The book is a paradox. It is a 11 hour filibuster on the Jefferson behind the mask.
Thomas Jefferson wanted to be remembered for what he believe not what he did. Jefferson was his own PR man ever conscious of his image.
On one hand he wanted the slaves freed. But the reality was he needed them...they were his bread and butter. His ideas about them mirrored the times. They were collateral for loans, workers and to satisfy his needs. He preached against intermingling but anyone visiting his plantation saw he didn't practice what he preached.
He paints himself in the image of the benevolent father figure. But if quotas were not met, he was not against the whip. The overseer did his dirty work.
The author waivers between calling him on his hypocritical ways and excusing his slavery.
In the middle of his summation, the author abruptly quits. I had to make sure I did miss anything. As quickly as he began he was done.
The only redeeming part of the book was learning of his analytical way he set about life. The mansion had some every innovative things for the time.
Jefferson was a hypocrite and any of his 600 slaves could testify to that if they were alive.
I thought from the excerpt this would be a great book. Instead I found a lame excuse for a listen.
The powerful rich Southern family has a secret. Everyone knows most of it and it is not much of a secret. After all everyone talks and the rich families are great fodder.
After the patriarch and his mistress dies, only his granddaughter and her family are left to run the family homestead. During her husband campaign for public office, the secret surfaces.
The town turns vigilante and the granddaughter has the moxie to defend her family when the pillaging mob comes. Her husband has abandoned her. So she takes revenge.
The author thinks sprinkling the book with the Lord's name used a curse gives it some spice. Cursing rarely gives anything a lift. Using the Lord's name in vain is not good in any circumstances.
Save your money and pass this one up.
This was one of those dark times in our history. We rounded up Japanese like they were cattle. Just like we had done so many times before and would do again...witches, Indians, Communists, negroes to name a few. We never learn.
What this book brings to this is a myopic view of the interments. The author looks at her imprisonment through rose colored glasses. The Japanese had a saying "It Can't be Helped-It Must be Done."
She did give us an understanding of her family and their culture. This context helped me grasp how much this incarceration affected them. The cultural differences were unknown to those in charge and this created some tense moments.
This is a story of everyday life behind barbed wire. It is also a tale of how they made the best of a bad situation.
The author brings things full circle and tells us about life after the camp. I found it compelling that when time came to leave, they wanted to stay. With nowhere to go, the camp offered a sense of security.
So the reader doesn't think this camp was atypical of the other camps, we must remember Tule Lake. This was a miserable camp for those "suspected" of crimes against the USA.
This book becomes a salve to soothe those who become aware of this dark hour of our history. See things were not so bad.
The narrator was excellent and really gave the story an extra boost. It is so refreshing to have a narrator who is of the right ethnicity.
A child tossed through the system like yesterday's trash is given one last chance. She must help Vivian an old lady clean out her attic as community service or face jail time.
On the surface they are as different as night and day. But as they sort through the attic's treasures, Vivian tells her story. She has had her share of hard knocks and disillusionments.
The orphan train offered a chance to have a fresh start and the Children's Aid Society believes it was the answer to the children's woes. But the reality was much different.
With each new home she gave up a piece of herself. She is placed in one home after another with disastrous consequences. Finally she is placed in a decent home. She can't relax and believes every infraction will get her sent away.
Her troubles don't end there. She marries but her husband dies in the war. She is pregnant with his child.
The rest of her story is glossed over. The ending is sweet but hard to believe...they lived happily ever after.
Still it is a good book to glean the history of the orphan trains. It does not sugarcoat the reality.
I loved the movie so I thought the book would be as good. NOPE! The movie brings out the human side to Nash. This book brings a statistically view of him. It is very choppy and has no flow to it.
Rent the movie, pop some popcorn and enjoy.
Having survived Katrina in the Superdome, I am extremely interested in the anything on how people fared in the face of her devastation. Almost everything you read about Katrina is based in New Orleans.
This is about St Bernard parish, a suburb of New Orleans and the bayous around it. Having visited the area pre-Katrina I had a feel for the lay of the land.
The author knows the area, the people and their culture. He explains why they stayed and how the bayou is in their DNA. Life has not changed in hundreds of years. It is all they know and they are a part of the land itself.
