New book by Mt. Airy military man about 'Toxic Isms'

by Len Lear
Posted 2/19/21

Howard A. Myrick's latest accomplishment is a newly published book he authored, “Surviving Toxic 'Isms' and Polarizing Dissent; Protecting Our Democracy."

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New book by Mt. Airy military man about 'Toxic Isms'

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Howard A. Myrick, Ph.D, has been a Mt. Airy resident for 31 years and one who has been through the cauldron of fire and come out as strong as steel. Myrick, who declined to state his age, has a long history of proud military service. He was an adviser in psychological operations and political warfare in Vietnam and a senior education adviser to the Vietnamese Political College. He also worked in the Pentagon in the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense and as Commander of the American Forces Radio-Television Network in Korea and was Director of the  American Forces Radio-TV Network world-wide.

His most difficult experience in the military, however, was “the planning for ceremonies following the post-terrorist attack with casualties of students and faculty at the Vietnamese Political Warfare College in Da Lat, Vietnam” (Da Lat is the largest city in the Central Highlands region of the country. In 1968 fierce battles raged in Da Lat between the combined forces of American and South Vietnamese troops and the Viet Cong, resulting in many casualties on both sides.)

But Myrick's latest accomplishment is a newly published book he authored, “Surviving Toxic 'Isms' and Polarizing Dissent; Protecting Our Democracy” (HRM Media Works, publisher). Talk about good timing; the book was released just before the Jan. 6 insurrection against the Capitol building by an angry mob of Trump supporters claiming that the presidential election was “rigged.”

What prompted Myrick to write the book?

 “It was a deep and persisting concern about the harm citizens suffer as a result of political gridlock and vitriolic dissent, with public officials and politicians enjoying the 'play of the game,' even while putting the security of the nation at risk. An almost overpowering need to address this subject came sharply into focus when Sen. Mitch McConnell announced that his mission would be to see that newly-elected President Barack Obama would be a one-term president, announced without regard for whether or not Obama would serve honorably and productively.

“Although the trigger for the book goes as far back as the aforementioned McConnell's 'political party before the public' and 'I'm the grim reaper' announcements (in June of 2019), I started writing the book in January of 2020 and finished it in November of 2020.”

As you might expect, the presidency of Donald Trump finally motivated Myrick to write the book. It was “Trump's immediate and unending efforts to undo his predecessor's (Obama's) accomplishments, irrespective of their value to the nation, e.g., unilateral withdrawing from mutual defense alliances, severing long-standing international alliances, making foes of friends, playing narcissistic politics, encouraging racists and domestic terrorism, etc.

“Another triggering factor (and painful experience) was the remembrance of the pain and confliction felt when serving as a military officer in Europe during the turbulent 1960s' Civil Rights era. I had to 'make excuses' in response to my European colleagues' questions about the ugly images of Americans vehemently and (sometimes violently) protesting, e.g., desegregation of public schools and accommodations and injuries that I, an African American, had personally experienced.”

Myrick was born in Dawson, Georgia, and grew up Jacksonville, Florida. Before coming to Philadelphia, he lived in Paris, Rome, Berlin, Dakar, Cairo, Seoul and Saigon as a military officer, among others. He graduated from Florida A&M (B.S. in Music Education), the  University of Southern California (M.A. in Cinema and a Ph.D. in Cinema and Educational Technology).

The Mt. Airy resident taught at Howard University in Washington, D.C.; Clark University in Atlanta, Georgia, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, before coming to Temple University, where he taught for 27 years and is now a professor emeritus.

If you visit the website ratemyprofessors.com, this is the first entry from one of Myrick's students: “Howard Myrick is a fantastic administrator and Communications professor! He does not 'give' grades. Students will earn the grades that they receive in Dr. Myrick's class. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the classroom to share with students. He cares about all of his students and is always available and accessible to everyone.”

“Surviving Toxic 'Isms' and Polarizing Dissent; Protecting Our Democracy” is available on amazon.com. Len Lear can be reached at lenlear@chestnuthilllocal.com

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