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What the Dust of History Says to Those Living in a Digital Age

November 26, 2000

Once in a while, a feature story appears in a newspaper that raises the institution to a level where it must be seen as delivering truly great art. Robert Lee Hotz's "The Human Face of War" (Oct. 29) does just that. The easy gravity of his storytelling--a mixture of aged human pain, anguish, discovery and integration--which melds the elements of vanishing history and contemporary existence, gives one hope that writing and research and remembering are still alive.

By Hotz's narrative we are brilliantly and effortlessly carried by the simple momentum of a mother's question to the historic fields of 1940 Dunkirk, and to the horror of the entire war. The discovery of that one death quietly reminds us of the millions whose courage and blood are at the core of each moment of freedom we now know. Bravo!

Robert K. Wolf

Newbury Park

*

So beautiful. Here we are in this world, always feeling disconnected, and here comes this story that shows us how connected we really are. It is so important that we claim our families' histories and honor them.

Kelly Carlin-McCall

Los Angeles

*

In his engrossing narrative of his Internet search for his lost uncle, Hotz states toward the end, "To me, it seemed I had only kicked up the dust of memories . . . ." Hardly. With his brief story, he has done so much more.

Richard G. Berry

Hermosa Beach

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