Author Topic: Non-Fiction  (Read 269069 times)

maryz

  • Posts: 2343
    • Z's World
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2009, 09:00:54 PM »


TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: Ella Gibbons







Marking a spot.  :D
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just learn how to go on without them. But always keep them safely tucked in your heart."

Mippy

  • Posts: 3100
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2009, 07:23:46 AM »
Good morning!
I've ordered the book "Rivals" and it was only $12.50 on Amazon, as it is now out in paperback!    So I'm looking forward to a great, long read!
quot libros, quam breve tempus

CubFan

  • Posts: 187
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2009, 05:22:27 PM »
Greetings -
I'm fascinated with Caro's The Power Broker. It's going to take quite a while to get through.

Mippy - I too like D. H. Fischer and enjoyed Washington's Crossing. I also very much like his Albion's Seed.

AdoAnnie - Thanks for the suggestion about Doris Goodwin's Wait 'til Next Year. I had forgotten about that one.  I have always enjoyed listening to her talk about growing up as a Red Sox fan, and definitely liked both of her books No Ordinary Time, and Team of Rivals.

I know that Team of Rivals was long but it really read quickly and smoothly. I find it interesting that both Lincoln and Washington picked who they thought were best for the job not who were going to agree with him or each other. Washington spent quite a bit of time trying to keep peace in his cabinet. There's a fine line between when things are accomplished in spite of conflict and when conflict derails everything. It takes a strong leader to keep things in check.

Have a good reading weekend everyone.  Sounds like most of us have stay inside and read weather. 

Mary


"No two persons ever read the same book" Edmund Wilson

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2009, 07:09:24 PM »
OH, THIS IS SHAPING UP! 

We already have Hat, Jean and Sheila interested in discussing TEAM OF RIVALS; now possibly we may have four more interested.  Please let me know as soon as possible.

If I am reading correctly JANICE, MIPPY PATh, AND CUBFAN (the latter having already read it) may join in the discussion.

What a good group that would be!   Off to a great start for the New Year, our New Site!

As someone mentioned, Goodwin's books read like fiction, like a novel and I'm eagerly awaiting my book in the mail.  Shall I start it?  Or wait?  Big decisions, hahahaaaa

HELLO ANN!  Join us!


Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2009, 07:10:39 PM »
MARY, what a good picture!  You look so sprite and you brighten up the whole page!  Thanks for putting it here.

PatH

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 9655
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2009, 07:53:33 PM »
Ella, I had a look at the book today, and I'm definitely in.  I needed to check first because of my experience with "The Island at the Center of the World".  The subject was interesting to me, Marni led the discussion in an exciting way, the other people kept up a lively and interesting discussion, but I found the book so unreadable I dropped out.  That's not going to happen here.

I didn't buy it yet, because I want the paperback, which my B & N didn't have.

maryz

  • Posts: 2343
    • Z's World
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2009, 10:39:20 PM »
Ella, I did add my photo, but don't know why it wound up at the top of this discussion.   ???

Anyhow, we're hoping to here Doris Kearns Goodwin speak on Tuesday.  She's going to give a talk here, and we plan to attend.  It is free, but is first-come for for the limited seating.  I hope we can get there in time to get a seat.
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just learn how to go on without them. But always keep them safely tucked in your heart."

mabel1015j

  • Posts: 3597
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2009, 03:05:11 PM »
Like your picture, also MaryZ - nice to put a face to our "competition."  :) Maybe i'll try to see if i can get my mug on my posts..............I hope you get to see Goodwin, she's so interesting when she  talks about her subjects..........jean

Persian

  • Posts: 181
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2009, 04:52:33 PM »
My computer crashed last week and it took a while for the TW techies to show up.  However, the computer hiatus gave me an opportunity to prepare for a forthcoming book discussion at my local library, where I'm scheduled to speak about Afghan culture in connection with Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea.  I'm not sure how much our local Southern folks know about Central Asia and the community work that Mortenson has done abroad for many years, but I'll soon find out.  I'm taking a Samovar, some small Persian tea cups, beautiful hand-woven material for the center table and a host of stories about some of my own experiences with Afghan culture.

