Friday, September 26, 2014

One War, Two Camps

Discussion of the American role in World War I can fall into two, sharply divergent camps: those (mostly Americans) who think the U.S. was chiefly responsible for the Allies winning the war, and those (mostly Europeans) who think the American contribution to victory was negligible.

The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in between. The pro-American camp conveniently chooses to overlook years of gallant fighting by the British, the French, the Russians and their assorted allies, not to mention the fact that the opening salvo of the Allies’ Grand Offensive — that eventually won the war in 1918 — began with the Battle of Amiens on August 8. On that date, armies composed primarily of British and Empire troops dealt the enemy such a blow that General Ludendorff himself called it “the black day of the German Army.”


As for the opposing school of thought, that the Yanks contributed but little to the Allied effort, I offer this historical evidence: On September 26, 1918, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, a combined Franco-American effort that involved more than a million Doughboys, kicked off near Verdun, site of the war’s worst bloodletting two years earlier. In coordination with British and French gains further to the north and west, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (which plays a pivotal role in my Great War novel Flower of Iowa) cemented Allied victory in the war, ending only with the Armistice of November 11.  


But not unlike their Allies, the eager yet inexperienced Doughboys paid a deadly price. More than 26,000 American soldiers died in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, and nearly half of them are buried in the American Cemetery and Memorial near Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. This burial place contains the largest number of American military dead in Europe from any war — more than 14,000. A beautiful and sadly under-visited place today, the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery serves as a reminder that the sacrifices of Americans in the First World War are indeed worth recounting, and remembering.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dramatized Reading & Music in Madison, WI on Oct. 16

Author Lance Ringel continues his book tour across America. Following appearances in Provincetown, Brooklyn, New York, and Pittsburgh, Lance will offer a dramatized reading from his acclaimed World War I saga Flower of Iowa at OutReach, The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Central Wisconsin, on Thursday, October 16 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. 

Ringel will be joined by his spouse, actor-singer Chuck Muckle, who will perform several songs made famous on the battlefields of World War I. 

OutReach is located at Gateway Mall, 600 Williamson St., Madison, WI 53703-3588. Admission is free, and the program is open to all.

Flower of Iowa was selected in May as one of the top summer reads by The Advocate magazine, and has attained the #1 spot on the gay fiction best-seller list, and #2 on the historical fiction list, at Smashwords.com.

OutReach’s mission is to promote equality and quality of life for LGBT people. The organization and its predecessors have offered the Madison-area LGBT community continuous service for 35 years.

For more information, call (608) 255-8582 or visit www.lgbtoutreach.org.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dramatized Reading in Pittsburgh on Oct. 12th

Lance Ringel and Chuck Muckle return to the city where they first met — Pittsburgh — to offer a dramatized reading from Ringel's acclaimed World War I saga Flower of Iowa. The pair will present their event at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center (GLCC) of Pittsburgh on Sunday, October 12 from noon to 1:30 PM, in conjunction with a meeting of the Center’s Men’s Group. 

The GLCC is located at 210 Grant Street, Pittsburgh. Admission is free, and the program is open to all.

Muckle, a Pittsburgh native, and 
Ringel, were both students at The University of Pittsburgh when they met nearly four decades ago.

Flower of Iowa was selected in May as one of the top summer reads by The Advocate magazine, and has attained the #1 spot on the gay fiction best-seller list, and #2 on the historical fiction list, at Smashwords.com.

The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh (GLCC) provides gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, their families and supporters in Western Pennsylvania with resources and opportunities to promote visibility, understanding, and equality within the LGBT communities and the community at large. The GLCC works toward these goals through education, social support, networking, and advocacy.

For more information, call (412) 422-0114 or visit visit www.glccpgh.org

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dramatized reading and music at Brooklyn Community Pride Center

Lance Ringel, author of the acclaimed World War I saga Flower of Iowa, will read excerpts from his eBook, joined by his spouse, actor-singer Chuck Muckle. Mr. Muckle will also perform several songs made famous during The Great War. 

This summer marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. October is also LGBT History Month.

Gay in the Great War, a dramatized reading from 
Flower of Iowa
Presented by author Lance Ringel with period music by Chuck Muckle 
Monday, October 6, from 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. Free admission.
Brooklyn Community Pride Center
4 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

The Brooklyn Community Pride Center was incorporated in 2008 and founded both to celebrate the diverse lives and experiences of the LGBTQ community of Brooklyn, and to address profound community need. 

For more information, call  Info (347) 889-7719 or visit www.lgbtbrooklyn.org.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Reading and music at the Gerber/Hart Library in Chicago on Oct. 18

Please join us for an afternoon reading and music from the Great War at the Gerber/Hart Library in Chicago on Saturday, October 18:

Gay in the Great War, a reading from Flower of Iowa by Lance Ringel with period music by Chuck Muckle
Saturday, October 18, from 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM
Gerber/Hart Library
6500 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives was founded in 1981 to be a depository for the records of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) individuals and organizations, and for other resources bearing upon their lives and experiences in American society. Gerber/Hart Library and Archives has since grown into being the Midwest's largest LGBT circulating library with over 14,000 volumes, 800 periodical titles, and 100 archival collections.

For more information, call (773) 381-8030 or visit www.gerberhart.org