What We Are Reading Today: The Indomitable Florence Finch

What We Are Reading Today: The Indomitable Florence Finch
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Updated 25 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Indomitable Florence Finch

What We Are Reading Today: The Indomitable Florence Finch

Author: Robert J. Mrazek

The Indomitable Florence Finch is the story of the transcendent bravery of a woman who belongs in America’s pantheon of war heroes.
Florence Finch, the unsung World War II hero, saved countless American lives in the Philippines.
After the war, she moved to the US, and in 1947 was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can receive, for the way she had risked her life to save American prisoners and perform other acts of resistance. She died in 2016 at the age of 101.
Author Robert J. Mrazek’s “amazing story is of resilience, resistance, the fight to live and to help others and to be free and survive,” said a review published in goodreadas.com.
“Florence was an unlikely warrior. She relied on her own intelligence and fortitude to survive on her own from the age of seven, facing bigotry as a person with the dual heritage of her American serviceman father and Filipino mother,” the review added.
Mrazek is the author of seven novels, including Stonewall’s Gold, Unholy Fire, The Deadly Embrace, Valhalla, The Bone Hunters, Dead Man’s Bridge, and And the Sparrow Fell.


What We Are Reading Today: Epic and Empire by David Quint

What We Are Reading Today: Epic and Empire by David Quint
Updated 13 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Epic and Empire by David Quint

What We Are Reading Today: Epic and Empire by David Quint

Alexander the Great, according to Plutarch, carried on his campaigns a copy of the Iliad, kept alongside a dagger; on a more pronounced ideological level, ancient Romans looked to the Aeneid as an argument for imperialism. In this major reinterpretation of epic poetry beginning with Virgil, David Quint explores the political context and meanings of key works in Western literature. He divides the history of the genre into two political traditions: The Virgilian epics of conquest and empire that take the victors’ side (the Aeneid itself, Camoes’s Lusíadas, Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata) and the countervailing epic of the defeated and of republican liberty (Lucan’s Pharsalia, Ercilla’s Araucana, and d’Aubigné’s Les tragiques). These traditions produce opposing ideas of historical narrative: a linear, teleological narrative that belongs to the imperial conquerors, and an episodic and open-ended narrative identified with “romance,” the story told of and by the defeated.

Quint situates Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained within these rival traditions. He extends his political analysis to the scholarly revival of medieval epic in the late 18th and 19th centuries and to Sergei Eisenstein’s epic film, Alexander Nevsky. Attending both to the topical contexts of individual poems and to the larger historical development of the epic genre, Epic and Empire provides new models for exploring the relationship between ideology and literary form.