Monthly Archives: March 2016

Grant — Jean Edward Smith

Grant has to have one of the most mixed reputations of any of the presidents: as a man and a general, his reputation is almost unblemished (and most people can forgive the drinking); as a president, he is frequently ranked … Continue reading

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Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy — David O. Stewart

I’m going to keep this brief: Johnson wasn’t a good president and, as president, had few redeeming features as far as I can tell. He had had a lengthy career in politics working his way up the rungs and became … Continue reading

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Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln — Doris Kearns Goodwin

Lincoln may well be remembered as the man who won the Civil War and freed the slaves, but he was not alone in his fight to do so. Team of Rivals, as well as being a biography of Lincoln, is … Continue reading

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Grace Notes — Bernard MacLaverty

If I were to judge books solely on the quality of their prose, I would love Grace Notes.MacLaverty has a remarkable ear for rhythm and sound, appropriate in a novel about a composer, and reading this book was a genuine … Continue reading

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Lincoln — David Herbert Donald

Lincoln was a remarkable man. Born into a poor family, he lost his mother at a very young age and in total received around one year’s formal schooling. But he aspired to bigger things, wanting to leave some sort of … Continue reading

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The God of Small Things — Arundhati Roy

In 1993, a young woman, Rahel, looks back at a few days in 1969 when a visiting cousin from England, Sophie Mol, is killed. At the heart of the novel are two important relationships: that between Rahel and her twin … Continue reading

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President James Buchanan: A Biography — Philip S. Klein

Buchanan’s presidency is consistently rated among the worst in US history. He split the Democratic Party over Kansas, oversaw the Panic of 1857 (and did little to remedy it), and largely sat back while the North and South became increasingly … Continue reading

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