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Monday, September 7, 2020

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? A History of the Ozarks, Vol 2

 

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? 
A History of the Ozarks, Vol 2
The Conflicted Ozarks
by Brooks Blevins

I’ve had this book nearly a year, it appears…a busy year, not much reading, really. It was two years ago this week that I wrote about Volume 1. Sept is important for this series, it seems.

Description at Amazon:

The Ozarks of the mid-1800s was a land of divisions. The uplands and its people inhabited a geographic and cultural borderland straddling Midwest and west, North and South, frontier and civilization, and secessionist and Unionist. As civil war raged across the region, neighbor turned against neighbor, unleashing a generation of animus and violence that lasted long after 1865. The second volume of Brooks Blevins's history begins with the region's distinctive relationship to slavery. Largely unsuitable for plantation farming, the Ozarks used enslaved persons on a smaller scale or, in some places, not at all. Blevins moves on to the devastating Civil War years where the dehumanizing, personal nature of Ozark conflict was made uglier by the predations of marching armies and criminal gangs. 

Blending personal stories with a wide narrative scope, he examines how civilians and soldiers alike experienced the war, from brutal partisan warfare to ill-advised refugee policies to women's struggles to safeguard farms and stay alive in an atmosphere of constant danger. The war stunted the region's growth, delaying the development of Ozarks society and the processes of physical, economic, and social reconstruction. More and more, striving uplanders dedicated to modernization fought an image of the Ozarks as a land of mountaineers and hillbillies hostile to the idea of progress. Yet the dawn of the twentieth century saw the uplands emerge as an increasingly uniform culture forged, for better and worse, in the tumult of a conflicted era. 

The Ozarks of the mid-1800s was a land of divisions. The uplands and its people inhabited a geographic and cultural borderland straddling Midwest and west, North and South, frontier and civilization, and secessionist and Unionist. As civil war raged across the region, neighbor turned against neighbor, unleashing a generation of animus and violence that lasted long after 1865. The second volume of Brooks Blevins's history begins with the region's distinctive relationship to slavery. Largely unsuitable for plantation farming, the Ozarks used enslaved persons on a smaller scale or, in some places, not at all. Blevins moves on to the devastating Civil War years where the dehumanizing, personal nature of Ozark conflict was made uglier by the predations of marching armies and criminal gangs. 

Blending personal stories with a wide narrative scope, he examines how civilians and soldiers alike experienced the war, from brutal partisan warfare to ill-advised refugee policies to women's struggles to safeguard farms and stay alive in an atmosphere of constant danger. The war stunted the region's growth, delaying the development of Ozarks society and the processes of physical, economic, and social reconstruction. More and more, striving uplanders dedicated to modernization fought an image of the Ozarks as a land of mountaineers and hillbillies hostile to the idea of progress. Yet the dawn of the twentieth century saw the uplands emerge as an increasingly uniform culture forged, for better and worse, in the tumult of a conflicted era.


Monday, August 10, 2020

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? You’re Fired

 

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? 

You’re Fired:

The Perfect Guide to Beating Donald Trump by Paul Begala



https://www.amazon.com/Youre-Fired-Perfect-Beating-Donald/dp/1982160047/

 

I’ve been a Paul Begala fan since 1992… political operative insight is something I seek out, since working for Gov. Ray in Iowa in the 1970s… could not pass this one up. Enjoy! I will! ;-)

Amazon Description:


“You’re fired!” Donald Trump became famous bellowing those words in a make-believe boardroom. In November, tens of millions of Americans want to yell it right back at him. Yet Trump has seemed to almost defy the laws of political physics. Paul Begala, one of America’s greatest political talents, lays out the strategy that will defeat him and send him and his industrial-strength spray-on tan machine back to Mar-a-Lago.

In You’re Fired, Paul Begala tells us how Trump uses division to distract from the actual reality of his record. Distraction, he argues, is Trump’s superpower. And this book is Kryptonite. In it, the man who helped elect Bill Clinton and reelect Barack Obama, details:

-The special weapons and tactics needed in the unconventional war against this most unconventional politician
-How to drive a wedge—or, rather, a pickup truck—between Trump and many of his supporters, especially blue-collar workers and farmers
-Where the votes to defeat Trump will come from, and how the Rising American Electorate can catch Trump flat-footed
-How Democrats can run on issues ranging from Coronavirus and healthcare to the economy, as well as climate change and Trump’s long-term plan to dominate the federal judiciary
-There is one chapter called simply, “This Chapter Will Beat Trump.” Find out why Begala is so confident and what issue he says will sink the Trumptanic

Full of memorable advice and Begala’s trademark wit, You’re Fired focuses on the lessons we can learn from the party’s successes and failures—and the crucial tools Democrats need to beat Trump. 



