I am continuing to enjoy this series of readings of Marshall Burlingame's biography of Abraham Lincoln.
I had heard that Mary Todd Lincoln was difficult but I did not know HOW difficult. I appreciate the author cited source after source for his description of Mrs. Lincoln because it is almost unfathomable.
The other minor highlight was Lincoln's role in moving the capital of Illinois to Springfield. He also served to get the State of Illinois into debt over its head to the Rothschild family, a debt for canals, roads and other improvements -- a debt so large that Illinois defaulted and finally was able to pay off about 50 years later in the 1880s.
At one point, members of the legislature were so angry with Lincoln that he had to climb through a window to escape their wrath uninjured. It is hard being a lawyer for bankers!
I really appreciate the author's ability to portray Lincoln's astonishing great character and his ability to get others to get along and for himself to get along.
How on earth does A M McCall do it?
He starts the book on the Cayman Islands and goes on from there. I suppose he visited the Islands for a vacation for three or four weeks and from that was able to weave another fabulous story of insights into human nature. He picked up the flavor of the Islands and the humanity that lives there.
The bonus is that the book is longer than Mr. Smith's other books so there is that much pleasure in listening to it.
I remember reading this brief pamphlet in college and having to go for a drive in my car several times before I could finish it.
I shall not try to improve on Thoreau by recounting the text, but highly recommend this book for "How to be an actual American."
The price is right, the time to listen to it is right!
This is a brief book. It tells the story of how great success can be had simply by making a small, completely inexpensive, change in things to improve the fortunes of your life or your company (or Country?).
I barely was able to finish the book because I was bored, but somewhere along the way I realized I, too, could make a small change in my life and thus save $1,000 to $2,000 per year in after-tax savings/expenses in my own budget.
So a short book, but quite valuable. I recommend it to everyone just to have the principle in mind, for life. One day great dividends can be reaped. This is for CEOs and the rest of us.
I thought this was the most preposterous thing I have ever heard of in the public discourse.
Now, it turns out the only "proof" (meaning something absolute) about Hitler's body being taken to Russia after the war is false: the body was determined by *American* forensic experts, in an investigation conducted *in* America, to be that of a woman less than 40 years old.
So Hitler did not die in the bunker.
I had not heard of this story until this week. It is part of a series of Christmas stories told by Charles Dickens that includes A Christmas Carol. It is very well read by Jim Dale, of lasting Harry Potter fame.
The Cricket on the Hearth is very moving and quite touching.
Some women of the modern era wonder how their counterparts of earlier days were able to be "traditional" housewives looking after hearth and home. I believe this story provides some great insight into the relationships of wives and husbands that is worth attending to, if only for the understanding.
I took up this book after listening to Zealot by the same author. That was quite a book and very enlightening.
This book on Islam is also enlightening. I was prepared to be disappointed either because the author would be somehow Blind or that the book would otherwise be second-rate.
However, clearly Mohammad was a decent person, and clearly Islam is a legitimate faith and not some mishmash dreamed up more than a thousand years ago.
When Mohammad was alive, he got along just fine with the Jewish folk!
What happened to Islam was the problem of succession to Mohammad. Complexities due to special interests of the original business and government leaders of Mecca and a variety of other groups disputing control affect Islam to this day.
There is a lot of detailed understanding in this book that explains modern Islam such that it can be understood justly. There is an explanation of the Taliban and Al Quaida as a reaction more to Saudi Arabia (and the extraordinary hypocrisy of its leaders' materialism and its extremely strict Puritanical Wahhabi sect of Islam) than to the United States!
Mentioned in passing is that the American Center for Disease Control and the American Type Culture Control (.org on the web) provided the chemical and biological materials used by Saddam Hussein for use on the Iranians to such horrific effect some years ago.
The author Reza Aslan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The narrator was most excellent.
I had no idea that Robinson Crusoe had more of a life after his first island adventure.
Here he actually revisits his old home in the Carribean, and eventually travels around the world.
The detail Daniel Defoe describes in his travels seem totally real, so real that I have to remind myself that they are fiction.
Here, we have a travelog that is very interesting and written in classic picturesque English, meaning every line evokes a clear picture of the events.
The author's humanity is clearly evident in this book.
This is a worthwhile story, but not so "hot" as Treasure Island. I think the Narrator saved it from making me kind of mad that I bought the book. In the end I recommend this book third in line, "thusly": after Treasure Island, then Kidnapped.
We already have cynical views of perhaps every one of our politicians, particularly those who oppose our personal views.
Now we can rest assured that politicians on "both sides of the aisle" are entirely cynical in their dealings with each other and particularly with the voters.
In today's world, even a terrific loss can be "monetized" to the point that losers such as Generals McChrystal and Petraeus are far better off financially now after being fired from their jobs.
The books is quite humorous, and I highly recommend it.
The amounts of money involved here are extraordinary!
Cicero gives an incredibly concise outline to his brother who is running for office in ancient Rome. The same outline entirely explainsToday's politicians on both sides of the aisle. Clearly people are the same today as then, and must be addressed in the same predictable ways to obtain their vote, help and money.
Perhaps you and I are the exceptions??
I now know how to run for office simply by following Cicero's concise plan. After reading the plan, it all in the execution.
I did not know much about Cicero, but please view his Curriculum Vitae on Wikipedia!
I had no idea. Almost stunning.
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