You may also like to read:

If you enjoy reading this blog, you may also like to read the articles I write each week as the Springfield Genealogy Examiner and as the Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a one. You may also enjoy reading about the family stories in my novels at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates:
 The Forgotten War that changed American History
by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger
 


This post is the one-hundred and 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]

This is the second of the three books from my Christmas Wish List - Thanks, family! ;-)
This one was more substantive than I expected… frequently overlooked events because at the same time as the Lewis and Clark Expedition, among other events in the U.S.A.


Book Description from Amazon:

This is the little-known story of how a newly indepen­dent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America’s third president decided to stand up to intimidation.

When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa’s Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new coun­try could afford.

Over the previous fifteen years, as a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco). Unfortunately, he found it impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion jus­tified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy—at least not while easy money could be made by extorting the Western powers. So President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S. Navy’s new warships and a detachment of Marines to blockade Tripoli—launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America’s journey toward future superpower status.

As they did in their previous bestseller, George Washington’s Secret Six, Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Among the many sus­penseful episodes:

·Lieutenant Andrew Sterett’s ferocious cannon battle on the high seas against the treacherous pirate ship Tripoli.

·Lieutenant Stephen Decatur’s daring night raid of an enemy harbor, with the aim of destroying an American ship that had fallen into the pirates’ hands.

·General William Eaton’s unprecedented five-hundred-mile land march from Egypt to the port of Derne, where the Marines launched a surprise attack and an American flag was raised in victory on foreign soil for the first time.

Few today remember these men and other heroes who inspired the Marine Corps hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.” Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates recaptures this forgot­ten war that changed American history with a real-life drama of intrigue, bravery, and battle on the high seas.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Monday, What are You Reading? John Marshall



It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
John Marshall: The Chief Justice who saved the nation
by Harlow Giles Unger


This post is the one-hundred and 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]


[http://www.amazon.com/John-Marshall-Chief-Justice-Nation-ebook/dp/B00JNYDHY0]


This is the first of the three books from my Christmas Wish List - Thanks, family! ;-)
I’ve always admired what Marshall did - now I know why, in much more depth. ;-)


Book Description from Amazon:

A soul-stirring biography of John Marshall, the young republic's great chief justice, who led the Supreme Court to power and brought law and order to the nation

A useful review posted on Amazon.com:

Kirkus Reviews, 8/1/14
“A cradle-to-grave biography of the U.S. Supreme Court’s longest-serving chief justice…Unger chooses to present all aspects of Marshall's life, including his military heroism and his extraordinary devotion to a chronically ill wife and their children…It is well-researched, and the author is skilled at portraying the characters and viewpoints of Marshall’s political friends and foes. Thomas Jefferson comes across as a stubborn, politically motivated and sometimes hypocritical man, and Unger employs the Marshall-Jefferson enmity effectively, adding tension to the narrative. A vigorous account of an influential American life.”

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, December 7, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Destiny and Power by Jon Meacham


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Destiny and Power:
The American Oydesey of
 by Jon Meacham




This post is the one-hundred and 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]



Got this the day it came out. Advance PR on the TV and magazines caught my attention. Always like George until the last couple of years of his Presidency, when he seemed to be ‘pulled off track.’ Want to learn more. Admire Jon Meecham as a writer/historian. Most useful read, so far… ;-)

Posting this on Pearl Harbor Day, a significant day in the life of George Herbert Walker Bush! ;-)


Book Description from Amazon:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this brilliant biography, Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. Drawing on President Bush’s personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed.

His was one of the great American lives. Born into a loving, privileged, and competitive family, Bush joined the navy on his eighteenth birthday and at age twenty was shot down on a combat mission over the Pacific. He married young, started a family, and resisted pressure to go to Wall Street, striking out for the adventurous world of Texas oil. Over the course of three decades, Bush would rise from the chairmanship of his county Republican Party to serve as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, director of Central Intelligence, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and, finally, president of the United States. In retirement he became the first president since John Adams to see his son win the ultimate prize in American politics.

With access not only to the Bush diaries but, through extensive interviews, to the former president himself, Meacham presents Bush’s candid assessments of many of the critical figures of the age, ranging from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan; Mao to Mikhail Gorbachev; Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld; Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it.

From the Pacific to the presidency, Destiny and Power charts the vicissitudes of the life of this quietly compelling American original. Meacham sheds new light on the rise of the right wing in the Republican Party, a shift that signaled the beginning of the end of the center in American politics. Destiny and Power is an affecting portrait of a man who, driven by destiny and by duty, forever sought, ultimately, to put the country first.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, November 23, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Dr. Martha: The Life of a Pioneer Physician, Politician and Polygamist by Mari Grana


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Dr. Martha: The Life of a Pioneer Physician,  Politician and Polygamist 
by Mari Grana


This post is the one-hundredth 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 an ‘advance reader’ book I got from LibraryThing.  

