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Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

Two things about this book sparked my interest when it first hit the shelves earlier this year, “traitor” Benedict Arnold and “author” Nathaniel Philbrick.

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II – Doris Kearns Goodwin

No Ordinary Time, is an historical account of FDR and First Lady Eleanor on the domestic front during the years of World War II. Perhaps because it occurred it the not so distant past, Goodwin’s portrayal of the Presidential couple… Continue Reading →

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

The great American classic Moby Dick is one that I missed in my required reading in school. It wasn’t until I picked-up Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea, which is the basis for Melville’s opus, that I discovered how… Continue Reading →

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History – Brian Kilmeade

Curious about a relatively little known period of our nations’ early growing pains, I knew this was a must read as soon as I saw the title. See larger image Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That… Continue Reading →

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics – Daniel James Brown

My favorite read of 2015, The Boys in the Boat was reminiscent of a favorite of mine, Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken.

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson

Another example of a book on a topic that may not seem all that interesting at first, but draws the reader in by emitting the enthusiasm of the characters and the author. Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for… Continue Reading →

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania – Erik Larson

Though the global impact of the sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat has faded some since it occurred a century ago, Erik Larson brings it back to life with this novellike account of the ill-fated voyage. Dead Wake:… Continue Reading →

The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck

Being on my “to-read” list for several weeks, I finally decided to delve into Buck’s best seller The Oregon Trail when I saw it on display at the local library. Though I never would have sought out this subject on… Continue Reading →

The Tide At Sunrise: A History of the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 by Denis Ashton Warner, Peggy Warner

When I was a youngster, Dad and I went to see the silent movie classic, Battleship Potemkin, at the Duke University student cinema. Reflecting on the movie decades later, I decided to delve into The Tide at Sunrise, a history… Continue Reading →

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin – Erik Larson

Caberets, beer gardens, Marlene Dietrich and all the characters of the era come alive during this account of Ambassador William Dodd’s diplomatic service in Berlin from 1933 to 1937. My first experience with author Erik Larson proved to be highly… Continue Reading →

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly

When I saw “Patton” at the theater in 1970, I never suspected anything malicious about the General’s death. I thought it was ironic that he had survived the front-line battlefields of two world wars unscathed, only to meet his fate… Continue Reading →

The Trojan War: A New History by Barry Strauss

Having read Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” as a youth, the heroes of those poetic epics have remained embedded in my psyche for decades. Barry Strauss, History and Classics Professor at Cornell University, uses his knowledge and background to discern between what is real, what could be real and what would in all likelihood be pure myth in his book “The Trojan War: A New History”.

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