This  Man Reads….


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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The Smothers Brothers were dangerously funny!

Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour – David Bianculli

As we come to the end of 2015, I now have only two more books to read to reach my lofty goal of 51 books read. Book 49 for the year was Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour by David Bianculli. It took Bianculli fifteen years and countless interviews with the people involved to tell the story of these very funny and very volatile Brothers. To many of us who lived through the three years, their show was the only one that spoke to us!! They presented music that we wanted to hear, and spoke true words about a war that we didn’t believe was right!

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Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and Reagan’s Rise to Power – Now We Know!

SubversivesAfter several months, yesterday I finally finished Seth Rosenfeld’s terrific book Subversives – The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and Reagan’s Rise to Power.

usually when I ‘m reading a book like this and I then pick up other books while reading it, I most time don’t go back to the book. This book an exception the book is just so good and the story that it tells about the FBI and the student protests at the University of California so much a part of my past that I couldn’t give up! While I was at the University of Florida (1970-1974) I was involved in two campus demonstrations one concerning black enrollment and studies and the other an antiwar demonstration after the announcement of the mining of Haiphong Harbor, etc nether approached the violence that was seen at Berkeley!

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Book 3 of 2014 – The Road Out: A Teacher’s Odyssey in Poor America!

The Road OutYears ago  I was moved by Death at an Early Age Jonathan Kozol’s award-winning book chronicling his first year of teaching, and the plight of poor children in the Boston school system. Forty plus years later, I am moved again this time by Deborah Hick’s book The Road Out (Book 3 of 2014) The Road Out chronicles Hicks attempt to give several at risk girls in the Cincinnati school system a road out, through a top quality literature education. For several years Hicks conducts a special literature class for these girls in trying to give them something that they didn’t have hope and dreams, Dreams about where they could  go and what they could be, by using the power of the written word. Seven girls Blair, Alicia, Adriana, Jessica, Elizabeth, Mariah,and Shannon. Seven girls growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in Cincinnati.Children whose parents and grandparents came from the hills of Appalachia to the industrial centers of Ohio, to chase the American dream only to have that dream crushed.They watched their jobs be shipped out of the country, have the factories close, and their communities turned into ghettos with rampant unemployment, and drug use particularly Oxycontin…

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Book 19 of 2013 – Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

Misadventures of a Garden State YogiAs I browsed the library shelves a couple of weeks ago, i couldn’t pass up a book titled Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi, and I’m so glad I didn’t! Brian Leaf’s wonderful book, subtitled My Humble Quest to heal my Colitis, Calm my ADD and Find the Key to Happiness has become Book 19 for 2013. As I read the back cover of the book a quote from Kathryn Buid, author of The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga pretty much sums it up!

Brian Leaf is like the Bill Cosby of Yoga – recounting common emotions and situations on a yogi’s path in a way that makes you laugh with acknowledgment. His story is so graphic I felt like I was practically holding his hand!

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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


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 5 of 2013 – Fire in the Ashes – Jonathan Kozol

I read Death at an Early Age by Jonathan Kozol about 40 years ago, it was a stirring account of his first year as a teacher in the Boston school system working with some of the most disadvantaged students in America. The book won the National Book Award in Science, Philosophy and Religion. It has sold more than two million copies in the United States and Europe. The book made an impact on me and lead me to change my major to education, however I soon ran away from education and concentrated on Political Science, it wasn’t until several years later I returned to school at the University of Georgia and received my B.S. ED in social science education. But stuff happens and I never taught, I got caught up in life and work and a family and I took the easy path and stayed where I was, but many times I regret the decision not to teach. Anyway throughout the years I kinda stayed away from  politics and the writing of Jonathan Kozol. I knew he was out there fighting for the poorest of the poor in the South Bronx with books like Amazing Grace and Rachel and Her Children but I never read them. Well when I saw his new book Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America I couldn’t resist and it has become Book 5 of 2013.

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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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