RALEIGH, N.C. October 31, 2006- You can get older without getting old; Francis Bartels is living proof. Bartels, a noted diplomat, educator and former headmaster of a young Kofi Annan, has written his memoirs, -The Persistence of Paradox- - published November 8 on Lulu (www.lulu.com), a website that lets anyone publish their own book, where, at age 96, he is the oldest author. Bartels was not flustered by the cutting-edge technology, which allows Lulu to publish high-quality books on demand. He made no concessions to age, using email, mobile and Internet phones to communicate with Lulu. -In fact, he offered to help our student intern to set up Skype-, says Peter Freedman, a spokesperson for Lulu. -I must have been about 80 when everyone was starting to use a computer and so I thought, why not?-, recalls Bartels. If anyone had expected a different attitude, then maybe they should read the book. Bartels has a history of breaking down barriers and knowing how to survive. Some three-quarters of a century ago, Bartels was one of the first black students to attend teacher-training college in Britain, where he first experienced a degree of culture shock. At one point he almost mistook a fireplace - unheard of in his native Ghana - for a urinal. Bartels also found out that being first was not always a good thing, as when he vacationed with other students in Germany in 1933, just after Hitler had taken power. A Nazi stormtrooper came up to his table in a restaurant. -As his forefinger beckoned the white female student sitting next to me to get up - I wondered what would be in store for us,- he writes. -Fortunately, he went no further than reprimanding her for going around with a black man-- With no small irony, Bartels would later serve as Ghana-s ambassador to what was then West Germany, having persevered through his own country-s decades of instability. Bartels first made his mark as headmaster of one of Ghana-s top schools. Among his students was a 17-year-old boy who sat on the floor of Bartels- office for a weekly lesson in spoken English. Those sessions still resonate more than a half-century later. -Of course, as happens in many language classes, our discussions ranged far beyond questions of vocabulary and grammar,- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan writes in the foreword to -The Persistence of Paradox.- -Indeed, Headmaster Bartels encouraged us to open our eyes, speak our minds, and engage with the issues of the day and the world at large.- Which is pretty much what Annan tries to do now on a daily basis. Not surprisingly, Bartels takes a great deal of pride in that, especially when recalling a mentor who told him that the true measure of a teacher is -putting young people in his care on the road to become greater than himself.- -He has fulfilled our hopes,- Bartels says of his former pupil - though not perhaps in every area, since Bartels also remembers Annan as an outstanding athlete: -He was the Jesse Owens of the school-. Annan completes his final UN term of office on 31 December. -I-m glad he-s finishing,- says Bartels, -because he told me that it-s a job from hell.- - FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Susan Best. email@example.com or, Lauren Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 919.447.3272 ABOUT LULU.COM: Lulu, the world's fastest-growing source of print-on-demand books, lets you publish your own books, ebooks, calendars, images, music and videos at no advance cost. Lulu was founded by Bob Young, who previously co-founded the software company, Red Hat.