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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  ;-)

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Mary Ingalls: The College Years


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Mary Ingalls: The College Years
by Marie Tschopp
 


This post is the one-hundred and twenty-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]


One four recent books on the Ingalls/Wilder family based on research and writing by Ingalls/Wilder Foundation associated persons. This is the smallest of the four, and most limited in scope. However, it is also well researched, and adds detailed, historically-correct material on this fascinating family.


Book Description from Amazon:

At the young age of fourteen, Mary Ingalls suffered an illness, causing her to lose her eyesight. Despite this trauma, Mary—the famous older sister of author Laura Ingalls Wilder, who is best known for her children’s book series—led a remarkable life.

Mary Ingalls—the College Years explores the young adult life of the oldest Ingalls sister, following her years spent at the Iowa College for the Blind. Readers learn of the subjects Mary studied, Mary’s academic performance, her success after graduation, and the sacrifices the Ingalls family made for their eldest daughter’s education. Additionally, readers are introduced to the history, development, and controversy surrounding one of America’s earliest schools for the blind.

In this book—decorated with never-before-published archived photos—celebrated storyteller, historical performer, and author Marie Tschopp paints a historically accurate picture of Mary Ingalls’s life as a student. Fans of Ingalls Wilder’s beloved novels will enjoy this captivating biography that explores the real life of Mary Ingalls.



Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, July 10, 2017

It’s Monday, What are Your Reading? My latest ebook?



It’s Monday, What are Your Reading? 
My latest ebook?



Today, I’m sharing my latest ebook. Here is what I wrote on my Genealogy Ancestry blog:

In my book, '13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories,' I've always urged using a variety of methods to share your research of family stories. This is my latest effort to do that with mine. Here is the description for your interest:

"This is an ebook incorporating the compilation of four sets of episodes from the Weston Wagons West series of historical fiction stories first published online at HubPages.com. These historical fiction stories are based on the extended Weston Family members as they interact, from Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia, beginning in the 1600s, with members of the author’s actual ancestors. Based on extensive personal and collaborative research, each story shares the social history of the time along with the author’s ancestor’s own history in those times. Family surnames of ancestors include Preston and Butler, Kinnick and Duncan, in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and more. This ebook is one in a series relating the Weston Wagons West family saga stories that continue to be written based on current and future family history research."

This compilation is just one sample of many short stories I have written in this series at http://hubpages.com/@drbill-wml-smith

By compiling them into ebooks, many of them are available in one place. Useful for my reference as well as my readers. This ebook contains 25 separate episodes in three major story lines. There are also 4 'updates' that provide overviews for the whole Weston Wagons West project that are interesting from both a writer and historians perspective.

Available on Amazon.com currently are the two prior ebooks in this series...this one there shortly.
Right not, you can order from:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/dr-bill-smith/weston-wagons-west-w1-9-t1-7-d1-4-u0-3-1630-1880/ebook/product-23251741.html

Families are Forever!! ;-)

Happy Reading!! ;-)

Monday, July 3, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Al Franken


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
by Al Franken
 
 
 This post is the one-hundred and twenty-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]
 

https://www.amazon.com/Al-Franken-Giant-Senate/dp/1455540412/


Most recent book by my currently favorite Senator… ;-)
Fathers Day gift from Allison, in hardcopy! Thank you!;-)


Book Description from Amazon:


#1 New York Times Bestseller

"Flips the classic born-in-a-shack rise to political office tale on its head. I skipped meals to read this book - also unusual - because every page was funny. It made me deliriously happy." - Louise Erdrich, The New York Times

From Senator Al Franken - #1 bestselling author and beloved SNL alum - comes the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that.

This is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.

It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.

In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 19, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Wise Men



It's Monday, What are You Reading?
The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made
by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas

This post is the one-hundred and twenty-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]


https://www.amazon.com/Wise-Men-Friends-World-They-ebook/dp/B00768DB2S/


This book, nearly 900 words, was on my Wish List to get on Kindle. Annette sent a Father's Day gift card, so I used part of that to get this. It may take me a few years to read, but should be worth it! I haven’t read a lot about this period in recent years, so thought it would be a good idea!
These were 'the adults in the room' to the national leaders I grew up with...

