Sager off base on Bradley book criticism

June 20, 2013

I just finished reading Helen Gracie Sager's sanctimonious letter commenting on an article announcing a Browseabout Books signing by Meg Ellacott, author of a book on Dr. Bradley.

The letter asserts that no good can come of thinking about or analyzing what happened and condemns the author as a profiteer. She throws in a personal attack on Ms. Ellacott for good measure.

Ms. Sager's viewpoint is disfigured by two assumptions I believe are inaccurate. One is that the Bradley case ought never to be mentioned again. I understand that there are many people in the lets-not-think-about-it camp, but I know there are also many people who, like Ms. Ellacott, find it hard just to put the case in a drawer, people, who need to make sense of it.

Meg's book is very helpful in terms of clues that might have been spotted and actions that might have been taken, lessons we need for the future, to deal with other Dr. Bradleys. If she had read the book or taken the trouble to talk to Ms. Ellacott, Ms. Sager would have discovered that Meg was, in fact, driven to do the research for the book as a means of making sense of, rather than exploiting this tragedy. The assumption that the book was written to profit from this tragedy is also quite mistaken. Ms. Ellacott may break even on a project that cost her several years of her life and the expense of self-publishing but it unlikely that the book will produce wealth.

Meg Ellacott has taken the trouble to do research and to think long and hard about the Bradley case in order to understand it and help others understand it. Ms. Sager, of course, has a right to her own opinion, however uninformed it may be.

Thomas Hoyer

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