Author: James Gabler
The following review was contributed by: Sue Vogan: To read more of Sue's reviews Click Here
One does not have to wish or dream an evening encounter with two of the most famous men in U.S. history. Reading Mr. Gabler's narrative will have you tasting the wine as if you were in the room with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and, lover of history, Jack Osborne.
Jack had an uninteresting day. A class of sophomores who were 'more interested in the wine-drinking habits of the eighteenth century than in anything else about its culture" and a fiancee who "was away on a marine biology assignment in Mexico." At the end of the business day, he finds himself at "the Wine Cask" where he enjoys the company of a "fellow professor" who is "pretty knowledgeable" about the time period Jack teaches and dinner is 'local pinot noir and grilled abalone."
Just before retiring, Jack pours himself "a glass of port." sits in his "favorite chair" that allows him to see the ocean and opens his current reading selection, " Passions: The Wines and Travels of Thomas Jefferson." Jack next recalls laying the book on his lap, shutting his eyes, and the sensation of "tumbling through black space for what seemed a long time." Jack next feels "gentle rocking" and hears "the sound of horses' hooves slowly clattering along a cobble-stone street." The carriage stops "in front of a large iron gate." As Jack exits the carriage, he realizes that he is not dressed as he was in his favorite chair and finds himself being directed to a salon where Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are seated -- they are expecting him.
The three men discuss wines. The two older gentlemen recall earlier years, telling of their disappointments, the women who were weaved in the threads of their lives, and what they had endured "at the hands of their political enemies." Their opinions of other well-known history figures are shared, as is the wine.
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson's tales come from their own words, "either by direct quotes or paraphrases of quotes." These men were interested in Jack's telling of current events, 9/11 for example, and they readily offer their comments.
An Evening with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson proffers new perspectives on present-day affairs. It's a history book like none other and one that will, if I don't miss my guess, make it to the best seller list.