Book Description from Amazon:


A captivating blend of personal biography and public drama, The Wise Men introduces the original best and brightest, leaders whose outsized personalities and actions brought order to postwar chaos: Averell Harriman, the freewheeling diplomat and Roosevelt's special envoy to Churchill and Stalin; Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who was more responsible for the Truman Doctrine than Truman and for the Marshall Plan than General Marshall; George Kennan, self-cast outsider and intellectual darling of the Washington elite; Robert Lovett, assistant secretary of war, undersecretary of state, and secretary of defense throughout the formative years of the Cold War; John McCloy, one of the nation's most influential private citizens; and Charles Bohlen, adroit diplomat and ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Loyal Son


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
The Loyal Son 
by Daniel Mark Epstein
 

This post is the one-hundred and twenty-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]
 

https://www.amazon.com/Loyal-Son-War-Franklins-House/dp/0345544218/


This is my April 2017 Early-Reader book from LibraryThing… in the Colonial/Founding Fathers category of historical nonfiction, still my favorite!! ;-)

Book Description from Amazon:


The dramatic story of a founding father, his illegitimate son, and the tragedy of their conflict during the American Revolution—from the acclaimed author of The Lincolns.

Ben Franklin is the most lovable of America’s founding fathers. His wit, his charm, his inventiveness—even his grandfatherly appearance—are legendary. But this image obscures the scandals that dogged him throughout his life. In The Loyal Son, award-winning historian Daniel Mark Epstein throws the spotlight on one of the more enigmatic aspects of Franklin’s biography: his complex and confounding relationship with his illegitimate son William.

When he was twenty-four, Franklin fathered a child with a woman who was not his wife. He adopted the boy, raised him, and educated him to be his aide. Ben and William became inseparable. After the famous kite-in-a-thunderstorm experiment, it was William who proved that the electrical charge in a lightning bolt travels from the ground up, not from the clouds down. On a diplomatic mission to London, it was William who charmed London society. He was invited to walk in the procession of the coronation of George III; Ben was not.

The outbreak of the American Revolution caused a devastating split between father and son. By then, William was royal governor of New Jersey, while Ben was one of the foremost champions of American independence. In 1776, the Continental Congress imprisoned William for treason. George Washington made efforts to win William’s release, while his father, to the world’s astonishment, appeared to have abandoned him to his fate.

A fresh take on the combustible politics of the age of independence, The Loyal Son is a gripping account of how the agony of the American Revolution devastated one of America’s most distinguished families. Like Nathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough, Epstein is a storyteller first and foremost, a historian who weaves together fascinating incidents discovered in long-neglected documents to draw us into the private world of the men and women who made America.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Jackie’s Girl


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Jackie’s Girl:My Life with the Kennedy Family 
by Kathy McKeon
 

This post is the one-hundred and twenty-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]

https://www.amazon.com/Jackies-Girl-Life-Kennedy-Family-ebook/dp/B01HMXRUN2/

This is a fun read related to my interest in Presidential politics and biographies. Reads well, so far, a few chapters in…

Book Description from Amazon:


New York Times Bestseller

An endearing coming-of-age memoir by a young woman who spent thirteen years as Jackie Kennedy’s personal assistant and occasional nanny—and the lessons about life and love she learned from the glamorous first lady.

In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just nineteen years old and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to former first lady Jackie Kennedy. The next thirteen years of her life were spent in Jackie's service, during which Kathy not only played a crucial role in raising young Caroline and John Jr., but also had a front-row seat to some of the twentieth century’s most significant events.

Because Kathy was always at Jackie’s side, Rose Kennedy deemed her “Jackie’s girl.” And although Kathy called Jackie “Madam,” she considered her employer more like a big sister who, in many ways, mentored her on how to be a lady. Kathy was there during Jackie and Aristotle Onassis’s courtship and marriage and Robert Kennedy’s assassination, dutifully supporting Jackie and the children during these tumultuous times in history.

