|Credit: Lyn Fenwick. Stereoscope similar to Isaac's|
Merely by looking at the dates of those early blogs, and knowing the prior transcription of Isaac's journal that took 11 months and the hours and hours of research before I could begin the first draft of the manuscript, you have some idea of how long I have been working on sharing Isaac's story. You may even recall that in the blog "Writer's Angst," posted 8-23-2012, I declared the manuscript "finished!" I was wrong...
|Titles of books that were in Isaac's library|
Since leaving the museum board, I have returned to Isaac (in between obligations connected with construction at our farm house, which have definitely been a distraction). However, to all of you who have followed the blog so faithfully and those who have continued to inquire about the status of publication, encouraging me by sharing your eagerness to read the book, I offer this status update.
|Political cartoon of workers confronting the wealthy|
Two editors who reviewed the book proposal were kind enough to offer their advice. One advised that it was apparent that my primary interest was in telling the story of Isaac and his community and suggested I eliminate most of the political history. The other advised that it was apparent that my primary interest was in telling the story of the political era's impact and suggested I reduce the emphasis on Isaac. I appreciate the advice given by both of them, as apparently contradictory as it may first seem. In fact, I think both were right and that their advice relates to my problem in trying to write a history for both academic and general readers.
|Hay rack typical of what Isaac owned|
Too many people think of Kansas in terms of cowboys and Indians, tornadoes, Dorothy Gayle and the Wizard of Oz, and KU basketball, but Kansas has an even richer history. I am confident that Isaac's journal has given me the opportunity to share the history of the Progressive Movement during the late 1800s through the daily lives of real people in Isaac's community.
The confrontations between men of the Gilded Age and workers in the Progressive Movement during the late 1800s is no less interesting than Britain after W.W. I. I hope by focusing more on a history for general readers, I can revise my manuscript to make it even better! My goal will involve what the Guardian newspaper reviewer called "the vital importance of small details," with less emphasis on footnoting every reference to Isaac's journal and generally known historical facts. Thanks to all of you for your continued encouragement and interest.