Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
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The State of Things

The annual State of the Union Address is, thankfully, over. It was replete with this president’s usual rhetorical assaults on reality. Especially jarring was his attempt to take credit for “booming energy production,” since the boom occurred on private land in spite of, not because of his policies. He also reiterated his ideology-driven insistence on drastic and economically devastating regulatory measures to “reduce carbon emissions.” Read the rest of this entry »

January 24, 2015   2 Comments

Sentinels of Fire by P.T. Deuterman

This is a novel that will appeal to readers interested in the WWII Pacific theater. The setting is Okinawa, 1945. Although the characters are mostly fictional, the events are very real. The action takes place on a picket line of sixteen radar-equipped destroyers positioned around Okinawa. They are there to warn the Allies of the approach of Japanese kamikaze planes. Sentinels of Fire is the story of a particular destroyer, the USS Malloy. Connie Miles, new chief executive officer, tells it. But although the focus is on the Malloy, it is also the story of the havoc reeked by kamikaze attacks on picket ships and men.Read the rest of this entry »

January 19, 2015   No Comments

Founders’ Son A Life of Abraham Lincoln By Richard Brookhiser

So much has been written about the 16th U.S. president that some may wonder what Brookhiser could add that has not already been amply covered. Read on to find out!Read the rest of this entry »

January 15, 2015   2 Comments

What So Proudly We Hailed Francis Scott Key, A Life By Marc Leepson

The poem Francis Scott Key wrote on the night of September 13-14, 1814 during the ferocious and crucial Battle of Baltimore made him a celebrity. Although he opposed the War of 1812, having witnessed the British attack upon Baltimore he was moved by patriotic fervor to write the words that became America’s national anthem. No one knows how the poem wound up at a Boston printer the following morning, or who was responsible to setting it to the music of an English drinking song. Key never mentioned it in his letters at the time and only once some 20 years later did he refer to it in a political speech. Yet, except for his authorship, it is unlikely that Key would be remembered today save for his intersections with some historically memorable men. Leepson’s book is the first biography of Francis Scott Key.Read the rest of this entry »

November 25, 2014   1 Comment

American Queen The Rise and fall of Kate Chase Sprague By John Oller

Although billed as the rise and fall of Kate Sprague Chase, this story is inseparable from that of her father, the brilliant, ambitious and ethically challenged Salmon Chase. The author brings into focus a master of political intrigue and a beautiful, ambitious and resourceful woman who was determined to live life on her own terms. Oller’s book evokes an era and the American Queen who, for a time, ruled it. Read the rest of this entry »

October 31, 2014   7 Comments

The Forgotten Conservative By John M. Pafford

At least eight biographies of Grover Cleveland have been written, most far more extensive than this one. However, for the reader whose knowledge of Cleveland is limited, as was this reviewer’s, it is sufficient. Or it could promote a desire to know more.Read the rest of this entry »

October 21, 2014   No Comments

The Johnstown Flood By David McCullough

David McCullough is an exacting historian and a skilled writer. His biographies and accounts of significant structures and events are always absorbing. This reviewer had heard of the Johnstown Flood but knew little of the circumstances or the people involved. Somehow McCullough injects suspense into an event that occurred 125 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

October 14, 2014   No Comments

Totalitarianism from Inside and Out

2 for 1 book review, with some observations on the side.Read the rest of this entry »

October 9, 2014   3 Comments

John Marshall by Harlow Giles Unger

This is an extensively researched biography of a man who is too little remembered today. It’s become a cliché to say that a book reads like a novel, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Unger is a superb writer whose books have often been reviewed on this blog. Each one seems better than the last. We look forward to the next one. Read the rest of this entry »

September 25, 2014   No Comments

The Arroyo

The Arroyo is an absorbing depiction of porous borders, the marauders who cross it with impunity and the illegals they control and sometimes rape and kill. It is superbly acted and directed. Too bad Congress cannot be required to view it.Read the rest of this entry »

September 18, 2014   2 Comments