Monday, November 7, 2011

Theme Week: Shadows Walking by Professor Douglas R. Skopp (and a giveaway!)

This week I'm introducing a historical fiction novel by Douglas R. Skopp; a title that is so significant it warrants more than the usual brief review I do.  This week, Professor Skopp will be guest posting on topics related to the novel, Shadows Walking.  Later in the week, I'll interview him with questions I pondered during the reading, and conclude with my review of the book itself.  There's even a giveaway for one copy to an interested reader!

It should be noted that while novels set around the Holocaust are somewhat common, Shadows Walking spends a great deal of time examining the pre-war dynamics that set the horror in motion.  It also links the studies of Nazi eugenic experimentation to previous experiments here in the US.  Investigating the role of physician (with the ethical qualities implied) in the Nazi party, Skopp has created some dramatic characters that must make personal choices while appearing to support a national movement.  After the war, the Nuremberg Trials closely examines the behavior of the physicians involved, most of whom denied wrongdoing.

First, to introduce him, here's a brief biography:
Professor Doug Skopp
Douglas R. Skopp was born in 1941. After attending public schools in Los Angeles, California, he enrolled at attended Dartmouth College, where he studied European history and German, and Albert-Ludwigs Universit├Ąt in Germany. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1963. He received a Master's in Medieval Studies at Connecticut College (1964) and a Ph.D. in European history, focusing on modern Germany, from Brown University (1974). From 1972 until his retirement from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 2006 with the rank of Distinguished University Teaching Professor of History, Skopp taught courses on aspects of the World Wars, the Holocaust, medieval and modern Europe (especially Germany), education in Western civilization, survey courses in European history, and historical research skills and methods. In 1989, he received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching; he served as chairperson of the History Department for ten years, was often president of his faculty’s professional union, and in the final three years before his retirement, presiding officer of SUNY Plattsburgh’s faculty.

In 1985-1986, Skopp received a Fulbright Award to research medical ethics in Germany between 1880 and 1945; that research provided the base for Shadows Walking. An inaugural Fellow in SUNY Plattsburgh's Institute for Ethics in Public Life, he continues to assist in the Institute's "guided inquiry" faculty seminars on ethics, ethical practices, and the curriculum. Skopp has published many scholarly articles on aspects of the history of the professions in Germany. He is also an editorial consultant and/or author of chapters on European history in numerous public school textbooks. In 1989, Skopp published Bright With Promise, a history of SUNY Plattsburgh’s first century; he continues to serve as SUNY Plattsburgh's College Historian in his retirement. Having taken twenty years to write Shadows Walking, he doubts that he will ever attempt another novel…at least his wife hopes so.
A website featuring the title with significant historical links is to be found at:
This extensive website features excerpts, historical citations, and lists for further reading.
To enter to win a copy, leave a comment with contact info.  US only, it will end November 20, 2011.


  1. Thanks for hosting! I would love to win.
    I am an old follower.

  2. This book sounds great!

  3. This sounds amazing! I'm a follower as well :)
    kristinlucillesmith at gmail dot com