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Monday, May 2, 2016

Obama's Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House by Connie Corcoran Wilson - Review


Obama's Odyssey:The 2008 Race for the White House by Connie Corcoran Wilson - Review

Obama's Odyssey

Publisher:† Quad City Press (September 3, 2015)
Category:†U.S. Federal Government, 21st Century, Politics
ISBN-13: 978-0692527382
ASIN:† B015AOH9DQ
Tour Date: April/May
Available in: Print and ebook, 282 Pages

Obama's Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House is a reporter's-eye view of events unfolding in 2007 and 2008 as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Christopher Dodd, Bill Richardson (et al.) jockeyed for position for the Democratic nomination for president, while John McCain, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and others attempted to wrest control of the Republican nomination for their party. All ran for President in a wide-open free-for-all following the end of George W. Bush's 8 years in office. Author Connie (Corcoran) Wilson, a veteran reporter for five newspapers and numerous blogs, followed the candidates from the Iowa caucuses all the way through to the convention (Volume I) and, after that, from the convention through the tumultuous presidential campaign itself (Volume II), until President Barack Obama's Inauguration as the 44th President of the United States in January of 2009 (covered in Volume II). Writing as a member of the Yahoo Content Contributors' Network, retired sixty-something schoolteacher Wilson set off on an adventurous odyssey of her own that earned her the title 2008 Content Producer of the Year for Politics with 1,000 articles that garnered over three million hits. Filing three articles daily from the field, her adventures inside the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, the Ron Paul Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, the Belmont Town Hall Meeting in Nashville or elsewhere (Florida, Nevada, etc.) are detailed, insightful and, at times, humorous. The parallels and insights gleaned from following the presidential campaign in 2008 provide useful background material for the presidential race of 2016 now underway--with some of the same candidates that ran 8 years ago in the field again today. Never one to ignore an amusing anecdote or photo, the quotes, facts and polling data are only one small component of an engrossing read with multiple pictures that sum up the end of an era in presidential campaigns as the use of the Internet and the increasing importance of money in campaigning are clearly cataloged. If you are a Progressive, Independent or simply a Democrat with a sense of humor, this book is for you! An entertaining, informative and relevant slice of recent history.

Praise for Obama's Odyssey by Connie Corcoran Wilson

"Not many people get to have a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on in a campaign. And, sometimes when we do read accounts, they are partisan. This book is different. The author travels as a reporter, covering different candidates, in different locales, letting us into those grueling, exciting days in 2008. This is a collection of live articles written by a reporter covering the possibility of the first woman President and the first Black President."-Sharon A. Mitchell, Amazon Reviewer
"I loved this and can't wait for Wilson's next great project." - †Rose Richmond, Yahoo Contributor "The election of Barack Hussein Obama in 2008 was politically startling. It captured the imagination of a nation in a way that no other political event ever did or ever will.... As his double term as President of the United States comes to an end, there is no better time to reacquaint oneself with Obama's campaign trail, one of the most unbelievable sojourns in American history."- Bonnie McGrath, Chicago lawyer, Blogger, †and award-winning journalist

About Connie Corcoran WilsonConnie Corcoran Wilson

Connie Corcoran Wilson is the award winning author of 'The Color Of Evil' series and the 'Hellfire and Damnation' Series. Book 3,†'Khaki=Killer' was named one of the Top Indie Thrillers of 2015 in the Dec./Jan. issue of Shelf Unbound magazine from among 12,000+ entries and one of her children's books was named one of the Best† Books of 2014 by the Chicago Writers' Association, while the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Press Women named Wilson their Silver Feather winner in 2012 and 2014. Wilson†is a University of Iowa grad in Journalism and English†(additional study at Western Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, the University of Chicago and Berkeley)†and a college professor with 6 decades†of writing experience. She has written for 5 newspapers and many†blogs, founded†3 businesses, plays 4 musical instruments, and has 2 children (born 19 years apart). She followed the '04, '08 and '12 presidential campaigns "live" for Yahoo, which named her its Content Producer of the†Year for Politics in 2009.†She is sometimes referred to as T.Q. (Trivia Queen) from her misspent hours in the British Pub Quiz room on AOL. She blogs at www.WeeklyWilson.com and maintains 4 ongoing fiction series while also†writing about†nonfiction subjects.(politics and movies). Connie†also has 7-year-old twin granddaughters who are great fun and for whom and with whom she writes the Christmas Cats series (www.TheXmasCats.com).

