Recently I was sorting through some old files and came across several items that might be of interest to those aware of Michael Bart’s claim that he is the author of UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH. Shown here is the title page of the manuscript as sold to St. Martin’s Press in 2007 and the title page for the original 2004 book proposal. Both of these provide concrete evidence of my role as the book’s author. The meaning of “by” and “with” is clarified inside the proposal:
About the Author
Laurel Corona is a tenured professor of English and Humanities at San Diego City College. She has also taught at the University of California at Davis, San Diego State University, and the University of California at San Diego.
Additionally, Dr. Corona is the author of approximately twenty books for middle and high school students, published by Lucent Books, a division of Greenhaven Press. A partial list includes the following titles:
World Religions: Judaism
American Immigrants: The Jewish Americans
The Cold War: The War Within a War: Vietnam and the Cold War
The Way People Live: Life in Moscow
Building History: The World Trade Center
Modern Nations Series: Israel, Poland, Norway, South Africa, The Russian Federation, Ukraine, France, Kenya, Brazil, Ethiopia, Peru, Afghanistan
Dr. Corona was a Charter Fellow in the San Diego Area Writing Project in 1977, and has won awards for her writing, including winning the on-site writing contest at the Santa Barbara Writing Conference in 1996. She has been active as an editor and contributor to the San Diego City College literary journal, City Works, which attracts submissions nationwide.
Dr. Corona has also been a guest lecturer on subjects relating to Judaism at local synagogues and community groups as a result of her authorship of books on Israel, Judaism, and Jewish immigrants. She has traveled extensively to Eastern Europe, Israel and elsewhere in the course of her research on Judaism and the Jews. A formal resume is attached as an appendix to this proposal.
About the Contributor
Michael Bart is the son of Eliezer (Leizer) and Zenia Lewinson Bart. He has taken information and original documentation shared with him by his parents and spent eight years researching and interviewing Holocaust survivors throughout the world, and collecting additional documentation and photographs to help tell the story of Until Our Last Breath.
He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, where his parents had found sponsorship with American relatives. He has been a resident of San Diego for 37 years. He has a BS in Business Management and an MBA in Finance from San Diego State University. He has worked as a real estate investor and developer for 26 years. He is a current board member of the Second Generation of Holocaust Survivors Group in San Diego. He and his wife Bonnie live in Rancho Santa Fe, north of San Diego.
This is a truthful representation of the authorship of UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH. Mr. Bart’s approval of both the proposal and manuscript title pages, as well as the author and contributor descriptions, is direct acknowledgment that throughout the process the word “author” (as that word is commonly used and understood in connection with books) applied to me alone, and that the book was “by Laurel Corona.”
The only “official” source of information is the book itself. A footnote in the preface states that I “did all the writing for the text.” The back flap states that I am “the writer of this book.” Instead of using his website and appearances to promote himself–and himself alone–as “the author” of a book that he did not write, Mr. Bart should be saying how fortunate (and grateful) he is to have found someone with my background and skill who was willing to take on this difficult, multi-year project with no assurance of publication, or indeed any form of reward except what comes from a job well done.
It would be painful for any author to see the arduous process of writing so disrespected, and to stand by watching years of one’s work appropriated by someone else. Given the many books and shorter pieces I have published as an individual author, and in light of what I presume is the obvious value of experience and expertise in producing work of award-winning quality, it is astonishing to be treated so dismissively. I am not only professionally harmed but also deeply offended by Michael Bart’s abuse of the honorary title of “author”; by his refusal to acknowledge me as the writer of UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH; by his comments about my motives; and by his insinuations that I lacked the competence and/or the willingness to write, revise, and edit this book in an acceptable manner, and that my work required major intervention by him to bring it to a publishable level. He is aware of my concerns but has not acted in any positive way to address them.
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