Did the former discussion of A Thousand Splendid Suns already end?  I lost track somewhere along the way when I had earlier computer problems and then the big crash.

My husband arrives from Egypt on the 29th and has promised to bring some new books about his home culture.  I watched a wonderful PBS program a few weeks ago about Middle Eastern and North African (Egyptian) cultures coming together with American musical culture.  It was terrific and I really enjoyed the pleasure that all the musicians experienced getting to know each other, sing and play their instruments together.

And a BIG THANKS to all for this wonderful site where we can once again bring our reading ideas to share.

Mahlia

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2009, 06:36:58 PM »
Oh, good, Pat!  IT'S GOING TO BE A GOOD DISCUSSION!

I'm talking about an upcoming book we are considering discussing; one of Doris Kearns Goodwin's books - TEAM OF RIVALS.   Shall we set a date for March?  The problem with that is I am thinking of a little trip with my sister then in which we will be gone 2-3 weeks.  We'll see.  We can always make it in April.  Something to look forward to and the days, the weeks, go by so fast.

PERSIAN!  Happy to see you here.  I just finished a very good book about Russia wherein a samovar was mentioned so here is a description of one:  Incidentally, the book was a nonfiction, almost fictional in story and in the writing, and was titled STALIN'S CHILDREN by Owen Matthews.

Samovar


mabel1015j

  • Posts: 3597
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2009, 07:30:33 PM »
Has anybody heard from Marne? She's usually here, hope she is o.k.............Ella it sounds like it's going to be a good discussion..............o.k. I got my picture up, but it is kind of eerie, i didn't expect it to show up everywhere................LOL.............

Mahlia - do you remember the title of that PBS program. It sounds like something i'd like to see, but i haven't seen anything like that listed on our station....................jean

JoanK

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 8650
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2009, 10:02:23 PM »
I'm in for "A Team of Rivals". I loved "No Ordinary Time" and I've heard Goodwin discuss "Rivals" on television. Doesn't it seem as if our president-elect is influenced by it as well.

If the style is like "No Ordinary Time", we won't have the trouble we did with "Island". Nothing like!!

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2009, 11:19:24 AM »
Island, Joan???  I have a poor memory, what discussion was that?

Here is a review of TEAM OF RIVALS by the New York Times (B&N online)

- James M. McPherson
More books about Abraham Lincoln line the shelves of libraries than about any other American. Can there be anything new to say about our 16th president? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Having previously offered fresh insights into Lyndon Johnson, the Kennedys and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Doris Kearns Goodwin has written an elegant, incisive study of Lincoln and leading members of his cabinet that will appeal to experts as well as to those whose knowledge of Lincoln is an amalgam of high school history and popular mythology.


I haven't received my book in the mail yet, but, on the one hand, 944 pages are daunting, not only to a reader, but in a book discussion.  Can we make it through to the end?

On the other hand, who better to discuss; particularly as one of you pointed out Obama is patterning his image on Lincoln.  His policies, however, reflect FDR, don't you think?

The commentators, after a romance with the charismatic politician, are becoming a bit more cynical about his projected administration.




[/b][/i]

FlaJean

  • Posts: 831
  • FlaJean 2011
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2009, 05:17:46 PM »
CubFan:  I always watch Q & A on C-Span and watched the interesting interview with Robert Caro.

I also watched the interview with the author, Greg Mortenson, of "Three Cups of Tea".  It's not only a timely but very interesting book about one man's work in building schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  He calls it promoting peace one school at a time.  In the interview the author mentioned that Gen. Petreaus had read his book and wrote him with comments.

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2009, 08:21:28 PM »
HELLO JEAN!  I wish I had seen that interview.  I usually watch BookTV including the Q&A when I can, but I missed the Robert Caro.

THREE CUPS OF TEA has been mentioned several places, I believe, on our new site here; I must look it over.  Has anyone read it?

I note that TEAM OF RIVALS is actually only 700 some pages as the notes, index, etc. are numerous in the back of the book.  Does that make it more doable? 

