fairgrounds. The lake whooshed softly against the gurgling motor as the pumping horse blood warmed her thighs. The fair’s colored lights jumped in the cool, rushing water. Sally was pimply with goosebumps, even though it was late May.

The low-riding wooden Chris-Craft could barely contain the horse, and as water slapped up, she leaned close to his ear. “It’s fine . . . it’s fine, baby. We are almost there.” She pulled the white velvet cape around her and felt the wind pass over her loins and breasts. Except for the ankle bracelet, her blond wig, some makeup, and the cape that barely covered her breasts, Sally Rand, a.k.a. Harriet Helen Beck from Missouri, was naked from her painted toes to her dimpled smile. Who would turn away this gliding nymph approaching the opening of the 1933 World’s Fair?

The boat bumped the dock, and the horse stepped down from the low bow as if he had done so all his life. Sally Rand clamped his sides with her legs and dug her heels in. The horse jumped to life as her blond hair flew back. They raced down the deserted streets heading for the grand opening, where people gathered around the stage. A Century of Progress, the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, was about to open during the worst year of the Great Depression, with a gangster-ridden city at its back. It was a perfect setup for a naked woman on a charging white steed.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Heaven and Hell of Working at Home

You only have to go to Starbucks to understand the duality of working at home. It is packed during the day with people who work at home. They are there for hours staring at their computers and they certainly were once in cubes or offices or sitting at conference tables. Globalization and a 1099 workforce has put a lot of people back into their kitchens. We were a nation of people who charged out of the home and hit the office. Now with computers we are becoming a nation of people who roll out of bed make our coffee and hit the kitchen table or the home office or some chair, couch, that works as a place to handle emails, write reports, compose novels.

The heaven of working at home is no commute, no interference, you just get down to work. The hell is there is no commute, no interference you just get down to work. Where is that coffee clutch moment where you gab with Bob Jim Nancy Ann about your weekend about how hard it is to get going on Monday morning. Where is that meeting where you are putting your head together with other people. Where is that lunch that coffee break, that feeling of camaraderie and finally that moment of leaving and driving back home in compartmentalized bliss. It is not there for many people anymore. There is Starbucks.

You have traded all that for your cat your dog those calls that never seem to come. There is no ringing phone, no buzz of people, not even the soft whisper of the keyboard. No. You are a company of one. No wonder people run screaming out their door for a coffeehouse, the grocery store, anything to get a little interaction. Add winter to the mix and you have people who will do anything to return to the workforce. It is not for the fainthearted.

Just ask anyone who has retired.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Missile Launch During the Book Signing

She wanted a book signed but she had to go to the bathroom first. It was last Saturday and the day had been pretty busy in Barnes and Noble. I had just about sold out of  Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair  and I told the woman I would hold one back for her. She left and I thought nothing more of that moment. It was midday. Just another Saturday. It must have been ten minutes later the woman came back. She did not resemble the woman who had left ten minutes before. She was pale, out of breath, trembling, She grabbed my arm. "They just launched a missile toward Hawaii," she gasped. "My brother is there and just told me everyone is running for their lives."
 I had kept up with Trumps dueling words with the leader of North Korea and like many I thought either man might bring on a nuclear launch. But somehow the reality of it was all brought home with this woman who clearly saw death on the horizon for all who resided on Hawaii. Growing up during the Cold War I had often thought my family might be obliterated at any moment. Everyone did. The Russians and the United States just looked ready to pull the trigger any moment to a ten year old. Now I felt that old fear rise up. Maybe nuclear war had started.

The woman shook her head. "I have to go home. I'm sorry I cant buy your book...I have to go," she said panicked glancing around as if we were about to be nuked. "Hold on," I said scooping up my phone and googling missiles and Hawaii. My phone flashed up False Alarm in Hawaii on Missile Launch. " It was a false alarm I told her showing my phone. The woman stared disbelieving. "Oh...well I have to go home and call my brother. " I nodded and she left. I get it. She had just seen Armageddon and some author with his phone was not enough.

I turned back to selling books and sold her copy ten minutes later to another woman.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Monday, January 8, 2018

Madam President Oprah

Why not? You couldn't watch that speech last night at the Golden Globes and not think she was going to run. What else is left for her anyway? She is African American and a woman. Perfect Storm. The perfect antidote to the Trump years. The backlash in 2020 would be tailor made for her. Trump has certainly shown that anyone can be President and that experience is not necessary. Who could take the presidency away from a television star better than another television star.

