History Commons Groups

July 23, 2009

Book Review: ‘Longshot’

Filed under: Books We Read,community — Max @ 10:32 am
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Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA
by Lance Allred
Published by HarperOne

This book has almost no political content whatsoever. I couldn’t tell you whether Lance Allred is a Republican, Democrat, independent, or Mugwump. I don’t know who he voted for in 2008, or if he voted at all. Allred is a basketball player in the NBA’s Summer League, hoping to catch on with the Orlando Magic after one brief stint with the Cavs. So what does Allred’s book have to do with the topics we cover at the History Commons?

Not much, really. It’s just a damn fine book, and as such, deserving of mention.


May 9, 2009

Books We Read: Takeover, by Charlie Savage

Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of Democracy
by Charlie Savage
©2007 Little, Brown

Charlie Savage is, to my mind, a consummate reporter. When he wrote this book, he was with the Boston Globe, and now he hangs his hat at the New York Times. He does not, to my knowledge, spend a lot of time on the various cable talk fests like so many other reporters who aren’t fit to carry his pencil case. He simply…reports.


February 11, 2009

Books We Read: American Lightning

Filed under: Books We Read — Max @ 9:56 pm

American Lightning, by Howard Blum
2008 Crown Publishers

Nothing from this book is likely to appear on the History Commons any time soon: it deals with the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building in 1910 and the repercussions and rationales behind the bombing, which claimed 21 lives. The Commons doesn’t yet have a project dealing with US labor relations (the driving issue behind the bombing), nor does it, as a rule, cover events from a hundred years past.

Too bad, because it’s a hell of a good read about a historical incident that has long been forgotten by most, but at the time an incident that rocked the nation.


January 11, 2009

Review: ‘U.S. Vs. Them’

U.S. Vs. Them, J. Peter Scoblic, 2008 Viking Press

When I checked out Scoblic’s U.S. vs. Them, I envisioned an interesting read and a few dozen entries or augments to existing entries. Instead, I ended up creating several scores of entries, particularly from the Carter and Reagan years, and almost all in the US International Relations project.


January 3, 2009

Books for 2009

Here’s some of the books I’m reading, and will post about, in the early weeks of 1999:

U.S. Vs. Them by J. Peter Scoblic (already being processed and included, largely in the US International Relations project);

Angler by Barton Gellman (another Cheney bio, probably will add to the two Iraq projects, the 9/11 project, the Propaganda project, and the International Relations project);

Torture Team by Phillipe Sands (mostly info for the Prisoner Abuse and Civil Liberties projects).

One of these days, I’d like to work on John Dean’s Watergate biography, Blind Ambition, but updating and extending the Watergate project isn’t one of my main priorities right now.

What are you reading this year?

September 27, 2008

Books We Read: Mini-Reviews of Two GOP Whistleblowers

How to Rig an Election
Allen Raymond
2008 Simon and Schuster
256 pages

What Happened
Scott McClellan
2008 PublicAffairs
368 pages

This time around, we’re taking quick glances at two books from Republican whistleblowers. McClellan, the former Bush press secretary, became a nine-day wonder on the pundit circuit, while Raymond’s book garnered far less coverage. It should have been reversed, because when all is said and done, there is far more meat on the bones of Raymond’s book than on McClellan’s.


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