Zindler's Book Blog
Frank-Zindler Blog Post # 1
Franx thanx for visiting my new book blog! I promise, I will do everything possible not to disappoint you in this and subsequent postings. I hope you will take time to explore all the other things linked to this blog. You will find YouTube videos pertaining to the book being discussed, often audio files related to it or other matters, and links to my YouTube channel and other social media.
This first posting deals with my tenth—and perhaps final—book, the story of the many different lives I have lived.
The back cover of my book poses a teaser question:
QUESTION:What do Adolf Hitler, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elvis Pressley, J.F.K., George H.W. Bush, Larry Flynt, John DeLorean, Isaac Asimov, Aldous Huxley, Leonard Bernstein, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair have in common?
ANSWER:All their lives intersect the life of Frank R. Zindler in the pages of this book.
Let me let the cat out of the bag right here at the outset, by a further quotation from the back cover:
“CONFESSIONS OF A BORN-AGAIN ATHEIST: The Implausible Lives of a Godless Guy is an autobiography in the form of 29 memoirs, each one focusing on Zindler’s many lives, beginning with his life on an Austrian-type farm in Michigan during WWII (he tried to cultivate with a horse!); his tormented childhood and early college years as a homosexual living in a state where homosexual acts were felonies on par with first-degree murder; his life as a child prodigy in music, science, and linguistics; his life as a demimonde Don Juan; his life as a four-generational pater familiasand his 48-year loving marriage to Ann; his life as a hypnotherapist, scientist, and Atheist activist, educator, and science professor; his life as a close confidant to Madalyn Murray O’Hair, and his efforts to resurrect American Atheist Press after her abduction and murder in 1995. In this intimate self-portrait, an octogenarian public figure at last come out of the closet.”
Back in 2017, I decided I had to come out of the closet before I cash my chips in. Shortly before my 80th birthday in 2019, I finished writing the book, but the paperback edition wouldn’t appear until October of the same year. Feeling that I needed to make a personal, live exit from the closet—a book would have to do it if I didn’t live to do it live—I decided to do it on the occasion of the party celebrating THE BIG 80.
Of the 110 friends who said they would attend the sit-down dinner celebration, 103 actually attended. (Seven were either in the hospital or involved in other serious emergencies.) It was made clear in the invitations sent out to my friends that “the only presents that will be accepted will be your presence,” and that they would have to sit through a lengthy, dramatic reading of the “Confessions” memoir of my book.
I have lived a long life—several of them at the same time—but it is hard to recall any occasion during those eighty years when I have been filled with such intense anxiety as when I began to read. After having deceived some of my guests for over thirty years, I wasn’t sure how many of them would still be my friends after I finished reading. To my great relief, when I finished all who were physically able to do so rose up to give me a standing ovation. It was a wonderful experience.
A video recording was made of the reading, and it was divided into three separate YouTube programs (FRANK TURNS 80): Part One is around fifteen minutes long, and involves introduction of some of my guests, and my toast “to the road ahead.” Part Two is about an hour long, and covers my life from my birth to my first attempt at suicide at the age of eighteen. Part Three is about 45 minutes long and brings my story up to the present.
The Kindle edition of the book came out in January of 2020, and the Audible and CD editions of the book will be out some time this spring.
In subsequent postings on this blog, I will discuss the book’s separate memoirs in more detail. At least initially, I hope to be able to make a new posting every Sunday. Subsequently, it may settle down to first and third Sundays of every month.
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For 17 years, Frank R. Zindler was a professor of biology, geology, and psychobiology at Fulton-Montgomery Community College (SUNY), and became Chair of the Division of Science, Nursing, & Technology. For over 37 years he has served as a linguist and editor of scientific literature for a learned scientific society in Ohio. Managing editor of American Atheist Press since the murder of Madalyn Murray O'Hair in 1995, he became interim president of American Atheists, Inc., in 2008, and still serves on the board of directors of that organization. He is a former member of the Jesus seminar, and is an internationally known exponent of the Christ-Myth Theory, the theory that Christianity began without a historical Jesus.