Invite me to your bookclub meeting (or any gathering) for a fun discussion. Over Skype, it's almost like being there. I will have plenty of show and tell, and will share secrets of research that went into the book. Ask anything you want to know. Send me an email for details and to set up a time.
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Book Club Discussions for Then and Now
Then and Now presents so many topics for examination and lively conversation, any discussion group could be engaged as long as they wish. Set in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the state of thinking then is foreign to many today, yet some current beliefs are cloaked in a spin of words or unfounded fears left over from the past.
Suffrage and women's equality was nearing reality, yet the passage of the 19th Amendment did not magically change the lives of women or men. Sadly, many of the meaningful goals strived for still have not come to fruition. But not for lack of effort by C. D. Gibson.
The artwork and satire of Charles Dana Gibson, and others, in weekly magazines was one of the most popular and effective ways in which ideas were revealed and shared. Gibson, and his "Gibson Girl" have frequently been analyzed and sometime criticized - but usually from cursory study. Now and Then delivers a wide view of his work and the society around him. Its impact, or lack of impact, on today is eerily obvious.
Consider Now and Then for a club meeting discussion. It will certainly not be boring. Besides social messages derived or refuted, many of the cartoons themselves will provide plenty of interest for discussion and even laughs. You may be suprised at how modern the values, attitudes, and expressive thoughts Gibson gave the Gibson Girl are.
Invite the Author
Want to ask the author your own questions? No problem. I will attend your book club meeting - virutally! Via a Skype session, I would be happy to join your club for a discussion of Then and Now. With just a little planning, we can schedule an hour-long life video session, all free. For details and a guide for setting up Skype, your computer, and TV (for large viewing) - send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reading Guide (Printer Friendly or PDF)
|Then and Now follows illustrator Charles Dana Gibson and his artwork as the Gilded Age gave way to the Progressive Era in the early 20th century. It paints a picture of a man who attempted to change his surrounding world with humor and wit through the Gibson Girl and a wide cast of characters. Battling prejudices and restrictions of the era, C. D. Gibson gave the Gibson Girl and others a voice in support of equality and suffrage while holding antiquated practices up for scrutiny. Beyond the humor of world-famous cartoons, his social satire influenced millions of men and women with timeless messages that are as relevant now as then.
- What did you think the book was about?
- Do you see parallels of early 20th century society with now? Which ones?
- Before hearing about the book, were you familiar with the Gibson Girl? C. D. Gibson?
- Did you enjoy the book? Why? Why not?
- Did you find the life and work of Charles Dana Gibson interesting?
- What did you think of other characters such as his wife Irene, Richard Harding Davis, and others?
- If you knew only of the Gibson Girl before, what is your opinion of Gibson's body of work now?
- Then and Now was written with young and future generations in mind, and whether it would take another hundred years to fulfill many of Gibson's goals. Do you see that as a concern? Do you see progress?
- While women's equality is just one segment of inequality, demographically women are the largest at greater than 50% of the population. But do you think men should be just as interested in the history presented in Then and Now, as they have mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters who face similar issues?
- C. D. Gibson was one of the most influential communicators for 30 years. Whom do you see today as carrying an equality mantel as well and effective as he did? Will that person have Gibson's longevity?
- Why was there such a gap of a prominent social commentator after Gibson to today? Do you consider John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, or even Bill O'Reilly to be in Gibson's league?
- What experiences have you had in life that parallel events in the book.
- Did you feel that the book fulfilled your expectations?
- Would you recommend this book to other readers? To your close friend? To men and women alike?
|Gary Clark is an author, photographer, and genealogist from Wichita, Kansas. He has published ten books, covering U.S. history, vintage photographs, photo restoration, and a military memoir. The books are available in print from Amazon.com, with most available as Kindle eBooks. His Amazon author page can be found at www.amazon.com/author/gary-clark.