MARY, what did you think of the Goodwin lecture?  Was it awesome?  Hahahaaaa  What new stuff did you learn?   Shall we discuss the book? 

maryz

  • Posts: 2343
    • Z's World
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2009, 09:52:45 PM »
We went to hear historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) speak tonight.  The talk was due to start at 7, and the publicity said that it would first-come/first-served seating.  Well, okay - we'll get there early, but no problem.  The place won't be full.  Right!   We got there at 6:20, and people were lined up in the lobby of the UTC Fine Arts Building.  It turned out that the theater where she was speaking was already full, and they were getting ready to open seating in the other theater in the Center, with a live TV feed.  Goodwin is a great speaker (yes, Ella, awesome), with delightful anecdotes about the presidents she's been close to (beginning with LBJ).  And the part of her talk about Lincoln and his Team was excellent.  Hearing her personal stories about how she got interested in history was good, too.  She certainly made Team sounds like a good book to read.

If we go to any of the other talks in this series (3 more), we'll go even earlier - and take a book to read while we wait.
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just learn how to go on without them. But always keep them safely tucked in your heart."

Annie

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2883
  • Downtown Gahanna
    • SeniorLearn
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2009, 10:32:40 PM »
Hi there,
I was not ill long but it was weird! And its gone now!

I have not been able to look at "Rivals" yet but will try to get to the library tomorrow.
 
Ella,
We did have a great discussion of "The Island at the Center of the World" back about three years ago.  I had forgotten that Marnie lead it.

"Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortensen is a wonderful bio about his raising money for building schools for girls in Afghanistan/Pakistan and helping to get all the materials up into those steep mountains.  He even has school children raising money for those schools.  Amazing story and quite an easy read.

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

hats

  • Posts: 354
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2009, 10:09:34 AM »
Hi MaryZ,

I didn't know Doris Kearns Goodwin appeared at UTC. I bet it was crowded. Is this a series? Thank you for the Art invitation. I will not be in town after this Sunday. My first girl grandbaby is expected to arrive that Monday in Memphis. We will be out of town for a few days.

Ella,

I am excited about "Team of Rivals." Nine hundred pages??? That should take us five years and counting. :D

hats

  • Posts: 354
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2009, 10:11:29 AM »
I am reading "Dreams from My Father." I am nearing the five hundred page mark. I am really enjoying the book.

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2009, 11:01:27 AM »
Hello ANN!  Good luck in trying to find a copy of TEAM OF RIVALS in our Library.  Although they own 41 copies, there are no copies available for checkout.   However, there is a waiting list - UNBELIEVABLE.    That is one reason I decided to buy a copy; another is that we may discuss the book here and I need it by my side.

Thanks, MARY, for your report on Goodwin.  I have heard her on TV; probably on BookTV?  But it seems to me I also heard her on a panel discussion either of Lincoln or past presidents.  At any rate, she is very good as you said and I can imagine how full that auditorium was with her listed as a speaker! 

I know she must have spent years on each of her books and is a noted historian.

HATS!  I've read both of Obama's books and both are excellent.  He writes as well as he speaks and now on with his presidency! 

Annie

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2883
  • Downtown Gahanna
    • SeniorLearn
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2009, 01:36:59 PM »
Another view of "Rivals" from the LATimes:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-pinsker18-2008nov18,0,1360359.story

I am not sure that I want to read this book but will try to locate a copy somewhere in downtown Gahanna.

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

maryz

  • Posts: 2343
    • Z's World
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2009, 01:54:23 PM »
Hats, congratulations on your first granddaughter-to-be.  You're going to have such a good time - but I'll miss getting to see you. 

Yes, the Goodwin lecture was part of a series - there are four in all.  I can't remember the names right now, though.  I'm sure the folks at UTC could tell you, though.
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just learn how to go on without them. But always keep them safely tucked in your heart."

mabel1015j

  • Posts: 3597
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2009, 04:40:47 PM »
That's an interesting contrast between Goodwin and Pinsker about Lincoln's cabinet............but that's what makes history so interesting to me. When i was teaching i tried to give the students sources or examples of how our historical figures were viewed in much the same way today's political figures are - some people loved them, some people hate them, so that the students wouldn't think that we used to have "heroes", but that we have none today.
I felt they needed to see the flaws and the different perceptions of the historical figures..........they seemed to like history better that way and found it more interesting than the way they had been taught in public school.

