Reviewed by Sydney S. Heflin, Ed.D.
In JRT Issue 19, 2004
Dr. Walter Semkiw is currently Chief of Occupational Medicine at Kaiser, San Francisco. Dr. Walter Semkiw’s new book, Return of the Revolutionaries, is an impressively extensive examination of the history and current literature on reincarnation; in just the first 86 pages. If only these first seven chapters were the entire book, this work would be a very valuable addition to the literature. However, those chapters are just an introduction to a new avenue of research, which will surely be met with delight, as well as controversy, in the field of reincarnation study. Frankly, this researcher/reviewer inclines toward the delighted end of that spectrum.
Cutting edge research is critically necessary to the healthy development of any field of study and endeavor, and Dr. Semkiw’s work is, most emphatically, fresh and cutting edge. This researcher is reminded of Morrie Bernstein’s The Search for Bridey Murphy, in which Mr. Bernstein, a remarkable pioneer in this field, took great risks to put his research out to the general public. As often happens to pioneers, he was both acclaimed and reviled for that work.
In Revolutionaries, Dr. Semkiw postulates the notion that we can identify past lives through a combination of techniques. He combines the analysis of facial architecture, writing styles, personal interests, and consistent personality traits evolving from lifetime to lifetime in his identification of past life identities, sometimes guided by intuition to direct his searches. This heavily researched book has two parts. Part One includes evidence and principles of reincarnation, as well as a review of a number of independently researched cases. Part Two is a lengthy identification list of both proposed and confirmed new cases from the time of the American Revolution, which Dr. Semkiw has compiled and defined in abundant detail.
Dr. Semkiw bases his analysis on this question. “What if key figures in the American Revolution were back with us today, reincarnated in new bodies and personalities, and just as interested in supporting social change and spiritual awakening?” Some of the prominent personalities identified in this study, and who they were during Revolutionary times may well surprise the reader. Revolutionaries is a stimulating and fascinating book, and truly a must-read for everyone interested in past lives.