For a few years now, I’ve thought about writing my memoirs. It always seemed a bit pretentious — at least from the standpoint of something I might seriously consider publishing. Or perhaps more to the point, something that I might convince someone else to publish.
But not long ago, a couple of things occurred to me. The first was that my story has a larger context. We are, all of us, unique…but a big part of what makes us so is the uniqueness of the time and place we occupy. My story is an American story — more specifically, the story of America in the second half of the 20th century. When we tell the stories of our lives, we engage in more than just autobiography; we become historians — individual tiles in the Great American Mosaic.
The second thing that occurred to me was that the concept of “publishing” has taken on a very different meaning since the close of the 20th century, thanks to the Internet. I no longer have to convince a publisher that what I write is worth sharing beyond a small circle of family and friends. All it takes is a bit of inspiration, a Google search or two, a leavening of visual media, a few hundred words…and with the press of a button, my deathless prose has a potential audience ranging from Vermont to Vladivostok, and points beyond.
More powerful than the sheer reach of the Internet, however, is the nature of social media — and its relevance to my blog. I’m not looking for just an audience, I’m looking for a circle of collaborators. I’m hoping that in reading the accounts of one man’s experience of the latter half of The American Century, you’ll feel inspired to share your own — and together, we’ll write the most authentic historical account possible: the stories of our lives in the shadow of Pax Americana.