Monday, June 22, 2020

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? Exercise of Power




It’s Monday, What are you Reading?

Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes,

and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World

by Robert M. Gates



This looks like it would go well with Team of Five… history over several presidential terms from a different perspective. He had both governmental and academe experience to contribute.

From Amazon Description:
From the former secretary of defense and author of the acclaimed #1 best-selling memoir, Duty, a candid, sweeping examination of power in all its manifestations, and how it has been exercised, for good and bad, by American presidents in the post-Cold War world.

Since the end of the Cold War, the global perception of the United States has progressively morphed from dominant international leader to disorganized entity, seemingly unwilling to accept the mantle of leadership or unable to govern itself effectively. Robert Gates argues that this transformation is the result of the failure of political leaders to understand the complexity of American power, its expansiveness, and its limitations. He makes clear that the successful exercise of power is not limited to the use of military might or the ability to coerce or demand submission, but must encompass as well diplomacy, economics, strategic communications, development assistance, intelligence, technology, ideology, and cyber. By analyzing specific challenges faced by the American government in the post-Cold War period--Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Russia, China, and others--Gates deconstructs the ways in which leaders have used the instruments of power available to them. With forthright judgments of the performance of past presidents and their senior-most advisers, firsthand knowledge, and insider stories, Gates argues that U.S. national security in the future will require learning, and abiding by, the lessons of the past, and re-creating those capabilities that the misuse of power has cost the nation.


Monday, May 25, 2020

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? Team of Five


It’s Monday, What are you Reading? Team of Five:
The President’s Club in the Age of Trump 
by Kate Andersen Brower
 




When I became aware of this book about the President’s Club, I knew I had to have it and read it. A favorite subject, for sure. Not disappointed.

Description from Amazon:
 
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Residence and First Women—also a New York Times bestseller—comes a poignant, news-making look at the lives of the five former presidents in the wake of their White House years, including the surprising friendships they have formed through shared perspective and empathy.

 
After serving the highest office of American government, five men—Jimmy Carter, the late George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—became members of the world’s most exclusive fraternity. In Team of Five, Kate Andersen Brower goes beyond the White House to uncover what, exactly, comes after the presidency, offering a glimpse into the complex relationships of these five former presidents, and how each of these men views his place in a nation that has been upended by the Oval Office’s current, norm-breaking occupant, President Donald Trump.
With an empathetic yet critical eye and firsthand testimony from the Carters, Donald Trump, and the top aides, friends, and family members of the five former presidents, Team of Five takes us inside the exclusive world of these powerful men and their families, including the unlikely friendship between George W. Bush and Michelle Obama, the last private visits Bill Clinton and Barack Obama shared with George H.W. Bush, and the Obamas’ flight to Palm Springs after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Perhaps most timely, this insightful, illuminating book overflows with anecdotes about how the ex-presidents are working to combat President Trump’s attempts to undo the achievements and hard work accomplished during their own terms.
Perhaps most poignantly, Team of Five sheds light on the inherent loneliness and inevitable feelings of powerlessness and frustration that come with no longer being the most important person in the world, but a leader with only symbolic power. There are ways, though, that these men, and their wives, have become powerful political and cultural forces in American life, even as so-called “formers.”
Team of Five includes 16 pages of color photographs.


Monday, April 13, 2020

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? Front Row at the Trump Show



It’s Monday, What are You Reading? 
Front Row at the Trump Show
by Jonathan Karl
 


This post is the one-hundred and seventy-third entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


I got this one in Kindle Edition, hoping for a good story from a respected journalist who has covered and known Donald Trump personally for over 25 years, long before he ran for President. And, he literally does sit in the front row of press conferences… and is often called on by the President. This is a very even handed report of what it is like to be there, and have been there. Good read.


Book Description from Amazon:

An account like no other from the White House reporter who has known President Donald Trump for more than 25 years.

