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Monday, November 20, 2017

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? Playing with Fire



It’s Monday, What are You Reading? Playing with Fire:
The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics
by Lawrence O'Donnell
 

This post is the one-hundred and thirty-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]

In essence, this book expands the last 50 pages of the Bobby Kennedy book to 500 pages, focusing on all the players and the culture leading to this pivotal presidential election.


Editorial Reviews from Amazon:



"In this delightful combination of vivid storytelling and sharp political insight, Lawrence O'Donnell brings to life the most fascinating election of modern times. His book is filled with memorable anecdotes and colorful characters, from Roger Ailes and Richard Nixon to Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. But beneath the rollicking tale is a truly profound historical truth: how the Sixties still reverberates in our nation's soul." —Walter Isaacson



“I love the way Lawrence thinks, I love the way he writes. Playing with Fire is him at his best -- this is a thriller-like, propulsive tour through 1968, told by a man who is in love with American politics and who knows how all the dots connect.  Brilliant and totally engrossing.” ―Rachel Maddow



“From the anguish of the Vietnam War to the dazzling minds and feverish ambitions of the 1968 presidential election, Playing with Fire not only tells the story of one extraordinary year in American politics, it brings back to vivid, riveting life the men and women who changed the course of history.” ―Candice Millard, Author of Hero of the Empire



“A breathtaking, "buckle your seatbelt" ride through what might be the most dramatic and brutally consequential presidential election in modern U.S. history. Lawrence O'Donnell leaves no detail and no key historical player unexamined as he maps out the often treacherous route to America becoming its modern political self. Playing with Fire is a brilliant and necessary read for everyone who cares about politics, and loves history.” ―Joy-Ann Reid



“If ever there was a bygone presidential campaign crying out for the Game Change treatment, it’s the one that convulsed America in 1968—and Lawrence O’Donnell delivers the goods in Playing With Fire. Wars at home and abroad, secret plots and assassinations, riots in the streets and punches thrown on the convention floor, poets and protestors, movie stars and Kennedys, hippies, Yippies, and Black Panthers: 1968 had it all and then some. And now it has a chronicler in O’Donnell who brings coherence to the chaos, rendering the story with the crackle and flow of a dynamite Hollywood screenplay.” ―John Heilemann



“An excellent account of the 1968 presidential race, a political season of spoilers, outsiders, and broken machines eerily like our own time . . . [A] sharp, nuanced account . . . A careful, circumstantial study that compares favorably to Theodore H. White's presidents series and that politics junkies will find irresistible.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred)



"A smoothly written history of the 1968 campaign..., he tells the story exceedingly well. Appropriately, there is nothing dull about this book, just as there was nothing dull about this specific election or period in American history...O’Donnell writes accessibly for all readers, creating a beneficial work for anyone interested in modern political history." — Library Jorunal



"O’Donnell capably sets the historical context...O’Donnell’s breezy style, an outgrowth of his broadcasting persona, makes the chaos decipherable...Satisfying popular history." — Booklist



"[An]...in-depth examination...a unique thesis on what drove the year’s events...a unique thesis on what drove the year’s events." — Publishers Weekly


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Bobby Kennedy


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit
by Chris Matthews
 


This post is the one-hundred and thirty-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]

Back to biography… Fits very well after The Wise Men and Fantasyland and the upcoming Playing with Fire about the 1968 Election…


Book Description from Amazon:

A revealing new portrait of Robert F. Kennedy that gets closer to the man than any book before, by bestselling author Chris Matthews, an esteemed Kennedy expert and anchor of MSNBC’s Hardball.

With his bestselling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look of one of America’s most beloved Presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby Kennedy, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American twentieth century.

Overlooked by his father, and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Matthews pulls back the curtain on the public and private worlds of Robert Francis Kennedy. He shines a light on all the important moments of his life, from his early years and his start in politics to his crucial role as attorney general in his brother’s administration and his tragic run for president. This definitive book brings Bobby Kennedy to life like never before and is destined to become a political classic.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, October 30, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Leonard da Vinci


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Leonardo da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson


This post is the one-hundred and thirty-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 book is really a change of pace, for me. Although it is a biography, it is for a person of long ago. This is what caught my attention: “how the ability to make connections across disciplines - arts and sciences, humanities and technology - is a key to innovation, imagination, and genius.” This is what drew Isaacson to Leonardo. Jobs was likewise attracted to Leonardo da Vinci. Also, Leonardo’s curiosity and intense observations - illustrated by the 7,200 pages of notes and scribbles from his notebooks that survive - are compelling. The hard copy of the book is printed on slick paper, with many, many images - many from the notebooks. I’m treating it as a reference as much as a book to be read cover to cover…though I hope to... ;-)


Book Description from Amazon:

The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius.

His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.

Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? What Happened


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
What Happened
By Hillary Rodham Clinton


This post is the one-hundred and thirty-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]





Really had not planned to get the book, but now that I’ve started reading it, I’m glad I did. Don’t necessarily believe the clips you’ve seen, good or bad. If you want her perspective, read this book. If not, leave it alone.


Book Description from Amazon:


For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

In these pages, she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. With humor and candor, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet—the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.

She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.

The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign and its aftermath—both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)



Monday, September 25, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Unbelievable


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Unbelievable: 
My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History 
by Katy Tur


This post is the one-hundred and thirty-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]

An excellent book about the recent presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump by an outstanding reporter who was there from the beginning. This is her story. Blow by blow, and then some...


Book Description from Amazon:

Called "disgraceful," "third-rate," and "not nice" by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history.
Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s "Tiny Dancer"—a Trump rally playlist staple.
From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car.
None of it worked. Facts are stubborn. So was Tur. She was part of the first women-led politics team in the history of network news. The Boys on the Bus became the Girls on the Plane. But the circus remained. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur.

Unbelievable is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It’s also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is a must-read for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, September 11, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Fantasyland




It's Monday, What are You Reading? Fantasyland: 
How America Went Haywire, A 500-year History
by Kurt Andersen







This post is the one-hundred and thirtieth 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 became aware of this book while watching Lawrence O’Donnell’s ’The Last Word’ tv show and his interview with the author. Assumed it would be worth the read. I’m now sure it will be.


Book Description from Amazon:


“The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book.

“This is an important book—the indispensable book—for understanding America in the age of Trump. It’s an eye-opening history filled with brilliant insights, a saga of how we were always susceptible to fantasy, from the Puritan fanatics to the talk-radio and Internet wackos who mix show business, hucksterism, and conspiracy theories.”—Walter Isaacson


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Little Lodges on the Prairie




It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Little Lodges on the Prairie:
Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder
by Teresa Lynn
 
 This post is the one-hundred and twenty-ninth 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]
 


https://www.amazon.com/Little-Lodges-Prairie-Freemasonry-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00LSD3WU8/


This Ingalls/Wilder book is a little different than others in that is also focuses on Freemasonry and activities of the families in this fraternity and related organizations in the various locations they lived during their lifetimes. This is a 2014 book, but still a somewhat different slant on these interesting families, for sure.


Book Description from Amazon:

The Little House on the Prairie books and TV show have inspired generations, but few people know the history of the Ingalls family in Freemasonry.
Discover new stories about Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first book to comprehensively document the role Masonry and the Eastern Star played in the lives of this iconic American family.
A lively and informative look at this lesser-known aspect of Laura’s life, including documents which have rarely been seen and never before been published, Little Lodges on the Prairie gives readers an intriguing new and unique perspective on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)