Annie, thanks for posting that link, we will have to keep it in mind if we have  a discussion of the book................jean

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #63 on: January 15, 2009, 01:05:22 PM »
YES, THANKS, ANN!  What an interesting book review.  Let me just quote a couple of things that whet my appetite for reading the book:

Lincoln's Cabinet was no team. His rivals proved to be uneven as subordinates. Some were capable despite their personal disloyalty, yet others were simply disastrous.

Only Seward endured throughout the Civil War.

Chase was the defiant rival

Atty. Gen. Edward Bates was the disgusted rival.


All those quotes are from the Los Angeles Times book review. 

I love history and I want to find out more about these men and Lincoln.  Already we see parallels to Obama's team -  his cabinet -  don't you?

I have not got my book yet although it may be in my mailbox which I haven't checked for two days! 

It's so very cold here, zero and below!  I must go out today to fill prescriptions but I won't stay out too long!  Perhaps my book is in my mailbox?






 

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #64 on: January 15, 2009, 06:47:13 PM »
I HAVE MY BOOK, AND I AM INSPIRED!!!

Is that the correct word?  I've read the INTRO and Chapter One and it is very fascinating; hard to stop there!

But I want to read it along with the rest of you - shall we say MARCH?  I'll check schedules and let you know.

One thing that puzzles me is where AMBITION comes from?  Why some have it, others don't.  It isn't money that drives politicians, what is it?  I'll just quote this one sentence from Goodwin's Intro:

"Without the march of events that led to the Civil War, Lincoln still would have been a good man, but most likely would never have been publicly recognized as a great man.  It was history that gave him the oppotunity....."

History and the march of events.


hats

  • Posts: 354
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #65 on: January 16, 2009, 07:50:32 AM »
I don't want to confuse any readers. I'm reading the large print edition of "Dreams from My Father" by Barack Obama. So, my book probably has more pages than a book written in regular print. All of the regular prints were checked out. I ended up with a large print. This is fine with me.

marjifay

  • Posts: 2658
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #66 on: January 16, 2009, 10:45:04 AM »
Hello everyone!  It's so wonderful to have this group again. 

Mabel, I really like the way you taught history to your students.  I wish I'd had a good history teacher in high school.  It's a wonder I passed the U.S. History class I was so bored.  It was not until I got to college and had a very good professor who loved his subject that I found how interesting history is.

Ella, please add me to the group that will be reading TEAM OF RIVALS.
I put it on hold at my library. 

I saw the movie SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE yesterday.  Fantastic.  Especially the photography of India -- from the slums to the Taj Mahal--just fabulous.  Whoever the photographer was, they deserve an Oscar!  I'm goad I saw it in a theater, as it wouldn't be nearly as good on a small TV screen.

Which reminds me, PBS is doing a special on India, in our Southern California area anyway, on Monday night, Jan. 19, at 9 pm Pacific Time.  About the arrival of Islam in India -- which led to the rise of the Moghal Empire.  Also are showing some of the cities, including Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal.

Marge





"Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill."  Barbara Tuchman

JoanK

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 8650
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #67 on: January 16, 2009, 01:16:44 PM »
MARGE: the India special this Sunday is the last in a series. The first two were wonderful visually, although confusing and superficial Historically. I look forward to this one.

I heard Goodwin talk on TV about "Team" when it came out, and have wanted to read it ever since.This discussion is just what I needed to spur me on.

History in school -- sigh! When I was in HS it was memorizing a bunch of names and dates that meant nothing! Cheers to all GOOD history teachers!

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #68 on: January 16, 2009, 03:08:37 PM »
WE HAVE ABOUT SIX OR SEVEN PEOPLE INTERESTED IN DISCUSSING GOODWIN'S BOOK, but we haven't worked out a schedule yet.

I urge you not to read the entire book until we do.  Let's read it together!

I'm going to look up our PBS schedule to see what's on for this weekend.  Thank you for the post, Marge, and, yes, certainly I will be so happy to include you in our Lincoln discussion.

I've been thinking about Lincoln's ambition to be president, Obama's ambition for the job, all the presidents.  It has to be ego that propels them, don't you think.

