I honor the following individuals who have passed away in the time since I originally wrote this book. They were all of a previous generation, and had lived long and interesting lives:
My father, who came in with Queen Elizabeth, went out with Ted Kennedy, and always expressed his love for me in the very best way he knew how,
Edward Thomas Butler, 21 April 1926 – 26 September 2009,
And two inspiring men, both people’s historians, with whom I feel a special connection because of the part they play in this book,
Louis “Studs” Terkel, 16 May 1912 – 31 October 2008,
Howard Zinn, 24 August 1922 – 27 January 2010.
No Stranger to Strange Lands is dedicated to their spirits, and, most importantly, this book is dedicated to my Jamie, whose spirit for living life to the fullest and whose tremendous, unbounded capacity for love has inspired my mission to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new thoughts and new ideas; to boldly think what no one has thought before.
I thank my sister, Nancy Butler, and my friend, Pam Wynia, for their editorial assistance and advice, and my Jamie for his patience and for the cover art.
And finally, I must apologize for a grave mistake that I made. Despite everything that I profess in this book, I found myself acting shamefully when President Barack Obama went to Oslo, Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December 2009, where he made a speech titled, A Just and Lasting Peace, rationalizing his recent decision to escalate the War in Afghanistan. Overwhelmed by a mudslide of stultifying irony, I forgot what Howard Zinn had said one year previously in his speech of 8 November 2008, that war is antithetical to peace and stability because its outcome is unpredictable, as the perpetrators always seem surprised when their goals are not met, and it ends up corrupting everybody. In my desire to defend the President and hold on to the Hope that he represented, I was corrupted by this war, and by the anger and pain of that excruciatingly surreal moment in history, which tore a piece of my heart out and caused me to go just a little bit insane. I am sorry for allowing my distress to misguide me, for trying to rationalize the irrational, for wavering from my principles, and for misdirecting my anger.
Julie R Butler
3 September 2010
Lago Puelo, Chubut, Argentina