Connie on Twitter:†https://twitter.com/ConnieCWilson
Connie on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Connie-Corcoran-Wilson/275020829241869 Connie on Pinterest:†http://pinterest.com/conniecwilson/ 
Connie on Google+:†https://plus.google.com/u/0/101447920077310676402

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus April 15 Interview, & Giveaway
Marianne Archuleta Apr 18 Review BJ Apr 19 Review
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BookSpin Apr 21 Review
Mandre Apr 22 Review
Mandy Apr 26 Review
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Apr 27 Review
Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar May 2 Review
I feel so unnecessary May 5 Review





Obama's Odyssey by Connie Corcoran Wilson

My Review:

If you are looking for a raw daily look at a political campaign from a reporter often right on the ground at caucuses and primary voting, this book is for you. As a Yahoo Content Contributor, Wilson blogged regularly at the Iowa Caucuses and at the Florida Primary. Other of her information often was reported, vote and delegate count data, for example, directly from contemporaneous CNN reports. Wilson also adds commentary, from time to time, from an unabashedly Obama supporter point of view. This is refreshing reporting, on the one hand. It can be viewed as biased reporting, by some. It didn’t really bother me, because I understood her intent and interests. Personal background information is also added, generously, in her daily reports. We learned, for example, how and for whom her father voted in earlier Iowa caucuses in years long past.

If you are looking for a clean, well edited narrative with all the details of the 2008 Primary Election circuit, you will be disappointed. That is not what this volume is about. This is virtually a download of her daily upload to the Yahoo blog, with virtually no editing of content. It is rare to get this kind of inside look, both at the primary process and at the Yahoo blogging process, as well.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this volume, once I was clear what I was reading. Often there were big breaks in the reporting, especially on election nights. We would learn all about the buildup to the night, and then often jump to the next week’s activities, without a report of the outcome of the first election. That is understandable, of course, if you were an election junkie, reading this blog. You would be following the election results, yourself on CNN or MSNBC, and didn’t need those re-reported in the blog the next day. With that understanding, I was able to continue on, enjoying the next set of ‘on-scene’ reports.

With these caveats, I recommend the book highly.


Happy Reading,

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Jefferson’s America


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Jefferson’s America:
The President, the Purchase, and the Explorers 
Who Transformed a Nation
by Julie M. Fenster
 

This post is the one-hundred and 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]

http://www.amazon.com/Jeffersons-America-President-Explorers-Transformed/dp/0307956482/

I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s program. I will write a review when I finish it, of course; to be published at LibraryThing.com and Amazon.com.

 
Book Description from Amazon:

The surprising story of how Thomas Jefferson commanded an unrivaled age of American exploration—and in presiding over that era of discovery, forged a great nation.
 
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, as Britain, France, Spain, and the United States all jockeyed for control of the vast expanses west of the Mississippi River, the stakes for American expansion were incalculably high. Even after the American purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Spain still coveted that land and was prepared to employ any means to retain it. With war expected at any moment, Jefferson played a game of strategy, putting on the ground the only Americans he could: a cadre of explorers who finally annexed it through courageous investigation.

Responsible for orchestrating the American push into the continent was President Thomas Jefferson. He most famously recruited Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who led the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific, but at the same time there were other teams who did the same work, in places where it was even more crucial. William Dunbar, George Hunter, Thomas Freeman, Peter Custis, and the dauntless Zebulon Pike—all were dispatched on urgent missions to map the frontier and keep up a steady correspondence with Washington about their findings.

But they weren’t always well-matched—with each other and certainly not with a Spanish army of a thousand soldiers or more. These tensions threatened to undermine Jefferson’s goals for the nascent country, leaving the United States in danger of losing its foothold in the West. Deeply researched and inspiringly told, Jefferson’s America rediscovers the robust and often harrowing action from these seminal expeditions and illuminates the president’s vision for a continental America.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Listen, Liberal


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Listen, Liberal: 
Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? 
by Thomas Frank
 

This post is the one-hundred and 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]

http://www.amazon.com/Listen-Liberal-Happened-Party-People-ebook/dp/B012N992EK/


I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s program. I will write a review when I finish it, of course; to be published at LibraryThing and Amazon.com.


Book Description from Amazon:

From the bestselling author of What's the Matter With Kansas, a scathing look at the standard-bearers of liberal politics -- a book that asks: what's the matter with Democrats?
It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.
But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.
With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank's Listen, Liberal lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, March 7, 2016

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Obama’s Odyssey


It's Monday, What are You Reading? Obama’s Odyssey: 
The 2008 Race for the White House 
(Vol. I, Caucus to Convention)
 

This post is the one-hundred and 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]


I am reading this book as part of a Teddy Rose ‘Virtual Author Book Tour’ and will post my review here on May 2, as well as on Amazon.