A rare and engrossing look at the private life of one of the most famous women of the twentieth century, Jackie’s Girl is also a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, April 3, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Cardinal Way


It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Cardinal Way:
How One Team Embraced Tradition and Moneybag at the Same Time 
by Howard Medal
 
This post is the one-hundred and twenty-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 third of the three Wish List books I received for Christmas. Even though a year old, just in time for the start of the 2017 Major League Baseball Season and the Cardinals - watching the Cubs at the Cardinals on opening night, as I write this…


Book Description from Amazon:

The St. Louis Cardinals have experienced the kind of success that is rare in baseball. Regarded by many as the premier organization in Major League Baseball, they not only win, but do so with an apparently bottomless pool of talent, one that is mostly homegrown.
Despite years of phenomenal achievements, including going to the World Series in 2004 and again in 2006, the Cardinals reinvented themselves using the "Cardinal Way," a term that has come to represent many things to fans, media, and other organizations, from an ironclad code of conduct to the team's cutting-edge use of statistic and analytics, and a farm system that has transformed baseball.
Baseball journalist Howard Megdal takes fans behind the scenes and off the field, interviewing dozens of key players within the Cardinals organization, including owner Bill DeWitt and the general manager John Mozeliak. Megdal reveals how the players are assessed and groomed using an unrivaled player development system that has created a franchise that is the envy of the baseball world.
In the spirit of Moneyball, The Cardinals Way tells an in-depth, fascinating story about a consistently good franchise, the business of sports in the twenty-first century and a team that has learned how to level the playing field, turning in season after successful season.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, February 27, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Gatekeepers


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff 
Define Every Presidency 
by Chris Whipple
 


This post is the one-hundred and twenty-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]

This is a book in the Advanced Readers Program with LibraryThing.


Book Description from Amazon:

The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the White House Chiefs of Staff, whose actions—and inactions—have defined the course of our country

What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States—as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and—most crucially—enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks.

Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeen living chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity. In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history, showing us how James Baker’s expert managing of the White House, the press, and Capitol Hill paved the way for the Reagan Revolution—and, conversely, how Watergate, the Iraq War, and even the bungled Obamacare rollout might have been prevented by a more effective chief.

Filled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details, The Gatekeepers offers an essential portrait of the toughest job in Washington.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, February 20, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Jackson, Crockett and Houston


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Jackson, Crockett and Houston
on the American Frontier 
by Paul Williams


This post is the one-hundred and twenty-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]

This is a book in the Early Reviewers Program with LibraryThing.


Book Description from Amazon:

The 1813 storming of Fort Mims by Creek Indians brought to light the careers of Andrew Jackson, David Crockett and Sam Houston. All three fought the Creeks and each would have his part to play two decades later when the Alamo was stormed during the fight for Texan independence from Mexico.
President Jackson was the first head of state to recognize the fledgling Republic of Texas. Colonel Crockett would be enshrined as a folk hero for his stand at the Alamo. General Houston won Texan independence at San Jacinto in 1836.
This book tells the stories of the two landmark battles—at Fort Mims and the Alamo—and the interwoven lives of Jackson, Crockett and Houston, three of the most fascinating men in American history.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, February 6, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? At All Costs


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
At All Costs
by Matt Pretty
 

This post is the one-hundred and twentith 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 book about the Medal of Honor winner that I shared on my family history blog here:
http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/2017/01/what-can-happen-when-you-share-history.html

My wife ordered the book from Amazon, both in hard copy and for our Kindles. The next day, Cory, the son, as part of an ongoing email exchange with me, noted that he had ‘gotten our order, and was sending it with a special gift.’ I realized later that the book was coming from the Foundation the family had set up and Cory was doing the mailing, himself, on behalf of the foundation, as part of that work (http://www.chiefetchbergerfoundation.org/). The ‘special gift’ that came along with the hard copy book was a numbered Foundation Challenge Coin (http://www.chiefetchbergerfoundation.org/support-the-foundation.html). In addition, there was a special inscription in the book, signed by Cory. Further, each copy of the book was also signed by the author, and by the two men CMSGT Etchberger saved as they evacuated Lima Site 85-Laos, just before he was killed during the escape. One of those men, Stan, was also on the other side of me, the tall one, in the RBS Express photo. He died a few years ago, but obviously signed the books prior to that time.

