Monday, August 19, 2013
Saturday, June 15, 2013
From Dissertation to Book, Step 2: Submit a Book Proposal
Each editor assured me it was permissible to sound out multiple presses simultaneously; publishers want exclusivity when they start spending money, such as in the peer review stage.
My hopes are up, but I'm ready to have them deflated. Getting published will not be easy. But I take my encouragement from a statement by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Halberstam: "What makes a best seller? It's a book that burns in your belly . . . something that has to be written before you can do anything else."
This desire definitely burns in my belly. We'll see how it stimulates others.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
From Dissertation to Book, Step 1: More Research!
|Yale Hall of Graduate Studies|
While writing the authorized biography of Mormon Apostle J. Reuben Clark decades ago, Professor Quinn enjoyed unprecedented access to the First Presidency Correspondence Files, a privilege granted to few scholars. There is some interesting correspondence there concerning the Mormons' dealings with the Third Reich, especially with regard to the few Jewish converts who sought their adopted church's protection in escaping the Holocaust.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Graduation Day, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
My committee believes that I have the basis for a high-quality academic book. My dissertation will not be available for public viewing for a period of two years in order to give me the opportunity to seek a publisher. Thereafter, it will be available for worldwide electronic release though Texas A&M's library and through ProQuest Dissertation Services.
I am most grateful to my dissertation adviser, Dr. Arnold Krammer, and to committee members Chester Dunning, Walter Kamphoefner, Peter Hugill, and D. Michael Quinn. The latter was a special appointee to my committee who graciously traveled from his home in California to Texas for my preliminary and doctoral examinations.
I am also very grateful to my loving wife, Ruth, and my children: Brittany, Kyle, and Megan, who supported me all of these years.
Monday, February 15, 2010
A Chapter. A Chapter. I Finally Finished My First Chapter!
I'm so lucky to have such a patient, encouraging committee chairman. Anyone who gets to work with Dr. Arnold Krammer of Texas A&M's History Department is indeed blessed. He's the consummate gentleman professor, and still a very productive scholar, as well a reputed and esteemed teacher. When we met for lunch to turn in my first installment, he carried galley proofs from his latest book. At his station in life, a distinguished senior professor, he could stop writing and publishing and nobody would be critical. But that's not in his blood, and fortunately his gentle prodding got me back on track.
With any luck, I'll graduate with my Ph.D. in December, and my precious wife Ruth will walk the same stage upon completion of her bachelor's in construction science. It has been a long road for both of us, and we still have challenges ahead. But we're both going to make it!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Working Paper on J. Reuben Clark
The challenge involved coordinating my research in Mormon and Nazi Germany history with the Center's goal of improving understanding between the European Union and other nations. The solution took the form of investigating private diplomacy during the 1930s, when J. Reuben Clark, an accomplished diplomat who then served as a counselor to the president of the LDS Church, lobbied the government of the Third Reich on behalf of both America's small bondholders and Germany's Mormons.
Clark's diplomatic expertise, gained during a long secular career with the State Department that predated his membership in the First Presidency, contributed immensely to the Mormons' success in Nazi Germany. This working paper, as the name implies, is a work in progress. I don't consider it ready for submission to a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Nevertheless, I'd be interested in any comments my readers might have. Please feel free to contact me with comments or criticism.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I Hate Microfilm! I Love Microfilm!
Yesterday, in the special collections department at the University of Utah, I was delighted to learn that a collection owned by the Bancroft Library at Berkeley also exists on microfilm right here in Salt Lake City. With the help of a convenient finding aid, an enthusiastic archivist and a little patience--viola! There it was, the letter I was seeking, which supports a point in my project. The feeling of euphoria that exists when a researcher finds such an item can only be appreciated by somebody who has done it before. Not only did they let me make a copy but the archivist did it for me. I love microfilm!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Fawn Brodie: An Unlikely Observer
Brodie also had a connection with her church in Nazi Germany. Her father, Thomas E. McKay, served three missions in Germany, the last as the Mormon leader who turned out the lights after missionaries evacuated at the beginning of the Second World War. Two others, a brother and former boyfriend, also served German missions during the prewar Nazi period. Married outside of her faith to a fellow graduate student at the University of Chicago, a political scientist of Latvian Jewish origin, Fawn developed an intense sensitivity to the plight of Germany's Jews during the 1930s. Her personal correspondence provides an interesting critique of the Mormons' response to the rise of Hitler.