Richard Lemen always had a passionate interest in the ordinary people who made American history, and when he retired from practicing and teaching medicine as a tenured professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona, he knew the time had come to write his family’s stories and place them in the context of American history.
This book, a collaboration of Dr. Lemen and his wife, Sydney Trower Lemen, is based on extensive research, including long sessions at the National Archives and the Library of Congress. The Lemens interviewed family elders and went on a treasure hunt for old letters, a search that yielded surprising results.
From the pre-Revolutionary wilderness of western Pennsylvania and the Battle of New Orleans to the Bataan Death March, the Battles of the Coral Sea and Guadalcanal, the liberating of Buchenwald, to the honor guard at General Patton’s funeral, the naming of Tucson’s Mt. Lemmon, and the saving of Koko, the gorilla who speaks sign language, these are compelling stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.