Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Review: 'Tales of Titans' by Rich DiSilvio

New York author Rich DiSilvio, a man as committed to music, art, philosophy and sociology as informed by the fine arts, takes periods of history with all of the fascinating changes, discoveries, triumphs and failures and by introducing some fictional enhancements within the stage setting of this era makes it far more credible. We see so much better through the eyes of witnesses than through the most sophisticated lenses of modern technology. And in DiSilvio's handling of the parallel or concurrent unraveling of historical events with those of the textbook rigidity of his main Titans he provides not only keen insight but also pauses for the inclusion of the arts, so often ignored by other historical writers.

At this point Rich has taken us from Rome and the Renaissance through to the atomic age in his Volumes 1 and 2. Now he concentrates on the giants of the founding fathers of the USA through to the era of WW II – and a bounty of information there is. Rich cultural development details of a young country blossoming onto the global stage into WW II make for satisfying learning as well as abundant entertainment. While some readers may pause because of the plethora of stories about WW II and the extremes of the Nazis, this reader would hastily add ‘but you haven’t thought about it the way Rich has’. His story is unique in that it relives a period of time and then brings it back in to the future like a ghost story – a very clever and successful choice for creating a fascinating new book.

Rich opens his book with a Prelude that offers a more factual picture of how America came to be ‘discovered’ and developed that the usual Pilgrim/Columbus version usually skirts – or at least makes less personal and interesting. He, of course, has added art in the manner of paintings and photographs to bring a sense of immediacy to his unwinding the lives of Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, and adds the contributions of lesser known titans as Sybil Ludington, James Armistead Lafayette, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas and more before heading into the description of Hitler’s heinous rise, with concurrent information about Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It is staggering in both fact and in the rich colors with which Rich DiSilvio has painted this panorama.

Rich’s style is compelling, jolting in the manner in which he lays open old wounds of our making we had hoped would somehow heal without medicaments, and at the same time infuses a gentle tenderness in his depiction of `common man'. This is a magnificent epic work, one that will be always with us - and hopefully in the classrooms of students who so desperately need to understand our true history. In honor of Riche’s writing he closes his book with an aura - ‘Yet despite each nation's respective fall and rise, the fight to eliminate Hitler’s brutal Third Reich had been victorious. The darkness of Hitler’s bloody regime, born in the bowels of Hell and dedicated to hatred, was expunged, as the light of a new dawn shed its rays on a grateful free world. Integrity had conquered hatred.’ Let us all hope that our current national and global chaos will have a similar reprieve. Rich DiSilvio is himself a Titan by any definition. Grady Harp, March 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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