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Monday, July 16, 2018

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? President Carter


It’s Monday, What are You Reading?
President Carter: The White House Years
by Stuart E. Eizenstat
 


 This post is the one-hundred and fifty-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]


OK, I became aware of this book from an ad on my timeline feed on Facebook! But, I remember Stuart Eizenstat and decided this would be a good match with my other recent readings. I’ve always been ‘fascinated’ by Carter - like a lot, disagree some, puzzled by other - and, it is a Presidential Biography. Stuart is admittedly wanting to boost Carter’s image some 40 years out… taking that into account as I attack the 997 page hard copy!!! ;-)


Book Description from Amazon:

The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments―drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes.

 
Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser. He was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many foreign policy ones. Famous for the legal pads he took to every meeting, he draws on more than 5,000 pages of notes and 350 interviews of all the major figures of the time, to write the comprehensive history of an underappreciated president―and to give an intimate view on how the presidency works.
Eizenstat reveals the grueling negotiations behind Carter’s peace between Israel and Egypt, what led to the return of the Panama Canal, and how Carter made human rights a presidential imperative. He follows Carter’s passing of America’s first comprehensive energy policy, and his deregulation of the oil, gas, transportation, and communications industries. And he details the creation of the modern vice-presidency.
Eizenstat also details Carter’s many missteps, including the Iranian Hostage Crisis, because Carter’s desire to do the right thing, not the political thing, often hurt him and alienated Congress. His willingness to tackle intractable problems, however, led to major, long-lasting accomplishments.
This major work of history shows first-hand where Carter succeeded, where he failed, and how he set up many successes of later presidents.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, July 9, 2018

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? Without Precedent


It’s Monday, What are You Reading? 
Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times
by Joel Richard Paul
 

This post is the one-hundred and fiftieth 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]


Fun to get back to the early days of the Republic. John Marshall was a key figure, and this is my first reading of a full biography of his. About half way through, and enjoying it very much! ;-)


Book Description from Amazon:

The remarkable story of John Marshall who, as chief justice, statesman, and diplomat, played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States.


No member of America's Founding Generation had a greater impact on the Constitution and the Supreme Court than John Marshall, and no one did more to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling United States. From the nation's founding in 1776 and for the next forty years, Marshall was at the center of every political battle. As Chief Justice of the United States - the longest-serving in history - he established the independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of the federal Constitution and courts. As the leading Federalist in Virginia, he rivaled his cousin Thomas Jefferson in influence. As a diplomat and secretary of state, he defended American sovereignty against France and Britain, counseled President John Adams, and supervised the construction of the city of Washington. D.C.
This is the astonishing true story of how a rough-cut frontiersman - born in Virginia in 1755 and with little formal education - invented himself as one of the nation's preeminent lawyers and politicians who then reinvented the Constitution to forge a stronger nation. Without Precedent is the engrossing account of the life and times of this exceptional man, who with cunning, imagination, and grace shaped America's future as he held together the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the country itself.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, July 2, 2018

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder


It’s Monday, What are You Reading? 
The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: 
The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books
by Marta McDowell







This post is the one-hundred and forty-nineth 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’ve also been reading this 'Landscapes' book off and on over the last year. Just finished it. Very interesting and useful perspectives.


Book Description from Amazon:

“For gardeners, botanists, and fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder, this book looks at the beloved Little House on the Prairie author’s relationship to nature.” —Publishers Weekly


The universal appeal of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books springs from a life lived in partnership with the land, on farms she and her family settled across the Northeast and Midwest. In this revealing exploration of Wilder’s deep connection with the natural world, Marta McDowell follows the wagon trail of the beloved Little House series. You’ll learn details about Wilder’s life and inspirations, pinpoint the Ingalls and Wilder homestead claims on authentic archival maps, and learn to grow the plants and vegetables featured in the series. Excerpts from Wilder’s books, letters, and diaries bring to light her profound appreciation for the landscapes at the heart of her world. Featuring the beloved illustrations by Helen Sewell and Garth Williams, plus hundreds of historic and contemporary photographs, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a treasure for anyone enchanted by Laura’s wild and beautiful life.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 25, 2018

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? The World as It Is


It’s Monday, What are You Reading? 
The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House
by Ben Rhodes
 



This post is the one-hundred and forty-eighth 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]

Ben Rhodes has been referred to many times in the several books recently mentioned on this blog. When I saw this one come out, I could not resist getting his perspective on the past ten years in U.S. government. Very readable! (Couple of chapters in, as I write this)


Book Description from Amazon:

From one of Barack Obama’s closest aides comes a revelatory behind-the-scenes account of his presidency—and how idealism can confront harsh reality and still survive—in the tradition of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House.

For nearly ten years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration—first as a speechwriter, then as deputy national security advisor, and finally as a multipurpose aide and close collaborator. He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Briefing, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency. Now he tells the full story of his partnership—and, ultimately, friendship—with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States.

Rhodes was not your typical presidential confidant, and this is not your typical White House memoir. Rendered in vivid, novelistic detail by someone who was a writer before he was a staffer, this is a rare look inside the most poignant, tense, and consequential moments of the Obama presidency—waiting out the bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, responding to the Arab Spring, reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, leading secret negotiations with the Cuban government to normalize relations, and confronting the resurgence of nationalism and nativism that culminated in the election of Donald Trump.

