"I Can't Watch CNN! Ernie Pyle, I Miss You!" Says Author Michael Class
In new American history book, time-traveling boy discovers war correspondents of the past were better.
On October 19, 2006, CNN aired a video obtained from America's enemy, the Islamic Army of Iraq, showing an Islamic Army sniper targeting and killing an American soldier.
"Like many Americans, I am shocked and outraged by CNN's decision to air the video. The video is enemy propaganda, designed to discourage American support for the war effort," says history book author Michael S. Class. "War correspondents of the past knew better."
Class is the author of a new history book for kids: Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame. In the book, Anthony, the authorâ€™s real-life son, travels through time to meet the heroes of America's past. Advanced digital photography places Anthony in real historical photographs of Charles Lindbergh, Neil Armstrong, Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, FDR, Lou Gehrig, and Audie Murphy. Anthonyâ€™s conversations with the heroes of the past are based on things they really said. The Web site, www.MagicPictureFrame.com, displays some of the book's amazing photographs.
"I wanted to capture the interest of today's kids," says Class, "by turning American history into a grand time travel adventure - with a moral lesson. It's a history book with a lesson for the present day."
Anthony meets American war correspondent Ernie Pyle on Normandy beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
"I met a journalist who came ashore with the second wave of GIs," reports Anthony. "He was sitting on the beach, surrounded by the evidence of the day's chaos - crumpled machinery, dead bodies, and spent artillery. His name was Ernie Pyle and he was writing his latest dispatch to the newspapers in the United States."
Ernie Pyle writes the following words in his tattered notebook: "Now that it is over it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all. In this column I want to tell you what this battle entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you."
Anthony wonders: "Why are there no reporters like Ernie Pyle in my time?"
"Ernie Pyle's style of reporting seemed strange to Anthony," explains Class, "because Ernie Pyle made it clear which side he was on. Ernie Pyle never glorified war, but he explained combat in terms of the sacrifices that American soldiers made on behalf of the people back home. Pyle wrote of the American warrior with a heart-of-gold, fighting the good fight against evil, fighting for a just and moral cause."
Ernie Pyle was one of America's most famous and beloved war correspondents during World War II. Pyle set a new journalistic standard by moving among the soldiers on the front lines. His reporting gave the American people a closeness to war that they had never experienced before. Ernie Pyle died on April 18, 1945, while reporting on the Battle of Okinawa in the Pacific. A movie was made about Ernie Pyle in 1945: The Story of G.I. Joe, starring Burgess Meredith.
"In the new World War," explains Class, "it seems that journalists follow American soldiers into battle only to report on what goes wrong, to focus attention on mistakes, or to get the story from the enemy's point of view. When was the last time you read a newspaper article telling you about the bravery, courage, or success of our troops in battle? Can you imagine a TV news anchor closing a news broadcast with the words: Godspeed to our troops, and our prayers for the swift defeat of the enemy?"
Ernie Pyle was revered by Americans, but Class thinks that history might not be kind to modern-day journalists.
"I can't watch CNN!" says Class. "Ernie Pyle, I miss you!"
Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame was named Outstanding Book of the Year and Most Original Concept of 2006 by Independent Publisher, Reviewers Choice by Midwest Book Review, and Editor's Pick by Homefires: The Journal of Homeschooling Online. Nationally syndicated talk-show host Michael Medved calls the book "entertaining and educational." Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin says "parents and teachers will appreciate the inspiring message this unique history book holds for America's next generation. I recommend this book to all young Americans, may they take us to the stars and beyond."
Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame (hardcover, 225 pages, $26.50) is available at www.MagicPictureFrame.com, by calling toll-free 1-800-247-6553, at select bookstores, and on www.amazon.com.
Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame includes built-in tools for parents and teachers: recommendations for hundreds of books, movies, songs, and places to visit, keyed to the subjects of each chapter. The author's Web site includes a fun final exam; the author's blog is a place for readers to discuss the book's moral lessons (www.MagicPictureFrame.blogspot.com).Comment Posted By michael s. class On 20.10.2006 @ 17:33
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