I can honestly say that I love my job. I bounce out of bed everyday and have no idea what is going to happen next. No boring 9-5 for me, more 6am to 8pm of sheer fun! My office, and I use that term loosely, consists of three computers, a couple of phones, CD and DVD players, and mountains of ‘stuff’. My favorite time of the day is 11am, when the mailman brings yet more ‘stuff’! Everyday is Christmas 🙂

About a week ago a copy of Gaston Delesdabroux’s new book, An American’s Story, hit my radar. I was hooked from the first page. It contained everything that I like in a book. It was well written, well presented, well researched, and best of all, set with the Cold War as a backdrop. As my wife will attest to, mention the Cold War, and watch Simon rant for hours…..

I just knew that I had to talk to Gaston (not his real name). An American’s Story is in that strange and alluring genre that I refer to as Historical Faction. The reader must decide where the fact stops and the fiction begins. That is sometimes very difficult, particularly when dealing with what I call ‘living history’. Some of the players are still alive, and some of the information may still be classified.

As Gaston said:

I have waited for 50 years to write this book, I kept waiting and thinking that maybe someone else would, and the truth would come out

Alas the historians have skillfully avoided much of the era from 1960 to the early 1970’s. Oh do not get me wrong, there are a plethora of books on Vietnam, Camelot, the Cuban Missile crisis, etc. But, they all tend to tell the same well sanitized versions of the events.

Being a book reviewer has few perks, but one of them most certainly is being able to talk to the author. I have been an avid reader since I was just a young child. And I can name no book that I have ever read that I did not have questions about. An American’s Story is no exception. After talking to Gaston, I now have even more questions!

Gaston is a nom de guerre, and while I do not know his real name, I do know that he has a number of other books in print, and is hardly unknown in the book and reporting world. I’ll just bet that if you listen to the interview, and have an inquisitive mind, his name can be tracked down.

You can listen to the whole interview here. An American’s Story is currently available as an ebook, but expect it in print within the next few weeks. The publisher is ready, the presses are ready, and the public is ready. Gaston also has a blog.

Simon Barrett

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