Almost a Family: A Memoir by John Darnton

By John Darnton

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and best-selling writer: a superbly crafted memoir of his lifelong chase after his father’s shadow.

John used to be 11 months outdated whilst his father, Barney Darnton—a struggle correspondent for The manhattan Times—was killed in international battle II, yet his absence left a extra profound imprint at the family members than any residing father can have. John’s mom, a well known Times reporter and editor, attempted to maintain alive the dream of elevating her sons in excellent atmosphere. whilst that proved most unlikely, she collapsed emotionally and bodily. yet alongside the way in which she created one of these robust fantasy of the father-hero who gave his lifestyles for his kinfolk, state, and the fourth property that John his footsteps into a similar newsroom.

Decades after his father’s dying, John and his brother, the historian Robert Darnton, all started digging into the earlier to discover the reality approximately their mom and dad. to find who the real-life Barney Darnton was—and partially who he himself is—John delves into turn-of-the-century farm existence in Michigan, the anything-goes Jazz Age in Greenwich Village, the lives of hard-drinking warfare correspondents within the Pacific theater, and the nervous loneliness of the McCarthy years in Washington, D.C. He ends his quest on a seashore in Papua New Guinea, the place he learns approximately his father’s final moments from an elderly villager who by no means forgot what he observed sixty-five years prior.

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46 | nancy many Scientology organizations measured these statistics on a weekly basis that would cut off at 2:00 pm on Thursday afternoons. This marked the end of the past weeks work and began the new week with a fresh start. This time was originally set for Thursday to allow all the organizations around the world to send by telex their weekly statistics to the management office headquartered in England. With the time differences and given the time it took to relay this information, this would give international management time to digest the week’s production and coordinate new orders or changes for the coming week.

I spent hours and hours on this drill, most of the time spent laughing because it was so much like life. I would ask the person I had contact with to ask the third person to place the book on the table, and the responses 56 | nancy many would be things like “He can’t ’cause he’s upset from a fight with his girlfriend” or “He doesn’t think his mother loves him” or any other ridiculous reason why they couldn’t do what I was asking. My goal was to persist. My job was to really listen and help fix any valid problems but ultimately persist in getting my intention across and move that book.

I was berated in front of the group for not being productive and was then ordered to leave the conference room and get to work rather than stay for the meeting. I felt crushed and betrayed. Overall, I did well at my job. Income was always a major push in the Org, so executives were constantly working with me and the other registrars to see from whom we were going to get this week’s money and how we were going to do it. Each Thursday morning, the Boston Org would be a buzzing hive of activity. In the registrar’s area, this would involve arranging cars and people to pick up checks or going to people’s homes or places of businesses to meet with them to close the sale and get the money collected before the 2:00 pm deadline.

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