Donald Trump understood television in a way his rivals did not. It doesn't matter what you say or how you say it it is what is left on the table. Trump left a huge impression every time he was on television while the other candidates just melted away. Repetition. Drama. Shock. These are the elements of television. Oprah knows this. She has made millions mining the air waves and constantly hitting people with Oprah. Much like Trump hitting people with Trump except this time he will not be going against restrained politicians who do not really understand the entertainment business. He will be in the ring with a professional this time.

So why not Madam Oprah? I think she will run and the Democrats better get ready this time. Oprah declared herself a candidate last night and she knew exactly what she was doing. The Golden Globes ceased to exist at that moment as the Oprah Winfrey show spun up a new season. This one could go for eight years.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Teddy Roosevelts Prescription for all Ails Still Holds

Teddy Roosevelt was not well as a child or a young adult. He had acute asthma, Crones disease, insomnia. He was weak, thin, prone to depression and doctors didn't believe he would make it to adulthood. But his father famously told him, "Teddy you have the mind but not the body."  Enter Dr. Salter. Salter had a radical belief for the late eighteenth century and it said that the internal organs did not do well with the sedentary life. "Organs were made to work." Salter proclaimed and that meant action or the "vigorous life" as Roosevelt would later dub the life of action.  Teddy's father then added, "Without the body the mind cannot go far."

Roosevelt had his charge.  He began to box. He began gymnastics and weightlifting. This was at a time when few people exercised. Many believed exercise led to illness and certainly the Victorian upper classes of New York did not believe in getting sweaty. A constitutional consisted of walking to ones office or strolling into the parlor for some brandy and cigars. Cigars were what Teddy's parents had been giving him to ward off attacks of asthma that nearly suffocated the boy. That along with black coffee, opium, marijuana, Castor oil. Anything to stop the spasms of acute asthma. Nothing worked and so Teddy Roosevelt began the regimen his father and Salter prescribed and he began to slowly remake himself. Then he went West to the Badlands and for three years lived the wild life of a cowboy that completed Roosevelt's evolution into a man of action.

It is interesting that with all the hype over working out today we still see articles in the New York Times about the benefits of exercise. The latest said that strenuous exercise will slow down aging, ward off Alzheimer's. make us look and feel younger. It as if we are still trying to convince ourselves over a hundred years later that what Teddy Roosevelt found in the 1870s as a remedy to his ailments still holds. Without the body the mind cannot go far. True then and now.

Forging a President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Friday, December 22, 2017

Madam President is caught up in the Culture Wars

It began with my old publisher sending me a link. My book Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson was featured in an Op Ed in the New York Times by Sarah Vowell along with three other books. Then it vanished. Poof. Gone. The article was still there but my book Madam President had vanished. There had been a hasty rewrite and another book added and Madam President was nowhere to be seen. I managed to cobble together the old article from pieces on the web just to make sure I wasn't going crazy. Now my book is about the First Woman President Edith Wilson who ruled when her husband Woodrow Wilson had a massive stroke in 1919. It is an empowering look at what a woman was able to do under very difficult circumstances. Apparently being recommended in the New York Times was too much for somebody. I wonder who?

Lets see the First Woman President brings up all sorts of possiblities. What kind of pushback came along that after 12 hours that this article was suddenly changed? Now my old publisher Regnery cut their ties with the New York Times over differences about how the NY Times Bestseller List is compiled. This happened last year. Did someone suddenly discover my title was from Regnery and out of spite tossed out my book? Regnery is a conservative publisher but I am not and neither is my book. In fact Regnery went against the grain by publishing Madam President right before the election last year. It is a book that looks favorably upon our First Woman President.

If this is the case then someone shot themselves in the foot. The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson could only help in these very misogynistic times  by showing a woman can run the country.  Maybe Sarah Vowell decided a last minute rewrite was in order and my book ended up on the chopping block. Still, after 12 hours of the article being published that seems odd. No I have to go with someone pushed back and decided that the NY Times recommending a book about our First Woman President was not a good thing.

Again. I wonder who?

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Books by William Hazelgrove