In The World as It Is, Rhodes shows what it was like to be there—from the early days of the Obama campaign to the final hours of the presidency. It is a story populated by such characters as Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, and—above all—Barack Obama, who comes to life on the page in moments of great urgency and disarming intimacy. This is the most vivid portrayal yet of Obama’s worldview and presidency, a chronicle of a political education by a writer of enormous talent, and an essential record of the forces that shaped the last decade.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 18, 2018

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? Pioneer Girl Perspectives


It’s Monday, What are You Reading? 
Pioneer Girl Perspectives: 
Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder
Edited by Nancy Tystad Koupal





This post is the one-hundred and forty-seventh 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’ve been reading this series of essays off and on over the last year. Just finished it. Very interesting and useful perspectives, including one by Laura herself.


Book Description from Amazon:

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) finished her autobiography, Pioneer Girl, in 1930 when she was sixty-three years old. Throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s, she drew upon her original manuscript to write a successful series of books for young readers. Wilder s vision of life on the American frontier in the last half of the nineteenth century continues to draw new generations of readers to her Little House books. Editor Nancy Tystad Koupal has collected essays from noted scholars of Wilder s life and work that explore the themes and genesis of Wilder s writings. Pioneer Girl Perspectives sheds new light on the story behind Wilder s original manuscript and examines the ways in which the author and her daughter and editor, Rose Wilder Lane, worked to develop a marketable narrative. The essay contributors delve into the myths and realities of Wilder s work to discover the real lives of frontier children, the influence of time and place on both Wilder and Lane, and the role of folklore in the Little House novels. Together, the essays give readers a deeper understanding of how Wilder built and managed her story. Published over eighty years after its inception, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography edited by Pamela Smith Hill gave readers new insight into the truth behind Wilder s fiction. Pioneer Girl Perspectives further demonstrates the importance of Wilder as an influential American author whose stories of growing up on the frontier remain relevant today.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 11, 2018

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? Facts and Fears


It’s Monday, What are You Reading? 
Facts and Fears:
Hard Truths from A Life in Intelligence
by James R. Clapper with Trey Brown
 



This post is the one-hundred and forty-sixth 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]

Clapper has had a unique vantage point from which to observe our nation in recent years. Wanted to know what he has to say.


Book Description from Amazon:

The former Director of National Intelligence's candid and compelling account of the intelligence community's successes--and failures--in facing some of the greatest threats to America

When he stepped down in January 2017 as the fourth United States director of national intelligence, James Clapper had been President Obama's senior intelligence adviser for six and a half years, longer than his three predecessors combined. He led the U.S. intelligence community through a period that included the raid on Osama bin Laden, the Benghazi attack, the leaks of Edward Snowden, and Russia's influence operation during the 2016 U.S. election campaign. In Facts and Fears, Clapper traces his career through the growing threat of cyberattacks, his relationships with presidents and Congress, and the truth about Russia's role in the presidential election. He describes, in the wake of Snowden and WikiLeaks, his efforts to make intelligence more transparent and to push back against the suspicion that Americans' private lives are subject to surveillance. Finally, it was living through Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and seeing how the foundations of American democracy were--and continue to be--undermined by a foreign power that led him to break with his instincts honed through more than five decades in the intelligence profession to share his inside experience.

Clapper considers such controversial questions as, Is intelligence ethical? Is it moral to intercept communications or to photograph closed societies from orbit? What are the limits of what we should be allowed to do? What protections should we give to the private citizens of the world, not to mention our fellow Americans? Are there times when intelligence officers can lose credibility as unbiased reporters of hard truths by inserting themselves into policy decisions?

Facts and Fears offers a privileged look inside the U.S. intelligence community and, with the frankness and professionalism for which James Clapper is known, addresses some of the most difficult challenges in our nation's history.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 4, 2018

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? The Restless Wave


It’s Monday, What are You Reading? 
The Restless Wave:
Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations
by John McCain and Mark Salter



This post is the one-hundred and forty-fifth 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]

We wanted to see what McCain really had to say, in these likely final days. I’ve gotten started on it and enjoy his insights into his various campaigns and visits to military fronts. Most interesting, for sure.


Book Description from Amazon:


In this candid new political memoir from Senator John McCain, an American hero reflects on his life—and what matters most.


“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here. Maybe I’ll have another five years. Maybe, with the advances in oncology, they’ll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life. Maybe I’ll be gone before you read this. My predicament is, well, rather unpredictable. But I’m prepared for either contingency, or at least I’m getting prepared. I have some things I’d like to take care of first, some work that needs finishing, and some people I need to see. And I want to talk to my fellow Americans a little more if I may.”

So writes John McCain in this inspiring, moving, frank, and deeply personal memoir. Written while confronting a mortal illness, McCain looks back with appreciation on his years in the Senate, his historic 2008 campaign for the presidency against Barack Obama, and his crusades on behalf of democracy and human rights in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Always the fighter, McCain attacks the “spurious nationalism” and political polarization afflicting American policy. He makes an impassioned case for democratic internationalism and bi-partisanship. He tells stories of his most satisfying moments of public service, including his work with another giant of the Senate, Edward M. Kennedy. Senator McCain recalls his disagreements with several presidents, and minces no words in his objections to some of President Trump’s statements and policies. At the same time, he offers a positive vision of America that looks beyond the Trump presidency.

The Restless Wave is John McCain at his best.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)