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Monday, January 18, 2021

It is Monday, What are you Reading? Saving Freedom

 


It is Monday, What are you Reading? Saving Freedom:

Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization

By Joe Scarborough





https://www.amazon.com/Saving-Freedom-Truman-Western-Civilization/dp/0062950495/



This book gets me back a Presidential Bio. Also, it describes the time when the powers that be set up the foreign policy precedents that lasted for 70 years. Great reminders of what was set up and why.


Amazon’s Description:


New York Times Bestseller!

History called on Harry Truman to unite the Western world against Soviet communism, but first he had to rally Republicans and Democrats behind America’s most dramatic foreign policy shift since George Washington delivered his farewell address. How did one of the least prepared presidents to walk into the Oval Office become one of its most successful?

The year was 1947. The Soviet Union had moved from being America’s uneasy ally in the Second World War to its most feared enemy. With Joseph Stalin’s ambitions pushing westward, Turkey was pressured from the east while communist revolutionaries overran Greece. The British Empire was battered from its war with Hitler and suddenly teetering on the brink of financial ruin. Only America could afford to defend freedom in the West, and the effort was spearheaded by a president who hadn’t even been elected to that office. But Truman would wage a domestic political battle that carried with it the highest of stakes, inspiring friends and foes alike to join in his crusade to defend democracy across the globe.

In Saving Freedom, Joe Scarborough recounts the historic forces that moved Truman toward his country’s long twilight struggle against Soviet communism, and how this untested president acted decisively to build a lasting coalition that would influence America’s foreign policy for generations to come. On March 12, 1947, Truman delivered an address before a joint session of Congress announcing a policy of containment that would soon become known as the Truman Doctrine. That doctrine pledged that the United States would “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” The untested president’s policy was a radical shift from 150 years of isolationism, but it would prove to be the pivotal moment that guaranteed Western Europe’s freedom, the American Century’s rise, and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. 

Truman’s triumph over the personal and political struggles that confronted him following his ascension to the presidency is an inspiring tale of American leadership, fierce determination, bipartisan unity, and courage in the face of the rising Soviet threat. Saving Freedom explores one of the most pivotal moments of the twentieth century, a turning point when patriotic Americans of both political parties worked together to defeat tyranny.



Monday, January 11, 2021

It is Monday, What are you Reading? The Last American Aristocrat

 

It is Monday, What are you Reading? 

The Last American Aristocrat:

The Brilliant Life and Improbable Education of Henry Adams

By David S. Brown





https://www.amazon.com/Last-American-Aristocrat-Brilliant-Improbable/dp/1982128232/




This Christmas book is not a Presidential Bio, but it shares many first hand and well researched 

Presidential stories by a distinguished descendant of two of them. Should be a good one! ;-)


Amazon’s Description:


A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice


A revelatory biography of literary icon Henry Adams—one of America’s most prominent writers and intellectuals of his era, who witnessed and contributed to the United States’ dramatic transition from a colonial society to a modern nation.


Henry Adams is perhaps the most eclectic, accomplished, and important American writer of his time. His autobiography and modern classic The Education of Henry Adams was widely considered one of the best English-language nonfiction books of the 20th century. The last member of his distinguished family—after great-grandfather John Adams, and grandfather John Quincy Adams—to gain national attention, he is remembered today as an historian, a political commentator, and a memoirist.


Now, historian David Brown sheds light on the brilliant yet under-celebrated life of this major American intellectual. Adams not only lived through the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution but he met Abraham Lincoln, bowed before Queen Victoria, and counted powerful figures, including Secretary of State John Hay, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and President Theodore Roosevelt as friends and neighbors. His observations of these men and their policies in his private letters provide a penetrating assessment of Gilded Age America on the cusp of the modern era.


The Last American Aristocrat details Adams’s relationships with his wife (Marian “Clover” Hooper) and, following her suicide, Elizabeth Cameron, the young wife of a senator and part of the famous Sherman clan from Ohio. Henry Adams’s letters—thousands of them—demonstrate his struggles with depression, familial expectations, and reconciling with his unwanted widower’s existence.


Presenting intimate and insightful details of a fascinating and unusual American life and a new window on nineteenth century US history, The Last American Aristocrat shows us a more “modern” and “human” Henry Adams than ever before.



Monday, January 4, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading? The Patriots

 

It's Monday, What are you Reading? The Patriots:

Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America

by Winston Groom





https://www.amazon.com/Patriots-Alexander-Hamilton-Jefferson-America/dp/1426221495/



The next Christmas book fits well with the first. Different views of several of the Founding Fathers. These three are a curious mix. It will be interesting to see how he weaves their stories together.



Amazon’s Description:


When the Revolutionary War ended in victory, there remained a stupendous problem: establishing a workable democratic government in the vast, newly independent country. Three key founding fathers played significant roles: John Adams, the brilliant, dour New Englander; Thomas Jefferson, the aristocratic Southern renaissance man; and Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the Caribbean island of Nevis. In this riveting narrative, best-selling author Winston Groom illuminates these men as the patriots fundamentally responsible for the ideas that shaped the emerging United States. Their lives could not have been more different, and their relationships with each other were often rife with animosity. And yet they led the charge--two of them creating and signing the Declaration of Independence, and the third establishing a national treasury and the earliest delineation of a Republican party. The time in which they lived was fraught with danger, and their achievements were strained by vast antagonisms that recall the intense political polarization of today. But through it all, they managed to shoulder the heavy mantle of creating the United States of America, putting aside their differences to make a great country. Drawing on extensive correspondence, Groom shares the remarkable story of the beginnings of our great nation.



Monday, December 28, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading? George Washington, Entrepreneur

 

It's Monday, What are you Reading? 