A very special book, very special people, and now, additional special memories.


Book Description from Amazon:

The remarkable true story of a career GI’s leading role in a secret radar mission, the resolve he demonstrates during an attack on his mountaintop camp—-and the 42-year quest for America to recognize his actions.
In 1967, after 16 years in uniform, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Dick Etchberger is starting to make plans for a post-military life when he is invited to participate in a clandestine Vietnam War mission. There’s a catch, though: he must accept the assignment before he’s told of the location. Etchberger quickly agrees to this condition and is sent to Southeast Asia with two dozen other Air Force technicians to run a secret radar site atop a remote peak.
Posing as civilian contract workers, the men use an early computer to direct pilots to hit targets with greater accuracy regardless of visibility. Their operation, Project Heavy Green, has the blessing of the highest levels of Washington, D.C., as President Lyndon B. Johnson hopes improved bombing results will coax North Vietnam to negotiate an end to the war.
The mission is initially successful, though the team’s presence on the mountain is known almost immediately. The enemy soon launches a bizarre aerial assault on the camp. It is largely ineffective. A later ground attack, however, is not and results in the Air Force’s greatest loss of ground personnel in the war. Etchberger’s actions lead to the survival of three men, but not his own.
With eyewitnesses to Etchberger’s courage, why did it take four decades for the U.S. to recognize him with the nation’s highest award for military valor? Because they took place in Laos, a country officially neutral toward the neighboring war and off-limits to outside forces. Presenting him the Medal of Honor was impossible as it would have exposed U.S. presence there. It would take decades—and an improbable pathway—to reach this objective.
So begins the second phase of this remarkable story.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Madison’s Gift




It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Madison’s Gift: 
Five Partnerships that Built America
by David O. Stewart
 

This post is the one-hundred and nineteenth 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 I received this Christmas, from my Wish List. Thanks, family!!
James Madison is now probably my ‘favorite’ of the ‘Founders’ - this book, focused on five ‘partnership’ that created his legacy, should be fun and interesting read.

Book Descriptions from Amazon:

Historian David O. Stewart restores James Madison to his proper place as the most significant Founding Father and framer of the new nation: “A fascinating look at how one unlikely figure managed to help guide…a precarious confederation of reluctant states to a self-governing republic that has prospered for more than two centuries” (Richmond Times-Dispatch).

Short, plain, balding, neither soldier nor orator, low on charisma and high on intelligence, James Madison cared more about achieving results than taking the credit. Forming key partnerships with Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, and his wife Dolley, Madison achieved his lifelong goal of a self-governing constitutional republic. It was Madison who led the drive for the Constitutional Convention and pressed for an effective new government as his patron George Washington lent the effort legitimacy; Madison who wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton to secure the Constitution’s ratification; Madison who joined Thomas Jefferson to found the nation’s first political party and move the nation toward broad democratic principles; Madison, with James Monroe, who guided the new nation through its first war in 1812, and who handed the reins of government to the last of the Founders.

But it was his final partnership that allowed Madison to escape his natural shyness and reach the greatest heights. Dolley was the woman he married in middle age and who presided over both him and an enlivened White House. This partnership was a love story, a unique one that sustained Madison through his political rise, his presidency, and a fruitful retirement. In Madison’s Gift, David O. Stewart’s “insights are illuminating….He weaves vivid, sometimes poignant details throughout the grand sweep of historical events. He brings early history alive in a way that offers today’s readers perspective” (Christian Science Monitor).


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, January 2, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Nation Builder



It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams 
and the Grand Strategy of the Republic
by Charles N. Edel



This post is the one-hundred and eighteenth 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 first of three books I received this Christmas, from my Wish List. Thanks, family!!
I love to read about John Quincy Adams… conversed with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, in Paris, as a youngster… sat in Congress with Abraham Lincoln. Remarkable person… and life!! ;-)

Book Description from Amazon:

America’s rise from revolutionary colonies to a world power is often treated as inevitable. But Charles N. Edel’s provocative biography of John Q. Adams argues that he served as the central architect of a grand strategy whose ideas and policies made him a critical link between the founding generation and the Civil War–era nation of Lincoln.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)