Lago in The Morning...20 June

Former Councilman Chad Magill just after 7.Jim Moloney and Michelle Hass just after 8.Has Michelle just researched and written the most controversial book of 2017? Could very well be.....

Here is part of Michelle's e-mail;

......"While fact-checking a Ranger memoir, I found that it was "edited" by the same guy who edited a little book called Twelve Years A Slave. You may have seen the movie, or heard about the many Oscars it won.

I investigated all four of this guy's books. Since Twelve Years A Slave is a big deal and supposedly the most authentic account of southern slavery, I was cautious. I was objective. I was fair. I was curious.

I did my homework, studying the book line-by-line. Read about seventy books on slavery, thousands of pages of old newspapers, visited archives. Research is my love and my job, so what's the big deal?

Well...my work usually has redeeming value.

Telling the story of the Alamo never involves a happy ending...but there are stories of valor, devotion and redemption in the telling. The Goliad Massacre isn't exactly a feel-good story...but again, there are brave men, stout hearts, loyal soldiers. There's something to believe in.

These last two years have been devoid of heroes for me. Each hour of work was analyzing more propaganda...New York politics...."why this lie, when the truth was more interesting?"...checking slave prices...finding out that the hero of the book really wasn't a hero at all.

More than anything, I asked myself repeatedly "why do so many Americans believe this book contains truth?" Solomon Northup, the man credited with writing it, could barely sign his own name! Sure, it can be proved that ol' Sol was in Louisiana but the details of the book...the parts that tug at our heartstrings and make for good, violent movies...pretty much don't have a leg to stand on.

In January, in the freezing cold, I stood on the patch of land in Central Louisiana where the story took place. Where beatings occurred around the clock, and starvation and torture were the orders of the day.

The sugar cane had recently been cut and, other than the distant sounds of cars on the highway, I suppose the land looked and felt pretty much as it did in January 1853, when Solomon was rescued. But I didn't feel the story in my bones, like I do when I visit Goliad. I didn't feel much other than anger.

I WANTED to envision the slaves in the fields. I WANTED to feel sympathy for the man who, some 175 years before, found himself 1500 miles from his home and his family, in bondage. But I could feel nothing other than robbed and pissed off.

Why? Because I still don't know his story, after two years of research. Nobody does and nobody ever will. The book was so full of embellishments and propagandized fiction that we'll never know.

I felt empty standing in that field and angry that the "editor" - David Wilson - squandered an opportunity to give us the real story of what happened to the people who worked there. Instead, he followed a formula and politics.

So today I bid farewell to the liars, the abolitionists, the hidden agendas, the bad writing, New Yorkers, the plot holes, the lack of heroes...and I return to you, bringing the truth about Twelve Years A Slave.

As I've been told, white women aren't allowed to write about black history so I'm prepared to be crucified. But as most of you now, I don't much give a damn. I welcome a fight.

I'm not afraid. I have the truth at my side and real Texans at my back. You understand history, context and truth. You care that books like this are taught in our schools.You take the good with the bad. You have common sense.

And all of that? That's the special fuel that has always kept me in motion...knowing that if I do my job well, that people like you will be proud of me and think I did right.

We will send out formal press releases and hit social media next week. The vitriol and hate WILL flow.

But for now, I wanted the comfort of sharing this sense of relief, and the new book, with my extended family of Texans first before the firestorm erupts.

God & Texas(and about damn time),

Michelle

Since 1853, Solomon Northup has been credited as being the author of the autobiographical slave narrative, Twelve Years A Slave. His name became a household word again in the 21st century with the release of the award-winning film by the same name. His book is hailed as the most authentic account of Southern slavery available to readers. But what if it isn't?· Was Solomon Northup actually born a freeman?· Was he a participant in his own kidnapping?· Did he really witness the savage violence depicted in the book?· Were the other characters real?· Did he return to New York and weave his experiences into a book?· Who was David Wilson?Several years of fact checking every line of Twelve Years, as well as Wilson's other books, has led historical researcher Michelle Haas to some dramatic new answers to questions like these.200 Years A Fraud contains the entire text, with annotations throughout and backstories on all of the characters - even the villains other historians have ignored. This is the story of Twelve Years A Slave, and of David Wilson, the man who really wrote it into history.

Lago in the Morning

Lago in the Morning

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