You not only hear tales of survival and death but you are given a broader picture of the lives of these folks. Ken goes beyond the surface pain to extract the deeper sorrow about a way of life lost.
These are a people who time has forgotten. And again they were overlooked in the face of Katrina. In the wake of her destruction no homes were spared. There was no fairy tale ending for the people of "da parish."
And that is what makes this a book worth reading. Ken realistically sums up the aftermath of the storm. He tells about the suicides, those who gave up and left and those who started over. You get a feeling of why folks made those tough decisions.
I wish the narrator had been a local resident. He butchered the names as do most people who do not live here. I had to do a double take to realize what he was talking about. At least he did not try to simulate a proper Cajun accent and for that I am grateful.
The 60's was the generation with it all. I wanted to really enjoy a nostalgic trip through the decade. Alas It was a bad trip.
It was like a psychedelic drug induced haze where you have a moment of clarity. Or like Laugh In dances before everything stops for the joke. It was a laundry list of events with a few comments.
The things you would have thought would get top billing were brushed to the side. The decade was chocked full of events so there was no shortage of material. But it lacked integrity and clarity.
Maybe it is a trip best taken with mind altering drugs. Hey rose colored glasses wouldn't help this book.
Save your money. Don't buy this book or any of the other decade books by the same author. It is a bad trip better off avoided. Peace!
In 1950's London we are witness the birth of a modern midwife unit. The unflappable midwives are immersed in a culture of colorful characters including the nuns who sponsor them.
We get to see the Londoners who are trying to survive their ever decaying neighborhood. Most live in tenement conditions that are appalling. With "coffee houses" springing up everywhere, the hood has deteriorated to red light district. Still the holdouts try and make the best of a bad situation.
The book is done with integrity and realism. Their clients for the most part are the grit of the area. They are portrayed in kind gentle sense not a condescending way. The author brings each character to life as they bring forth the next generation.
The nuns are more colorful than the ladies who are pregnant. It is a rare look into their lives. Their stories add an extra depth to the book.
Nicola Barber is spot on in her narrating. Her Cockney is perfect. I hate narrators who are reading a book and can't get the accents right. But she has the ear for London slang. I would read anything she narrates.
Noah age 2 has been missing for two years. Ava his mother has never given up hope even after a stay in a mental hospital. Everyone thinks she is a certifiable nut case. As the story unfolds we learn the secrets this family is keeping. Each is more bizarre than the next.
Just when you think you have figured it out, the author throws you a curve. The story becomes so bizarre as to be unbelievable. The ending doesn't make much sense.
Another thing I had a hard time with was the hardcore cussing. The cursing would make a rapper blush. It is not necessary to spice up dialogue with G**D*** & F******C***** and much worse.
I would not recommend the book.
An ancestor of mine had been taken prisoner during the Civil War. So I wanted to explore prison conditions he might of faced. Andersonville had a reputation for being the worse place to end up if you were captured.
This book has to do with the guilt or innocence of Major Henry Wirz, commander of Andersonville prison. James Paige a prisoner of the prison bends over backwards to exonerate the Major.
He makes the case that prisoners and guards alike faced short rations and deplorable conditions. Many died from all manner of disease brought on by overcrowding, lack of sanitation, lack of medicine and food unfit to be fed to anyone. When smallpox broke out, the vaccines were given but they were tainted. Many died.
Paige refers to the decent treatment he received by Wirz. He makes the case that the Major was given orders and he followed them.
He does make a great case that the trial was a kangaroo court and Wirz was the scapegoat. They hanged him. Everyone else involved was exonerated. They had their pound of flesh.
He also states accurately that the Secretary of War was to blame for not exchanging prisoners. He didn't want to trade starved corpses for healthy soldiers. The Rebel captives were treated much better than Union prisoners. Union prisoners were to the point of death.
His reasoning was if we hand over healthy prisoners they would be able to go back to the war and prolong it.
Paige had done his homework and read all accounts of the prison written prior to his. In fact he is forever quoting these accounts.
It is not as intense as I thought it would be. The book is told more as an observer or reporter than by an actual prisoner. It is Andersonville seen through rose colored glasses.
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