What a treat – reading the review of my book America’s Forgotten Founding Father in Angelus, the weekly Catholic magazine of Los Angeles. I enjoyed the way the magazine’s reviewer, Robert Brennan, compared Mazzei to Forest Gump in that he met so many other, far more well known Founding Fathers. Since it is a novel, Mr. Brennan had called me to ask about the historical accuracy of some of those meetings and I was happy to have been able to say that Mazzei led such an interesting life I didn’t need to make any of that up – even much of his dialogue comes from his own prolific correspondence with everyone from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams.
My favorite part of the review is the ending when Brennan shows how history teaches us how to handle our current lives.
“Although men like Jefferson, Washington and Adams represented a homogeneous group of white, English, Protestant, landed gentry, they all welcomed a new immigrant from a non-English speaking, predominantly Catholic country. And Filippo Mazzei showed that a Catholic could, in good conscience, be fully integrated into that great American experiment at its birth, and help christen it with a little holy water.”
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