Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Coming Soon- "The Captain's Coin" - John V. Amodeo
Michael Brady epitomized the American dream. Coming to this country with nothing, he became a national hero at the Battle of Antietam by holding the Union forces and surviving because of a gift given to him by a grateful captain. A simple gesture by the captain saved the young man and gave the country a much-needed hero. The coin took on a life of its own. The coin given to a young immigrant became a part of the national forklore at a time when the country was in need of a rallying symbol.
At the time of his death in 1916, at age 81, Michael’s widow, Kit decided that the famous coin should be given to the city upon her death. “It wasn’t right to inter the coin with Michael. It belongs to the country.”
In the midst of an ongoing war that would soon see the US enter, the coin once again became a rallying cry for the US. Joining silent-screen stars, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks in 1917, after the US entered the war, Kit Brady displayed the famous, well-worn coin. It again became a symbol for the US. Upon her death in 1928, the family, as directed by Kit, gave the coin to the city to be displayed at the NYC Public Library on 5th Avenue. There it remains.
Born in Troy, New York, John V. Amodeo now lives in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan. For three decades, Amodeo worked for the NYC public school system as assistant principal and history department head; now retired from that post, he is an adjunct professor of American history and political science at Mercy College. Amodeo exercises his love for NYC as a part-time tour guide. His previous books include: 'Voices of Hell's Kitchen,' a fictional account of the myriad personalities of his unique neighborhood. In addition, he wrote, 'Believe--Journey from Jacksonville,' a biography of former world boxing champion, Ken Norton and 'Blessed or Cursed,' a biography of WBF current light heavy champion, Rayco Saunders. Currently, he is working on his next project, a biography of Paul Vaden, former world light middleweight champion in upcoming 'Answer the Bell.'