Friday, November 13, 2009

Book review variety show.

Ok, so I was planning on reviewing each of the books that I have read in the past few months. Problem is, I still have six books to go. At my present rate that will take me forever since I am still reading. As such I have decided to take a shortcut and do quick reviews of each book. Here we go:

Adams vs. Jefferson by John Ferling - Excellent read about the election of 1800. Ferling does a superb job of laying the foundation and explaining the issues. I learned a lot. Much about Jefferson, more about Adams and his term as president.

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose - An overview of the Lewis and Clark expedition with the focus being on Meriwether Lewis. I had never read any of Ambrose's work and knew only the basic facts about the Lewis and Clark adventure. Learned much about both. The information was fascinating but I am not sure I share others' enthusiasm for the author.

Benjamin Franklin, An American Life by Walter Isaacson - This book was a very revealing look at America's original inventor. I knew little about Franklin outside his participation in the founding of the United States. This work filled in his background nicely and made his decisions and actions understandable.

Andrew Jackson, His Life and Times by H.W. Brands - Andrew Jackson was an intriguing figure in American history. Brands brings him to life and gives a clear picture of his life, service, and presidency. I was able to glean a lot about Jackson in reading this and it solidified my view of him as one of the worst presidents we have had.

The Second World War by John Keegan - Handy overview of the war by a British historian. The British take on the war was very interesting. While that was not Keegan's purpose in writing the book, it did show through at times. His method of dividing the war into theatres and segments was also interesting.

Mathew Brady by Barry Pritzker - As is fitting the subject matter, this is a nice coffee table type book. The author mixes text containing Brady's biography in with photos containing his work. Being familiar with Brady's Civil War works I was particularly impressed by some of his other pictures. Relaxing and interesting read.

Whew! So there we are, all caught up. I'll try and not let that happen again. If you have any questions about these six books or want more information on them just give me a shout.

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