I was attending a conference designed for continuing education of we Registered Communication Distribution Designers also know as an RCDD. It’s easy enough to figure out what we do with a few quick searches or a click back to my home page. This is where I met Frank Luna, a University professor of History at California Berkeley, while wandering the pool looking for the last lounge chair.
As fate would have it, in the cool shady spot, (I was looking for Vegas sunshine) sat Frank and his wife Tamie. We introduced ourselves. I was a new business entrepreneur not quite used to telling my story and Frank introduced himself as a history professor. I did notice, Tamie whispering in Frank’s ear. “Oh yea, I’m an author”, he corrected.
We exchanged a bit of general conversation about the Johnson family's love of history and all of our family vacations visiting the historic civil war battlefields in the western and eastern theaters of this bloody and momentous chapter of our nation’s history. As a lifelong resident of Cape Girardeau MO, Shiloh national battle field, Wilson Creek battle field, Chickamauga battle field, and many other skirmish sites are a short drive.
Soon our conversation turned to Frank’s 2016 publication, “Shattering the Icons”. Frank astutely picked up on my home town of Cape Girardeau MO and one of its colorful and talented residents. My good friend David Limbaugh. Frank professionally asked if it would be possible to pass a copy of his book to David. A month or so later the book arrived in the mail and I placed it in my stack of stuff. As a continuous reader, blogger, and traveler, I’m always in the middle of 2 to 3 books. I did read Frank’s book and was blown away with it’s content.
I wasn’t sure where we were going in the beginning with Luna describing his childhood in the San Joaquin valley of Central California. Quickly he brought it together describing his family roots as Mexican Americas and their socialist and Marxist heroes. The hard work and dedication to family the Luna’s enjoyed is certainly the American dream with one flaw, Luna later describes.
He jumps immediately into undergraduate and graduate university studies listening to biased liberal college professors and entitled fellow students. There is certainly no shortage of each in California.
The meat of the book is understanding the icons. Frank M Luna shines as a professor of history as he simply chronicles the facts about what it took for Marxist dictators Vladimir Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, and Fidel Castro to seize power and form total communist states. With facts about Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge and a few well-deserved pop shots at California hero, Cesar Chavez, Luna describes how the myths of his upbringing were shattered through college education and critical thinking.
Finally, Frank M Luna brings it all together by describing his life and career as a professor of history in mostly left wing teaching campuses in California cities. Similar to me, Frank never beats you over the head with his personal political views understanding that Americans are free to vote, and everyone votes mostly by how their pocket book will be impacted. Like his teaching, this book lays out his personal journey and how things have changed in his life. Frank and I have become fast friends keeping up with each other through social media. I highly recommend this book.