We have never seen a president like this...norm-breaking, rule-busting, dangerously reckless to some and an overdue force for change to others. One thing is clear: We are witnessing the reshaping of the presidency.

Jonathan Karl brings us into the White House in a powerful book unlike any other on the Trump administration. He’s known and covered Donald Trump longer than any other White House reporter.  With extraordinary access to Trump during the campaign and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Karl delivers essential new reporting and surprising insights.

These are the behind-the-scenes moments that define Trump’s presidency--an extraordinary look at the president, the person, and those closest to him. This is the real story of Trump’s unlikely rise; of the struggles and battles of those who work in the administration and those who report on it; of the plots and schemes of a senior staff enduring stunning and unprecedented unpredictability.

Karl takes us from a TV set turned campaign office to the strange quiet of Trump’s White House on Inauguration Day to a high-powered reelection campaign set to change the country’s course. He shows us an administration rewriting the role of the president on the fly and a press corps that has never been more vital. Above all, this book is only possible because of the surprisingly open relationship Donald Trump has had with Jonathan Karl, a reporter he has praised, fought, and branded an enemy of the people.

This is Front Row at the Trump Show.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, April 6, 2020

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? Missouri Timeline


It’s Monday, What are You Reading?
Missouri: An Illustrated Timeline 200 Years 
of Heroes and Rogues, Heartbreak and Triumph
by John W. Brown
 


This post is the one-hundred and seventy-second entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


A new coffee-table book prepared for the Missouri Bicentennial. Interesting narrative along with great collection of photos and illustrations.


Book Description from Amazon:


Aptly named the Show Me State, Missouri has shown the nation its past, present, and future for more than two centuries. Representing the state’s 200 year history in a way that is both educational and entertaining, Missouri Timeline offers a look back even as it looks ahead to a fabulous future situated perfectly in the middle. As a state, Missouri blends everything our country has to offer, just the way we like it. As Missouri recognizes its 200th Anniversary as a state, it's important to look back at the amazing history that has had an impact far beyond the boundaries of the Show Me State. From successes in business, sports, and cultural events, to struggles against Mother Nature and failures of civil rights, a retrospective study paves an even better path for the future. This Missouri Timeline highlights the important moments in Missouri's history that have defined the state and notes the parallels in the state s trajectory as only a timeline can. Not long after the first skyscraper was built in Missouri, Laura Ingalls Wilder moved to southern Missouri where she wrote about life on the prairie. At the same time Lake of the Ozarks was filling up, Prohibition was ending, Bonnie and Clyde were having shootouts, and a golfer from Springfield was winning the first Masters Golf Tournament. This book allows readers to see Missouri s defining moments and provides a new understanding of how it all lines up historically.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, March 30, 2020

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? Thomas Paine



It’s Monday, What are You Reading? 
Thomas Paine and the Clarion Call for American Independence
by Harlow Giles Unger
 


This post is the one-hundred and seventy-first entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


This was the other book I got at Christmas time. I’ve not read a full biography on the controversial Thomas Paine, so this is that opportunity. Unger is a good writer/historian.


Book Description from Amazon:

From New York Times bestselling author and Founding Fathers' biographer Harlow Giles Unger comes the astonishing biography of the man whose pen set America ablaze, inspiring its revolution, and whose ideas about reason and religion continue to try men's souls.


Thomas Paine's words were like no others in history: they leaped off the page, inspiring readers to change their lives, their governments, their kings, and even their gods. In an age when spoken and written words were the only forms of communication, Paine's aroused men to action like no one else. The most widely read political writer of his generation, he proved to be more than a century ahead of his time, conceiving and demanding unheard-of social reforms that are now integral elements of modern republican societies. Among them were government subsidies for the poor, universal housing and education, pre- and post-natal care for women, and universal social security. An Englishman who emigrated to the American colonies, he formed close friendships with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and his ideas helped shape the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

However, the world turned against Paine in his later years. While his earlier works, Common Sense and Rights of Man, attacked the political and social status quo here on earth, The Age of Reason attacked the status quo of the hereafter. Former friends shunned him, and the man America had hailed as the muse of the American Revolution died alone and forgotten.

Packed with action and intrigue, soldiers and spies, politics and perfidy, Unger's Thomas Paine is a much-needed new look at a defining figure.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)