This was the review I wrote:
 
“A well balanced commentary on the Mormon view of women's status during the lifetime of Dr. Martha (Mattie) Hughes Cannon during the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dr. Martha's triumphs and tribulations are illustrative of both the good and the bad of the implementation of Mormon principles within the territorial and federal jurisdictions during this period. As the first elected woman State Senator in the nation, the status of Dr. Martha (Mattie) in American history is secure. This book well presents that status. I highly recommend it to those with an open minded interest in these subjects.”

Book Description from Amazon:

Dr. Martha tells the fascinating story of Martha Hughes Cannon, the first woman elected to the Utah state senate—in 1896. She was a polygamist wife, a practicing physician, and an astute and pioneering politician. In compelling prose, author Mari Graña traces Cannon’s life from her birth in Wales to her emigration to Utah with her family in 1861, her career as a physician, her marriage, her exile in England, her subsequent return, and her election to the Utah state senate. Her husband was the Republican candidate she, a Democrat, defeated in that historic election.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Golden Age by Jane Smiley


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Golden Age by Jane Smiley
 This post is the ninety-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 got this one in hard-copy the day it was published, from Amazon.com. As I write this, I’m near the end of the one hundred years covered by the trilogy…a few years into the future. The future she envisions is a bit apocalyptic… but seems to fit with he overall narrative of the three books. Having lived the last three fourths of these years, I was fascinated by how similar the lives of her Langdon descendants are to people I know and have known… and also some significant differences. She is a good story-teller, that is for sure! ;-)


Book Description from Amazon:

From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: the much-anticipated final volume, following Some Luck and Early Warning, of her acclaimed American trilogy—a richly absorbing new novel that brings the remarkable Langdon family into our present times and beyond

A lot can happen in one hundred years, as Jane Smiley shows to dazzling effect in her Last Hundred Years trilogy. But as Golden Age, its final installment, opens in 1987, the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political—and personal—challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered before.

Michael and Richie, the rivalrous twin sons of World War II hero Frank, work in the high-stakes world of government and finance in Washington and New York, but they soon realize that one’s fiercest enemies can be closest to home; Charlie, the charming, recently found scion, struggles with whether he wishes to make a mark on the world; and Guthrie, once poised to take over the Langdons’ Iowa farm, is instead deployed to Iraq, leaving the land—ever the heart of this compelling saga—in the capable hands of his younger sister.

Determined to evade disaster, for the planet and her family, Felicity worries that the farm’s once-bountiful soil may be permanently imperiled, by more than the extremes of climate change. And as they enter deeper into the twenty-first century, all the Langdon women—wives, mothers, daughters—find themselves charged with carrying their storied past into an uncertain future.

Combining intimate drama, emotional suspense, and a full command of history, Golden Age brings to a magnificent conclusion the century-spanning portrait of this unforgettable family—and the dynamic times in which they’ve loved, lived, and died: a crowning literary achievement from a beloved master of American storytelling.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Union 1812 by A.J. Langguth


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Union 1812 by A.J. Langguth


This post is the ninety-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]

Just finished this one. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years, this was the right time to read it. Great review of 1800-1849 American history, in some detail! ;-)

Book Description from Amazon:

By the author of the acclaimed Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, a gripping narrative that tells the story of the second and final war of independence that secured the nation's independence from Europe and established its claim to the entire continent.

The War of 1812 has been ignored or misunderstood. Union 1812 thrillingly illustrates why it must take its place as one of the defining moments in American history.

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly:


Langguth follows his popular Patriots with a fast-paced account of the War of 1812. Ostensibly a fight over the impressment of American sailors by the British, this little-understood three-year conflict was really about who controlled the middle of North America. As the subtitle suggests, Langguth argues that only with America's second victory over England did the new nation fully confirm its sovereignty over the vast western territories. Langguth thankfully takes his time setting up the war, spending 150 pages walking readers through the first decade of the 1800s, when Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase and attempted an ill-fated embargo against Britain. Though not a traditional military history, this book has a few rip-roaring battle scenes, such as Andrew Jackson's famous routing of the British at New Orleans. Langguth presents the War of 1812 as a pivot, the end of the era of early America. The war's end unleashed the next stage of aggressive expansionism. Langguth's prose is vivid, and he brings to life a panoply of personalities, from Dolley Madison to Tecumseh. He hasn't broken new ground, but he has provided a panoramic view of a decisive event in American military and political history.



Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? X by Sue Grafton


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
X by Sue Grafton
[Kinsey Milhone Book 24]
 

This post is the ninety-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 have have loved the Kinsey Milhone books from "A is for Alibi" in 1982 - and have read each one as soon as it was published (24 so far!). X will not disappoint either!! ;-)

http://www.amazon.com/X-Kinsey-Millhone-Book-24-ebook/dp/B00TY3ZKJA/


Book Description from Amazon:

Of #1 New York Times–bestselling author Sue Grafton, NPR’s Maureen Corrigan said, “Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters.” With only two letters left, Grafton’s many devoted readers will share that sentiment.

X:  The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

X:  The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: think xylophone.

X:  The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.

Sue Grafton’s X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.



Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)