Reading….American Creation

Reading:  American Creation by Joseph Ellis

More “short stories” (of sorts) by the acclaimed historian on the two decades following independence.  He not only focuses on the brilliant successes of the period, but also the brilliant failures, if you will:  The treatment of Native Americans and of course, slavery.  Their failure to address these issue resulted, of course, in great tragedy.   His format does a great job in cutting through the mythology that stands in for real knowledge in today’s conversations.


Reading…All Quiet on the Western Front

Reading “All Quiet on the Western Front”

I haven’t read this one before, although I’ve had the book for years.  Now I am.  Especially as my son is reading it as well as a school assignment.

Anti-war novel.  Should be read on a regular basis over and over by people who send very young men to war.  I’m reminded in ways of “The Red Badge of Courage.   Both coming of age novels.

Reading…The Father of Us All

also reading…

The Father of Us All by Victor Davis Hanson

The title comes from Heraclitus, who wrote, that war is “the father, the king of us all”.    It was time to read a book that challenges my assumptions, and this is exactly what this book does.  The author, a military historian, submits a series of essays defending the study of military history, asserting that the neglect of such a studies leads our society towards exactly those wars we wish to avoid.   Well written, the reader should be on the lookout for the author’s insertion of his personal politics into the overall narrative.

Reading…The Curious Incident

I seldom read one book at a time.

At the moment, I’m reading:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

I’ve listed to this curious book on audio and now just finished reading the actual book itself.   As the main character has Asperger’s, the reader gains an empathy for a main character that has fundamental challenges with just that trait.  An excellent way to gain an understanding of just how the mind of a person with Asperger’s syndrome works.  We know what’s going on even though the narrator often doesn’t.

American Civil War Reading

I’m working on a library of American Civil War readings.

Here’s my list so far:

    • Shelby Foote 
    • Stephen Oates
    • James McPherson
    • Benjamin Thomas for a good Lincoln study, His book on Lincoln is still a classic more than half a century after he wrote it. 
    • Bill Safire’s fictional account on Lincoln, which focuses on the beginning of the war. 
    • Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals”.
    • Garry Wills’ book on the Gettysburg Address is incredibly well put together.
    • Holzer has a good book on Lincoln’s speeches.
    • Faust’s “This Republic of Suffering” 
    • Shenk’s “Lincoln’s Melancholy” offers insights as to Lincoln’s personality.