George Washington, Entrepreneur: 

How Our Founding Father’s Private Business Pursuits Changed America and the World

By John Berlau





https://www.amazon.com/George-Washington-Entrepreneur-Founding-Business/dp/1250172608/



The first of three more Christmas books. I’m always interested in new approaches to these bios of the Presidents and Founding Fathers. I’m now especially interested to see how this one compares to others I have read. Usually learn new tidbits, from the different slants the authors use. 



Amazon’s Description:


A business biography of George Washington, focusing on his many innovations and inventions.


George Washington: general, statesman...businessman? Most people don't know that Washington was one of the country's first true entrepreneurs, responsible for innovations in several industries. In George Washington, Entrepreneur, John Berlau presents a fresh, surprising take on our forefather's business pursuits.


History has depicted Washington as a gifted general and political pragmatist, not an intellectual heavyweight. But he was a patron of inventors and inveterate tinkerer, and just as intelligent as Jefferson or Franklin. His library was filled with books on agriculture, history, and philosophy. He was the first to breed horses with donkeys to produce the American mule. On his estate, he grew countless varieties of trees and built a greenhouse full of exotic fruits, herbs, and plants. Unlike his Virginia neighbors who remained wedded to tobacco, Washington planted seven types of wheat. His state-of-the-art mill produced flour which he exported to Europe in sacks stamped "G. Washington"―one of the very first branded food products. Mount Vernon was also home to a distillery and became one of the largest American whiskey producers of the era.


Berlau's portrait of Washington, drawn in large part from his journals and extensive correspondence, presents a side of him we haven't seen before. It is sure to delight readers of presidential biography and business history.



Monday, December 14, 2020

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? Franklin & Washington

 

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? Franklin & Washington

The Founding Partnership by Edward J. Larson




https://www.amazon.com/Franklin-Washington-Partnership-Edward-Larson-ebook/dp/B07RNL7LY5/



Got a Kindle recommendation I could no refuse. Not sure why I had missed this one earlier, but it definitely fits my reading preferences. Thanks, Amazon, you did it again… even tho’ it only cost me $1.02 with credits… Good start to it…

Amazon Description:

"Larson's elegantly written dual biography reveals that the partnership of Franklin and Washington was indispensable to the success of the Revolution." —Gordon S. Wood 

 
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian comes a masterful, first-of-its-kind dual biography of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, illuminating their partnership's enduring importance. 


NATIONAL BESTSELLER • One of Washington Post's "10 Books to Read in February" • One of USA Today’s “Must-Read Books" of Winter 2020  •  One of Publishers Weekly's "Top Ten" Spring 2020 Memoirs/Biographies


Theirs was a three-decade-long bond that, more than any other pairing, would forge the United States. Vastly different men, Benjamin Franklin—an abolitionist freethinker from the urban north—and George Washington—a slavehold­ing general from the agrarian south—were the indispensable authors of American independence and the two key partners in the attempt to craft a more perfect union at the Constitutional Convention, held in Franklin’s Philadelphia and presided over by Washington. And yet their teamwork has been little remarked upon in the centuries since.
Illuminating Franklin and Washington’s relationship with striking new detail and energy, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Edward J. Larson shows that theirs was truly an intimate working friendship that amplified the talents of each for collective advancement of the American project.
During the French and Indian War, Franklin supplied the wagons for General Edward Braddock’s ill-fated assault on Fort Duquesne, and Washington buried the general’s body under the dirt road traveled by those retreating wagons. After long sup­porting British rule, both became key early proponents of inde­pendence. Rekindled during the Second Continental Congress in 1775, their friendship gained historical significance during the American Revolution, when Franklin led America’s diplomatic mission in Europe (securing money and an alliance with France) and Washington commanded the Continental Army. Victory required both of these efforts to succeed, and success, in turn, required their mutual coordination and cooperation. In the 1780s, the two sought to strengthen the union, leading to the framing and ratification of the Constitution, the founding document that bears their stamp.
Franklin and Washington—the two most revered figures in the early republic—staked their lives and fortunes on the American experiment in liberty and were committed to its preservation. Today the United States is the world’s great super­power, and yet we also wrestle with the government Franklin and Washington created more than two centuries ago—the power of the executive branch, the principle of checks and balances, the electoral college—as well as the wounds of their compromise over slavery. Now, as the founding institutions appear under new stress, it is time to understand their origins through the fresh lens of Larson’s Franklin & Washington, a major addition to the literature of the founding era.


 

Monday, December 7, 2020

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? Ten Lessons

 

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? 

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World 

by

Fareed Zakaria



https://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Post-Pandemic-World-Fareed-Zakaria-ebook/dp/B08BWRX6H5/


I saw Rachel Maddow on MSNBC interview Fareed Zakaria of CNN about this new book, and knew I had to have it, for reference, at least… got the Kindle edition. Their discussion on “Good Government” in Lesson Two seemed especially relevant. Can’t wait to check it out. It is on my Kindle right now. Should go read some more!

Amazon Description:

COVID-19 is speeding up history, but how? What is the shape of the world to come?


Lenin once said, "There are decades when nothing happens and weeks when decades happen." This is one of those times when history has sped up. CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria helps readers to understand the nature of a post-pandemic world: the political, social, technological, and economic consequences that may take years to unfold. Written in the form of ten "lessons," covering topics from natural and biological risks to the rise of "digital life" to an emerging bipolar world order, Zakaria helps readers to begin thinking beyond the immediate effects of COVID-19. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World speaks to past, present, and future, and, while urgent and timely, is sure to become an enduring reflection on life in the early twenty-first century.


 

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.