 
Book Description from Amazon:

Obama's Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House is a reporter's-eye view of events unfolding in 2007 and 2008 as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Christopher Dodd, Bill Richardson (et al.) jockeyed for position for the Democratic nomination for president, while John McCain, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and others attempted to wrest control of the Republican nomination for their party. All ran for President in a wide-open free-for-all following the end of George W. Bush's 8 years in office.
Author Connie (Corcoran) Wilson, a veteran reporter for five newspapers and numerous blogs, followed the candidates from the Iowa caucuses all the way through to the convention (Volume I) and, after that, from the convention through the tumultuous presidential campaign itself (Volume II), until President Barack Obama's Inauguration as the 44th President of the United States in January of 2009 (covered in Volume II).
Writing as a member of the Yahoo Content Contributors' Network, retired sixty-something schoolteacher Wilson set off on an adventurous odyssey of her own that earned her the title 2008 Content Producer of the Year for Politics with 1,000 articles that garnered over three million hits. Filing three articles daily from the field, her adventures inside the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, the Ron Paul Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, the Belmont Town Hall Meeting in Nashville or elsewhere (Florida, Nevada, etc.) are detailed, insightful and, at times, humorous. The parallels and insights gleaned from following the presidential campaign in 2008 provide useful background material for the presidential race of 2016 now underway--with some of the same candidates that ran 8 years ago in the field again today. Never one to ignore an amusing anecdote or photo, the quotes, facts and polling data are only one small component of an engrossing read with multiple pictures that sum up the end of an era in presidential campaigns as the use of the Internet and the increasing importance of money in campaigning are clearly cataloged. An entertaining, informative and relevant slice of recent history.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Dark Money



It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Dark Money:
The Hidden History of the Billionaires
Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
by Jane Mayer


This post is the one-hundred and 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]


www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical-ebook/dp/B0180SU4OA

This book was recommended on the Bill Moyers blog. I’m very happy that I chose to read it. It is an eye-opening experience, for sure. I am reading the Kindle Edition.



Book Description from Amazon:

Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers?
     The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against “big government” led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. 
     The network has brought together some of the richest people on the planet. Their core beliefs—that taxes are a form of tyranny; that government oversight of business is an assault on freedom—are sincerely held. But these beliefs also advance their personal and corporate interests: Many of their companies have run afoul of federal pollution, worker safety, securities, and tax laws.
     The chief figures in the network are Charles and David Koch, whose father made his fortune in part by building oil refineries in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. The patriarch later was a founding member of the John Birch Society, whose politics were so radical it believed Dwight Eisenhower was a communist. The brothers were schooled in a political philosophy that asserted the only role of government is to provide security and to enforce property rights. 
     When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies chose another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency. Richard Mellon Scaife, the mercurial heir to banking and oil fortunes, had the brilliant insight that most of their political activities could be written off as tax-deductible “philanthropy.”
     These organizations were given innocuous names such as Americans for Prosperity. Funding sources were hidden whenever possible. This process reached its apotheosis with the allegedly populist Tea Party movement, abetted mightily by the Citizens United decision—a case conceived of by legal advocates funded by the network.
     The political operatives the network employs are disciplined, smart, and at times ruthless. Mayer documents instances in which people affiliated with these groups hired private detectives to impugn whistle-blowers, journalists, and even government investigators. And their efforts have been remarkably successful. Libertarian views on taxes and regulation, once far outside the mainstream and still rejected by most Americans, are ascendant in the majority of state governments, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Meaningful environmental, labor, finance, and tax reforms have been stymied. 
     Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews-including with several sources within the network-and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy.
     Dark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, February 8, 2016

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Henry Clay


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
 
 Henry Clay: America’s Greatest Statesman
by Harlow Giles Unger
 
 This post is the one-hundred and fourth 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 last of the three books from my Christmas Wish List - Thanks, family! ;-)
This one was useful, as I expected. I’d read a much larger bio of Henry Clay. This one was easy to read and great reminders of events of the first half of the 19th Century.

 
Book Description from Amazon:

n a critical and little-known chapter of early American history, author Harlow Giles Unger tells how a fearless young Kentucky lawyer threw open the doors of Congress during the nation's formative years and prevented dissolution of the infant American republic.

The only freshman congressman ever elected Speaker of the House, Henry Clay brought an arsenal of rhetorical weapons to subdue feuding members of the House of Representatives and established the Speaker as the most powerful elected official after the President. During fifty years in public service—as congressman, senator, secretary of state, and four-time presidential candidate—Clay constantly battled to save the Union, summoning uncanny negotiating skills to force bitter foes from North and South to compromise on slavery and forego secession. His famous "Missouri Compromise" and four other compromises thwarted civil war "by a power and influence," Lincoln said, "which belonged to no other statesman of his age and times."

Explosive, revealing, and richly illustrated, Henry Clay is the story of one of the most courageous—and powerful—political leaders in American History.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

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  ;-)