The belief that they are the one, possibly the only one, that can heal the nation, that can solve the problem that exists. 




mabel1015j

  • Posts: 3597
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #69 on: January 16, 2009, 04:16:27 PM »
Ella - I think having the power to make changes - whatever changes they want to make, Dick Cheney, the Bushes, Bill Clinton, Reagan, etc., included - is a huge motivator for politicians. There isn't any where else, except in the Congress or in the Administraion, where you can have a universal influence in how events might happen, or systems might work, or policies might be carried out. And then there's that "leader of the free world" thing if you are going for the presidency................what title is better than that? That's where the ego comes in...................jean

marjifay

  • Posts: 2658
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #70 on: January 16, 2009, 05:01:13 PM »
It's hard for me to imagine someone wanting to be President, but thankfully there are some good people who want it, even if it is ego that propels them.

I'm sorry I missed the first two episodes of the PBS special on India, but I'll watch the one coming up Monday, and they'll probably repeat them.

Speaking of presidents, Barack Obama will be on CSpan's BookTV program this weekend talking about his book THE AUDACITY OF HOPE.  I haven't read that yet.

Also, Joe Biden will be on Book TV discussing his book PROMISES TO KEEP.  I did read that and really liked it, -- one of the best autobiographies  I've read.  Especially liked the part about how the the Judicial Committee with Biden as chairman, was instrumental in keeping Judge Bork off the Supreme Court.  (Bork will also be on Book TV this weekend.)  Was fascinated by Biden's telling of his visit to Yugoslavia with Averell Harriman and their talk with Tito, as well as his his visits to Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Marge

"Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill."  Barbara Tuchman

Jonathan

  • Posts: 1444
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #71 on: January 16, 2009, 10:18:10 PM »
Ella, count me in, if this is going to be a discussion about presidential ambitions. And isn't there an irony in that? Hasn't it always been a cardinal rule among would-be officeholders not to seem overly ambitious?

Everybody is reading TEAM OF RIVALS it seems. Many, perhaps on the strength of Obama's recommendation. It's probably a must read in government circles, and for all those of us who wish him well. If the new president finds inspiration in the life and career of that 'great' and 'good' presidential predecessor doesn't that create hopeful expectations for the thrust of his own administration?

It seems mean to suggest, as Mathew Pinsker does in his L.A. Review (Ann's link in #60), that 'Lincoln's model for cabinet building should stand more as a cautionary tale than as a leadership manual.'

Who's got it wrong here? Obama, or the historian, Goodwin? Perhaps the criticism is simply professional envy. Imagine, writing a presidential  bio inspiring a president-elect who doesn't mind telling the world what a good read it is.

I gave up on my reserve on a library copy, and went out today and bought the book. It sure looks very readable. In the meantime I had looked around the house for anything on Lincoln, and soon found myself absorbed in Gore Vidal's LINCOLN. Vidal is regarded highly, I believe, for historical accuracy in his novels. Here's an incident which may be relevant to Ella's question about ambition.

The new president is exploring the office area in the White House with his two young aides, Hay and Nicolay. But I'll quote directly:

'Lincoln picked up the lamp from the table, then he opened the connectiong door into the President's office. The first thing that they saw clearly in the gloom was a painting of Andrew Jackson over the white marble fireplace. "Well," said  Lincoln, neutrally, "I guess we'll leave old Andy where he is."

'..."What about a painting of General Washington, sir?" Hay ran his finger round the frame of Jackson's picture, and collected an inch of dust. "Or is he too Virginian?"

' "No, the father of our country is just right. Only I might look too ambitious, moving him there." '

What a curious thing to say. But speaking about cautionary tales. Wasn't the outgoing president's farewell address the other night just that? Beware being overtaken by the rush of events.

FlaJean

  • Posts: 831
  • FlaJean 2011
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #72 on: January 16, 2009, 10:24:10 PM »
I read Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope".  I consider it a serious book about policy and could be boring for some people, but I enjoyed it.  But then, I'm one of those people who enjoys looking at the panel discussions on C-Span.  He had an interesting section about his work and travel with Republican Sen. Luger regarding nuclear material.  His respect and fondness for Sen. Luger clearly came through.  It does give you an insight to how practical he is.  As my dad would have said, he has a lot of "common sense".  The last chapter is mostly about Michelle and her family and their marriage and it was very interesting.

hats

  • Posts: 354
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #73 on: January 17, 2009, 07:05:07 AM »
Yes, I'm afraid "Audacity of Hope" might be over my head. After I finished "Dreams from My Father," it was hard to think what to read next. I have started "Night" by Elie Wiesel. This book is very, very powerful. It's not easy to read about what this man, Elie Wiesel, and his family lived through. Still, like all parts of History I feel it's important. No wonder Elie Wiesel won The Nobel Peace Prize.

