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     During the 19th century, the United States and Europe were on the brink of a transition that would lead to the modern world. In the middle of the Atlantic the Dabney family from Boston had settled on the small island of Faial in the Azores and quickly became involved in the political, literary, intellectual and religious changes taking place at that time on both sides of the Atlantic. 
     This book provides a rare glimpse of life from the point of view of some well-known historical figures, as well as some "anonymous" insiders, creating a picture of individuals and events in the 19th century from a fresh perspective. In some instances it fills in unsuspected gaps or provides different interpretations of what occurred in the story of the 19th century.


From Amazon 

5.0 out of 5 stars  The Stepping Stones to my Ancestors, April 6, 2012 

By Greg (Central America)
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This review is from: On the Edge of History (Paperback) 

I always told everyone that I was as 1/2 Portuguese. Very proud to BE from these roots. As a child growing up I only knew that my Fathers family were Portuguese, but not exactly were they were from. The family would get together and be centered around my Grandfather, when my father drown in a small boating tragedy in 1961 my Grandfather died of a broken heart 2 years later. The family was never the same.

I just recently found out my Grandfather was born on Faial, Azores, in Flamengos, Chao Frio....I have now found 6 generations of family names.
I am overwhelmed, I have re-connected with many of the family now in California and I am planning a trip to Faial soon.
 I was looking for all the info I could find. This book is a wonderful treasure and insight of the life and times of the island during that period..
I have recently found I have many living relatives on the island and am anxious to visit them. I really want to thank the author for his work putting this important part of history at my disposal...

See you there!!!
Greg Dias, Garcia, Furtado, Luis, Silva

5.0 out of 5 stars  Bagatelle, January 2, 2012 

By Al - See all my reviews
This review is from: On the Edge of History (Kindle Edition) 

I am looking forward to reading your book. Bagatelle, the villa that the Dabney's lived in has been passed down to me through inheritance. My grandfather Dr. Campos Medeiros passed it to his daughter, my mother. I now have major ownership of the house although there are numerous cousins with small percentages.


5.0 out of 5 stars  An Undiscovered Gem!, May 27, 2009 

By Jeff L. Madruga "JLM" (San Diego, CA USA) 

This review is from: On the Edge of History (Paperback) 

On its surface this excellent book is initially simply a thoroughly researched historical read, but with due respect to the previous reviewers here, I think they've perhaps missed the greatest value this book offers. It's a wonderfully intimate opportunity to compare, via their overlapping actions, exchanges, and observations; the evolving ideals of a uniquely American family living in an isolated outpost as foreign representatives of our still-young republic. Set in the mid-Atlantic island of Fayal, Azores, this is a 19th-century microcosm of how America came to be admired long before we became a "super power". Nowadays, anxious Americans may plaintively question, "What does America stand for?", and this book offers several meaningful grass-roots answers to that question. It monitors three generations of the Dabney family as they discover and define their new duties as U.S. Consuls, businessmen, and representatives of our new country. This is a great book for anyone interested in people and families as much as they are politics and history, and there is certainly a whole array of examples of each here, harbingers of a greater future. It is full of still-valuable insights, just below the surface, and offers a window into our young nation as fresh as if it was written just yesterday. Highly recommended.


4.0 out of 5 stars  A LOT of detail, July 23, 2008 

By Shannon M. Janeczek "sjwriter" (Saline, MI)
This review is from: On the Edge of History (Paperback) 

I made it through about a third of this book before I started getting lost in the details. There are some neat passages, particularly when the text from personal letters and other correspondence are included to document something happening. But as I moved through the book I felt like the consecutive order was a little off, with references to things sometimes 30 years ahead that you haven't read about yet. No doubt that certain events were life-changing for some of the family members but without the full knowledge of what is to come, it makes for slightly difficult reading; the abundance of footnotes alone is overwhelming. Obviously this book took a lot of research and time; it just wasn't for me. It is a unique topic and history lovers will eat it up.

5.0 out of 5 stars  On the Edge of History, November 11, 2007 

By Yvonne Phillips FSII (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews

This review is from: On the Edge of History (Paperback) 

I never heard of the small island of Faial in the Azores until I read this novel. What a great source of historical data to have found after all of these years of an American familiy's history through the ages. The valuable documentation of the way they lived and how they really paid attention to the education of their children and doing business the right way. This family truly made a difference in everyone's life during that period and they were highly recognized for the support and care that they gave to all of those around them. I would highly recommend reading this novel,it captures life as it was in the 19th century.

5.0 out of 5 stars  historical reference, October 10, 2007 

By Lisa D. Smith "Lily Sparkletoo" (Georgia) - See all my reviews

This review is from: On the Edge of History (Paperback) 

The book was well written account of one particular family and their influence on history and politics. This family has a influence that has long been since forgotten except only in archives. The book is well written and choreographed into something that is an enjoyable read.