Saturday, May 17, 2014

Update on Jim Purcell's Work in Progress

Update February 7, 2015

...The American Humanitarian Spirit...1979-1986

Jim Purcell's MS is a massive work with narrative and field accounts before and after the Fall of Saigon, April 30, 1975. Vietnamese allies that rushed to the U. S. Embassy for a helicopter on a tower on the roof were only the beginning of an unfolding tragedy. What the U. S. had to learn from the events of the Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos triangle equipped the nation to lead the world to revive its humanitarian spirit internationally within citizenry, governments, communities, churches, synagogues, and volunteer organizations.

The refugee decade, as it came to be known, required the development of policies and procedures for quick humanitarian response in Southeast Asia, Africa (Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia), the Middle East, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Russia.    

The Work is now at another nitty-gritty, detail-checking stage.

Files by category for news clippings and reports allow faster fact-checking now. End notes, the footnote-type info at the end of chapters, not pages, where referenced.

All MS sources have been listed according to Chicago Manual of Style formats for books, articles, journals, reports and other references according to chapters.

The list work typing and alphabetizing that the author did in long-hand by chapter is now in a Word document. The handwritten end notes take up roughly 50 pages. I do not mind what I'm doing now, which is to type those into an end note page for the end of each chapter.

Gathering publisher and copyright data online is what I volunteered for, as well as using front matter of print resources in the author's research collection.

Digital document tracking has gone along carefully, and still there are headache times, led by Andy Michaels. (If this interests you, use the link above, look at the graphics down the page, and see why Andy developed a system for the author.)

Two knowledgeable readers (link)--"they-were-there-too"--have digital and print copies to read and make comments. The link above goes to the sometimes underestimated Wikipedia, which has the best correct description and explanation I have found.

Finishing the book proposal (BP-sample ideas) has been easy to put off, and the early steps started early. That era helped JNP to add, rethink, or enlarge manuscript sections. The BP is supposed to catch the interest of a key, professional, and successful book agent.

Authors of referenced material and historical accounts need experienced helpers for details such as those cited above. The author always bears the bulk of work in gathering and selecting information, as well of keeping track of the exact source of each quote, notation, or citation, including interviews by date. Plus organizing and writing the book well!

Comment: Every chapter draft has made a better, stronger, more interesting, thrilling, and informative account of an era in U. S. history, leadership, and humanitarian response.


May 17, 2014
First post: Some readers know that I am helping my husband with editing and manuscript preparation (no writing) for a book about the new U. S. Refugee Program from 1979-1986.

After years of counting on notes, papers, interviews and research, he has finished the working draft, 70+ chapters that reflect national goals, new policies and legislation, volunteer agencies and other nations responding to refugee crises after the Fall of Saigon, 4/25/1975. 

He was called upon to guide early stages of the new U. S. Refugee Program in 1979, and stayed through the early years as refugee emergencies globalize do. 

The present team of manuscript peer reviewers in the past worked tirelessly on behalf of refugees and the U. S. to save the lives and futures around the world. 

Today, we read a USSR-Soviet bloc chapter set in the Cold War time-frame, where persecution of Jews and other religious minorities was heavily brought to bear against them. As Jim read aloud the latest edit, I felt very moved by reflection on our nation's history of helping the least empowered, sparing no effort in Congress, the White House, the State Department, in organizations and groups, in churches and synagogues, and in help others greatly in need of a safe place to live and rebuild their lives.  

I'll update more later. I could not take photos because my cellphone photo capability had a migraine.

The working draft
Copyright (c) 2014 James N. Purcell, Jr.

1 comment:

  1. So excited to see this!!! I can't wait for America to read this amazing "tome" - for lack of a letter word - on a critical time for the U.S. State Department, and also for America in how we assessed, helped, and cared for refugees all over the world.