Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

The Seventies: The Great Shift In American Culture, Society, And PoliticsThe Seventies: The Great Shift In American Culture, Society, And Politics by Bruce J. Schulman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very good and insightful overview and analysis of the Seventies and the “wasted generation” (for those of us who were kids in the 1970’s, this moniker is the one applied to us). (more…)

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information EmpiresThe Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating book. Tim Wu is a big-picture guy and he writes from that perspective as he details the history of the information empires that have risen and fall in the last 120 years in America. (more…)

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz AgeArc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin G. Boyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The heart of this story is about a first-generation free black man who, through the sacrifices of his parents, was able to become a physician took place in 1920’s Detroit, but it could be taking place right now in 2017 anywhere in America as a new wave of virulent racism, prejudice, and white supremacy sweeps this nation under the alt right rhetoric and “alternative facts” of a new generation of ignorant and fear-mongering groups, who are strongly reminiscent of the KKK and its subsidiaries that swept the country in the 1920’s. (more…)

Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston ChurchillClementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fascinating book. As the author pointed out in her introduction to the book, Winston Churchill has gotten all the press and all the attention both during his life and since his death among the historians and biographers, while Clementine, his wife, was either invisible or contained to a single-sentence mention in passing. (more…)

Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a PresidentLady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President by Betty Caroli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was way too young to know anything about Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson when they were in the White House and much of the scant knowledge I had of Lyndon Johnson – which left me with a negative impression of him both as a person and as someone in a leadership position – before reading this book has been acquired through my extensive study of the long history of war, beginning with the French in the 1950’s, in Vietnam. (more…)

The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior: The Intersecting Lives of Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They ShapedThe Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior: The Intersecting Lives of Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped by Paul Strathern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was very interesting for several reasons. It caught my attention because the idea of Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia’s lives being intertwined with each other seemed far-fetched because of the vast differences in these three people as individuals.

And yet, for several months in 1502 and 1503, the artist (serving as military engineer), the philosopher (officially representing Florence, imperiled economically and militarily, yet paralyzingly indecisive over political allegiances), and the warrior indeed were together as Borgia made his eventually-doomed move, with his corrupt and debauched father, Pope Alexander VI, pulling the political strings in the background from the Vatican, to begin the quest to rule a united Italy. (more…)