There are so many of you I would like to send a wave and hello. I might miss names. Just know I'm saying good morning.

hats

  • Posts: 354
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #74 on: January 17, 2009, 08:58:51 AM »
HATS!  I've read both of Obama's books and both are excellent.  He writes as well as he speaks and now on with his presidency!  (Ella)

Congratulations! I might take a peek at "Audacity of Hope."

PatH

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 9655
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #75 on: January 17, 2009, 10:03:00 AM »
Good morning, Hats.

hats

  • Posts: 354
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #76 on: January 17, 2009, 11:26:52 AM »
Good morning, PatH. I've missed you, JoanK and all.

Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #77 on: January 17, 2009, 08:44:44 PM »
JONATHAN!  Good to see you here. 

"a rule among would-be officeholders not to seem overly ambitious?"  I smiled at that phrase.  Some hide that ambition better than others.  However, we do need those that do succeed in "getting there" and putting their lives, both political and private, in the public domain.  We could name a few - all of us could name a few we would rather not have speak for us again, but I admire them!  I do!  I wouldn't want the politician's job, would any of you?

Much better, if wishes could be granted, to be a historian; one such as Goodwin.  As you said, JONATHAN, how great to write a book that inspired a president.

There is an editorial in our local paper by Leonard Pitts (Miami Herald) in which he states that "Obama would be a shock to Lincoln" and I quote:

"How could he not?  He (Lincoln) was a 19th-century white man who famously said in 1858 that 'there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which...will forever forbid the two races living together upon terms of social and political equality.'"

How shallow our comprehension of history is, says the author.  We should remember this as we read about Lincoln. 

Thank God for Obama whose election and administration will disprove the words of one of greatest presidents.

-------------------------------------------

Our discussion may not be until March.  Please remember this before you start the book; place it in on your shelf until then.  We are attempting to schedule discussions so that all genres may be represented in a fair and equal manner.


Ella Gibbons

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #78 on: January 17, 2009, 09:20:26 PM »
In quoting the above journalist, perhaps it is only right to quote other statements in the same article:

"We would be a very different nation, a lesser nation, without his (Lincoln) political genius, his dogged faith in the unsundered Union, his refusal to accept less than Union, even when haunted by reversals and setbacks that would have broken anyone else.  No, the argument is not about Lincoln's greatness.   Rather, it is about our tendency to cherish untextured myths that affirm our preferred narratives.." - Leonard Pits, Jr.

For Lincoln's speech in which the above statement is made, click here: 

 Lincoln's Debate of 1858

marjifay

  • Posts: 2658
Re: Non-Fiction
« Reply #79 on: January 18, 2009, 08:02:32 AM »
I just finished a really interesting book, CHINA ROAD; THE JOURNEY INTO THE FUTURE OF A RISING POWER by Rob Gifford.  Gifford had been a PBS correspondent from China for several years.  He decided to travel on China's new highway from Shanghai, 3000 miles across China, along their old Silk Road, and through the Gobi Desert, to the border of one of the "-stan" countries.  Fascinating book.  He speaks good Chinese, and talked with people in all the towns where he stopped, and told some of the history of the different areas.  Very interesting to hear the people's comments on their country.  Some of the Muslim/Chinese people in the west and the Tibetan people are sad to see their way of life gradually disappearing, as their children are being taught the Chinese language and culture.  China has a lot to worry about about to try to keep their huge country together with many ethnic groups and different languages.  They have as many people as live in North and South America and Europe, combined!  He talks about whether he feels China will ever become a democracy -- and feels it would take a long time, if ever.  After reading this, I wanted to visit China, and would, were I younger.  It would be a good book for discussion.
"Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill."  Barbara Tuchman