Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Two: A Biography

1978, 1979 Bantam edition
Irving Wallace and Amy Wallace
The Two: A Biography
Possibly purchased new for $2.50
Very worn paperback

The father and daughter of The Book of Lists family tell the story of the original "Siamese" twins, Chang & Eng.  They do a good job of showing the world of the early to mid 1800s, from Siam to North Carolina, and I like how they reveal the sense of humor and intelligence of the twins, but there were certain things that I didn't feel were adequately explained.  No, not how the twins fathered a total of twenty-one children, but how they reconciled their own experiences of discrimination with their ownership of black slaves.  Yes, I understand that they came to identify heavily with the Southern culture that they married into, but considering how they struggled to maintain their own freedom and independence from their original managers, didn't they have any empathy for their "servants"?  The Wallaces don't even raise the question.  Also, the book seemed to rush through the second half of their sixty-two years, not even covering their post-"retirement" tours in much detail compared to their original exhibits.

This completes 1978, which now holds the record for most posts, 21.  It's a record that will stand for the moment, but I'm sure it will be broken in less than a decade.

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