Portland, ME -- August 29, 2007

Reading Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939--1945, by Catherine Merridale. It’s from the Russian perspective, while most everything he'd been reading recently has been from the German perspective. This summer he’s been reading a lot on World War II.

The psychology before the war, he said, was interesting, how Stalin manipulated people. He killed 15 million people. Through brute force and propaganda he whipped the country into a state of patriotism.

An author he recommends--Charles Bukowski.

His book? This elicited the usual wow. That’s a tough one. Not sure.

It wasn’t even nine in the morning and he was sitting on his front steps waiting for a ride…you don't expect be approached with tough questions.

What he likes about Portland? It's pretty cool. Community, arts, great ideas, it’s fairy easy to live here and easy to get involved.

Authors who have helped him through periods of his life—Henry Miller and the Bukowski. They help you to better understand yourself, your friends and your family.

Bukowski is dry, rough, not appealing, but characters live life at their level. It’s inspiring, he said, to see life lived like that. It’s gritty, not pretty, true to nature. The cards fall where they do.

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