Category Archives: Book Reviews

Some Thoughts About Helen Keller

Every once in a while, something piques your curiosity. I saw the stage play The Miracle Worker at Wright State University in September 2012.  It was billed as the true story of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan.  Personally I can’t imagine navigating the world without sight or hearing, and I know certain compromises/adjustments

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The Political Impact of Watergate

During a recent trip I read Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate by Bob Woodward, the reporter who was instrumental in investigating the original Watergate scandal under President Nixon.  This book analyzes the impact of that scandal on Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton. Of course, we should demand the

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“The Secret History of Wonder Woman”

Did you know Margaret Sanger was an inspiration for Wonder Woman? I’ve just finished reading The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore, and it really was a complicated tale bound in secrecy. “The story of Wonder Woman’s origins wasn’t a neglected history, waiting to be written.  It was a family secret, locked in a

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Richard Nixon on Leaders

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been reading Leaders by Richard Nixon (Warner Books, 1982).  It included an introductory chapter, chapters on Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Douglas MacArthur and Shigeru Yoshida, Konrad Adenauer, Nikita Khrushchev, and Zhou Enlai, plus a chapter on a collection of lesser leaders, like India’s Nehru and Egypt’s Nasser. Finally was

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The Original Gremlins

Early in World War II, a Royal Air Force pilot wrote an explanation for some of the mechanical glitches that plagued airplanes — they were being caused by little creatures called Gremlins.  That pilot was Roald Dahl, later to be a famous children’s author.  His tale came to the attention of Walt Disney, and pre-production work

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Life’s Little Instruction Book

Don’t you wish life came with an instruction book? There is a book entitled The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (Thomas Nelson, 2009).  It contains 1560 pithy sayings, from “#1 Compliment three people every day” to “#1560 Include your parents in your prayers.”  Its actually a compliation of three previous

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Richard Nixon on Leadership

Awhile back I found the book Leaders by Richard Nixon in a second-hand bookstore (Warner Books).  I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s turning into an interesting read.  I always wonder about celebrity books — did the celebrity really do the writing?  There are other names in the Author’s Note, but there are enough personal

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Team of Rivals

I recently finished reading Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  A fascinating book, it was really a political history of four men. I always wondered how Lincoln was able to win the presidential nomonation with so little experience in Washington. (He positioned himself as everyone’s second choice.)  Of

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