An amateur American history buff, Phillip Goodrich has developed a fascination with the lesser-told stories behind the characters during America’s founding years. His interest has led him to extensive research into the personal and political lives of American greats such as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Through his unique insights and knowledge, Phillip shares his findings in his first foray into the realm of narrative American history with Somersett.
A graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Southern California in medicine, Phillip is a practicing general surgeon in suburban Kansas City, MO. He has been an active member on physician forums for the past fifteen years and can often be found at philanthropic events across the country.
He lives with his wife Melodee, their geriatric dog, Loulou, and cat, Allie, in Platte City, MO.
Learn more about Phillip and his book, Somersett, in our review and interview with the author.
Biggest literary influences:
H.W. Brands, Walter Isaacson, David McCullough, Erik Larsen
Last book read:
The Popes by John Julius Norwich
The book that changed your life:
The Making of a Surgeon by William A. Nolen. I read this in 1975 while I was in my first year of medical school and not sure what I wanted to do for a specialty. I was leaning toward general surgery, but this book was the clincher. 45 years later, I have never looked back.
Your favorite literary character:
It’s gonna sound trite, but true — Sidney Carton, from Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities. I absolutely love Dickens for his marvelous understatement style, and the storyline in that book is simply too compelling. I can identify with Carton: never a success in my interactions with women, and as a result, would be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save “a life you love.” Still emotional for me fifty years later.
Currently working on:
Fugger, my next literary endeavor. The Renaissance and Reformation are not what we think. Rather, they denote the birth of modern education and modern banking. The story behind the story is once again quite compelling.
Words to live by:
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, is for men of good will to do nothing”
— Edmund Burke
Advice for aspiring authors:
When in doubt, write. Put something on the page. You and your editor can fix it later, but write something, every day.
Articles and Reviews:
“Somersett shines a bright light on events little known but tremendously important in the formative period of our nation’s history”
— Stephen Hornbostel, retired editor of the San Francisco Chronicle
“We were all taught in school that the American Revolution resulted from a series of escalating, disparate events and circumstances. Somersett makes a strong case that these occurrences were not happenstance, but instead guided along and helped into being by one of America’s most revered founding fathers.”
— Chris Hornbostel, contributing correspondent for Unanimous AI
“The puzzle pieces of our United States of America’s history story has been brilliantly researched and told with great finesse by Phillip Goodrich. How have these astonishing facts never been told before? Or maybe no one has had the nerve to tell it … until now.”
— Samantha Koehnlein, Mosaic, St. Joseph