Our guest today is Jeff Gottesfeld. Jeff writes for page, stage, and screen. He has won awards from the American Library Association, the Association of Jewish Libraries, the Writer’s Guild of America, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Alliance for Theater and Education. His current focus is picture book texts for children, and he just published his latest title, Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 1) It is interesting how we each grow and change through our life experiences and the historical events that happen during our lifetimes. When you were younger your views were different than they are today. So, how did a former Vietnam War protestor like yourself come to write a book like this? - I'll talk about my upbringing in the liberal (not leftist then, but liberal) bastion of Teaneck NJ, first school system in the country to voluntarily integrate, and my skepticism (at best!) in high school and early college about American institutions and the military. Then came the American resupply of Israel in the 1973 war, the Beirut bombing against our Marines in the early 1980s, Gulf War I, and a lot of travel on my part through the USA and Europe. In short, my vision of our country's institutions and its military changed. Drastically. 2) This book runs so counter so much else going on in children's literature these days. What do you have to say about that? - I'll want to talk about how much of children's lit these days focuses on certain values like kindness, tolerance, and compassion, and how those are important values, but not the ONLY values. Also, how there's a ton of focus on issues of identity after so much neglect for so long, which is a good thing...but it's not the only thing. This book is about another way to look at identity, which is selflessness, selfless service, and self-effacement. It's radical in that way. 3) Can you read us your favorite passage, and give us some insight into why it's important? - I'll read from the section of the first Unknown lying in state in the Capitol, and how in our not knowing the identity of the Unknown, we can all have equal claim and love for him. The giving up of identity is actually the key to his emergence as a core American symbol.

GunFreedomRadio EP321 Preserving History for the Next Generation w/ Jeff Gottesfeld


GunFreedomRadio EP321 Preserving History for the Next Generation w/ Jeff Gottesfeld – Originally Aired 6.21.21

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Our guest today is Jeff Gottesfeld. Jeff writes for page, stage, and screen.

He has won awards from the American Library Association, the Association of Jewish Libraries, the Writer’s Guild of America, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Alliance for Theater and Education.

His current focus is picture book texts for children, and he just published his latest title, Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

1) It is interesting how we each grow and change through our life experiences and the historical events that happen during our lifetimes. When you were younger your views were different than they are today. So, how did a former Vietnam War protestor like yourself come to write a book like this?

– I’ll talk about my upbringing in the liberal (not leftist then, but liberal) bastion of Teaneck NJ, first school system in the country to voluntarily integrate, and my skepticism (at best!) in high school and early college about American institutions and the military. Then came the American resupply of Israel in the 1973 war, the Beirut bombing against our Marines in the early 1980s, Gulf War I, and a lot of travel on my part through the USA and Europe. In short, my vision of our country’s institutions and its military changed. Drastically.

2) This book runs so counter so much else going on in children’s literature these days. What do you have to say about that?

– I’ll want to talk about how much of children’s lit these days focuses on certain values like kindness, tolerance, and compassion, and how those are important values, but not the ONLY values. Also, how there’s a ton of focus on issues of identity after so much neglect for so long, which is a good thing…but it’s not the only thing. This book is about another way to look at identity, which is selflessness, selfless service, and self-effacement. It’s radical in that way.

3) Can you read us your favorite passage, and give us some insight into why it’s important?

– I’ll read from the section of the first Unknown lying in state in the Capitol, and how in our not knowing the identity of the Unknown, we can all have equal claim and love for him. The giving up of identity is actually the key to his emergence as a core American symbol.

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