This  Man Reads….

History

Five Books for the End of February…..

The Last Days of Night - Graham Moore one of my Feb-March books

And the Beginning of March..….

Since there are only six days left in February, I will probably not finish any more books. That means I will end the month having read five books.And I will have read thirteen books in 2017. But maybe just maybe one I will be able to finish one of the following five books. Even if I don’t finish any of the books I will a good start on March;s reads!

Five Proposed Reads for the End of February and March

Books I am Currently Reading….

I have already started two of the five books I currently have checked out from the library. Here are the two that I have started

Long Days of Night – Graham Moore

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The Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in the US in 1915!

Dark Invasion:1915: Germany’s Secret War & the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America – Howard Blum
The Beginning of World War I

The hunt for the first terrorist cell in the United States had its beginnings on June 28, 1914 when…..

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, visit Sarajevo in Bosnia. A bomb is thrown at their auto but misses. Undaunted, they continue their visit only to be shot and killed a short time later by a lone assassin. Believing the assassin to be a Serbian nationalist, the Austrians target their anger toward Serbia

That began the march towards World War I. In the subsequent month Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia,on July 28th. That was followed by Germany declaring war on Russia on August 1st. On August 3rd Germany declared war on France and invaded neutral Belgium. After Germany ignored Great Britain’s ultimatum to withdraw from Belgium. Great Britain declared war on Germany on August 4th and the United States declared its neutrality.

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Book 17 of 2013 – The Imperial Cruise – James Bradley

The Imperial CruiseIn 1905 Theodore Roosevelt sent the largest diplomatic mission in US across the Pacific to Asia. The mission was led by his Secretary of War William Howard Taft and the group included his daughter Alice.  James Bradley’s book about this mission The Imperial Cruise is Book 17 of 2013. During the trip Taft on Roosevelt’s behalf negotiated a series of secret agreements – which were unconstitutional – that laid the groundwork for future Japanese actions over the next 30-40 years. The details of these agreements remained secret until after Roosevelt’s death and really have been absent from history books.

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Book 12 of 2013 – Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy

ImpeachedFirst a comment on my March reading. I started the month reading James Lee Burke’s Creole Belle and three non-fiction books. Impeached by David O. Stewart, The Armistad Rebellion by Marcus Rediker and Kofi Anann’s Interventions. I had also gotten out of the library The Blood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell. By the middle of the month, I had made the most progress on the David Stewart book and minimal progress on the others. About the day before Blood Gospel was due back at the library, I started reading it. No wait, it was actually overdue when I started it! Anyway I was enjoying it, so Creole Belle got set aside! I continued to read Impeached along with The Blood Gospel and managed to finish Impeached at the beginning of this month. It is Book 12 for 2013. I was pleased that I finished the book because it’s the kind of book that I usually start and enjoy and then ,move on to something else, so to finish it is a good thing!

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Book Number 9 of 2013 – The President and the Assassin….

Leon Czolgosz

Emma Goldman

Albert_Parsons_portrait

Ok so which of the four people pictured above can you identify? Before I read Book Number 9 for 2013, I could have maybe identified two! The first two are the key players in the book, while persons three and four helped nudge number two along! The first two are William McKinley and Leon Czolgosz, who are The President and the Assassin, respectively, from Scott Miller’s  terrific book titled – The President and the Assassin:McKinley, Terror, and the Empire at the Dawn of the American Century. Persons three and four are anarchist Emma Goldman and Albert Parsons.  both of whom provided a push to Leon to do the deed!

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Book 3 of 2013 – Destiny of the Republic – Candice Millard

Borrowing the closing line from King Kong and morphing it a little “Oh no, it wasn’t Giteau that killed Garfield, it was the doctors!”, makes it fit Book Number 3 of 2013 Destiny of the Repbulic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. The subject of the book is the assassination of the 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield. Considering the mass of information that most history classes cover about all you ever hear is that Garfield was shot by a disgruntled person who wanted a civil service appointment. What we weren’t told was the appointment Charles Giteau wanted was Ambassador to France, or what an amazing man and beloved President, Garfield was,if only for a short period. The tale of the assassination involves obviously Garfield, and Charles Giteau his assailant, but also includes the theories of Joseph Lister and the inventions of Alexander Graham Bell! Millard has taken these pieces and woven a fine and easy reading and enjoyable book!

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Book 8 of 2012 – A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland

Imagine a presidential candidate is accused of fathering a child out of wedlock! Oh, yeah, we had that with John Edwards and Rielle Hunter. Only this candidate admitted paternity, the child was named after his best friend and he still was elected the 22nd president of the United States! The story of this scandal and others form the foundation of Book 8 of 2012, Charles Lachman’s  A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland. The book claims to reveal for the first time the true story of Maria Halpin the young woman, who according to the book was raped by the future president, give birth to a son,  had her baby taken away from her and  finally was thrown in an insane asylum when she tried to get the child back. While the book may be a little short on proof on all that went on it is still a fascinating read. It is easy reading and provided a look into the politics of 1880’s, as Cleveland rose for a one term sheriff of Buffalo, to governor of New York, and then candidate for President. He was even supported by several staunch Republicans!  Needless to say, I don’t think he’d have a chance of getting elected in today’s political arena!!

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Book 5 of 2012 – American Emperor – David O. Stewart

So most tines when I read non-fiction I start out well, then get bogged down and end up only reading a third to half of the book. Well, I decided to stick with Book 5 for 2012 American Emperor:Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America by David O. Stewart and I finally finished it tonight! I renewed the book from the library about three times! The book follows Burr’s life basically from the duel with Alexander Hamilton through to his death and focuses mainly on Burr’s plans to conquer the Spanish possessions in Florida and then invade Mexico and set himself up as Emperor. The book was a little slow in parts but overall it was well written. While I have read before about Burr’s treachery and his association with that weasel General James Wilkinson (see another non-fiction book setting on my shelf An Artist in Treason about Wilkinson which I have stopped about a third of the way through) I had not read much about Burr’s trial for treason which I found very interesting. A couple of other parts of the book that I found interesting included a discussion of the Louisiana Purchase most times I just think, oh Jefferson bought this area in 1803 and never think about the assimilation of the people  who lived there into the US! It was hard for the Creoles to adjust. The other was the time it took to get from place to place. The description of Burr’s return trip to Washington from New Orleans in 1805 took from July to November and the description of having to almost cut your way through the forest as you traveled made me realize what an ordeal it was to travel! It took Wilkinson three months to get from New Orleans to Washington for Burr’s Treason trial!

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