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Bill Modisett

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An American Masterpiece: Memories of Rosalind Kress Haley
by Bill Modisett   

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Books by Bill Modisett
· J. Evetts Haley: A True Texas Legend
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Category: 

Biography

Publisher:  Staked Plains Press ISBN-10:  AnAmericanMasterpiece:MemoriesofRosalindKressHaley Type: 
Pages: 

163

Copyright:  2007 ISBN-13:  9781930566712
Non-Fiction

Bill Modisett Enterprises

Rosalind Kress Haley remembers her father and uncles' roles in creation and operation of the extensive S.H. Kress & Co., as well as her multidecade activism in support of the Free Enterprise system. Ros Haley was an appointee during the Ronald Reagan administration to UNESCO and worked tirelessly in the battle against Communism.

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly in her foreword to An American Masterpiece: Memories of Rosalind Kress Haley characterized Mrs. Haley as "one of the outstanding patriots and citizen activists of the twentieth century. She is a model for the kind of Americans we hope will put our nation on the right path."

Born into the wealth and prominence of the Kress family, Ros was a daughter of Claude W. Kress, one of the three Kress brothers who masterminded the extensive S.H. Kress & Co. 5-and-10-cent store chain that helped to put much-needed products into the hands of Americans during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

She watched as her uncle, Sam Kress, amassed an outstanding Renaissance art collection that he later gave to the nation in what was called "the largest single gift ever given to a government by a private citizen."

Ros was friends with Jimmy Stewart, dated Howard Hughes and was a close friend of well-known psychic Jeane Dixon. But the longtime Communist fighter also saw what she believed might be the worst threat the United States would ever face: Creeping socialism that today threatens to destroy the freedom Americans cherish.

The warning she sounds in An American Masterpiece: Memories of Rosalind Kress Haley can prevent Americans from falling  victim to this dangerous threat.


Professional Reviews

New books may have special interest to West Texans
By Ross McSwain
San Angelo Standard-Times

In recent weeks I have received several new books that may have special interest to West Texans. The most interesting include one about a woman patriot with close connections to Midland and another about early-day Texas Rangers and their questionable operations along the Rio Grande prior to the Civil War.
-- My longtime friend and newspaper colleague Bill Modisett, who has prowled many of the same West Texas trails as I have over the last few decades, has produced a most interesting book about the late Rosalind Kress Haley who passed away this past April. She was an heiress to the S.H. Kress and Company dynasty, perhaps remembered as the number one competitor to the Woolworth's empire of five-and-dime variety stores. She was also the widow of the late historian-author J. Evetts Haley.
Modisett, who worked for this newspaper before going to the Permian Basin, spent 17 years researching, interviewing and writing the book, titled "An American Masterpiece: Memories of Rosalind Kress Haley." The book just went on sale this past week. A book signing is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Barnes and Noble in Midland. Other signings will be held in Odessa, Lubbock and in San Angelo at later dates. The book, published by Staked Plains Press, is priced at $32 for the hard cover and $20 for the paperback, plus sales tax, shipping and handling.
Modisett started doing interviews with Mrs. Haley in 1989 while he was editorial page editor of the Midland Reporter-Telegram. The woman would bring in "letters to the editor," thus the association and friendship began. At the time, Modisett was also interviewing Mr. Haley for the preparation of a biography on the rancher-historian.
Ironically, Ros Kress Haley sounded a warning shortly before her death that today's political wrangling in Washington could lead to the destruction of the free enterprise system if the country continues to lean toward socialism.
Mrs. Haley moved to Midland in the 1970s after marrying historian Haley. Both were active in politics, each having close relationships with powerful political leaders, including Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, along with various senators and business leaders like Howard Hughes. Because of her family connections, wealth and influence, she spent many years of her life openly opposing what she perceived as a nation sliding into socialism.
Modisett says both of the Haleys were exceptional people. His story of Ros Kress Haley is a good read.

-- A lot of folks that enjoy reading and learning about Texas Rangers may not like Michael L. Collins' book, "Texas Devils, Rangers and Regulars on the Lower Rio Grande, 1846-1861," a current offering from the University of Oklahoma Press, because he puts lots of smudges on their white hats.
According to Collins, the Rangers brought a lot of violence and exhibited a lot of brutality against Spanish-speaking folks, who dubbed them los diablos Tejanos - the Texas devils. Collins goes beyond more laudatory histories of the unique horseback lawmen, casting several Ranger immortals like John Coffee, "Jack" Hayes, John S. "Rip" Ford and Ben McCulloch in a new and not always flattering light. He writes that much of the Ranger myth doesn't hold up to close historical scrutiny. Collins' book presents an interesting view of Ranger operations along the Mexican border that has largely been overlooked.
The Ranger book is in hardcover and is priced at $26.95. Information on its purchase is available by calling toll-free 800-627-7377. Now that the election is over, it's a great time to read for relaxation.
I'll be seeing you Out Yonder.


Book recounts heiress' warning
The Odessa American

A new book released by Staked Plains Press titled "An American Masterpiece: Memories of Rosalind Kress Haley" written by Midland author Bill Modisett warns of the dangers to the free enterprise system.
That warning was sounded by the late Rosalind Kress Haley, a lifelong advocate for the free enterprise system before her death on April 23, 2008.
An heiress to the S.H. Kress & Co. dynasty, Rosalind Haley's life's work in support of free enterprise and conservative political causes is the subject of a new book.
"Ros" Haley, who moved to Midland in the 1970s after marrying well-known historian and author J. Evetts Haley, fought for decades to protect the free enterprise system from threats posed by Communism and creeping Socialism in the United States.
She often faced daunting public opinion.
The book traces Haley's life from her birth in New York City to Buckfield Plantation in Savannah, Ga., where she grew up and operated businesses.
During the 1950s she gave up her lucrative Georgia business to openly oppose what she perceived as a nation sliding into Socialism. It was a fight that would consume many decades of her life and put her in touch with powerful political leaders including President John F. Kennedy, President Ronald Reagan, U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and many others.
"Ros Haley's message about how the most cherished possession of a people can be lost from within without a single gunshot being fired has never been more relevant than it is today with the financial crisis gripping the United States and the world," Modisett said. "This is an important story for freedom-loving people to read."
Modisett previously authored "J. Evetts Haley: A True Texas Legend" and "Historic Midland: An Illustrated History of Midland County."
"I believe this story is important because it tells of one woman's fight to keep the free enterprise system alive for future generations," Modisett said in an e-mail.



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