politics
Dallas 1963 by Bill Minutaglio, Steven L. Davis
May 19
Dallas 1963 by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis

I learned a great deal about the extremism that exploded in Dallas after John F. Kennedy was elected president. Dallas was ground zero for Kennedy hatred in 1963; it was led by the John Birch Society; a rabid military nut, General Edwin Walker; the publisher of the Dallas Morning News, Ted Dealey; the Texas oil man, H.L. Hunt; and many others.

It was also a city that attracted a strip club owner, Jack Ruby, and, of course, Lee Harvey Oswald.

This fine piece of journalism and research is a well-written and fast-paced read. It focuses on the insanity of the forces on the right, but there were good people, too, including Stanley Marcus, founder of Neiman Marcus, who warned LBJ that JFK should not visit Dallas because of the right-wing radicals rampant in the city.

Learn more or purchase Dallas 1963 by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis.

January 13
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin is a fascinating overview of the deceptions, mistakes and miscalculations by four administrations that gave us the Vietnam War disaster.

Most Dangerous further establishes Steve Sheinkin as a leader in nonfiction.

On June 13, 1971, the front page of the New York Times announced the existence of a 7,000-page collection of documents containing a secret history of the Vietnam War. Known as The Pentagon Papers, these files had been commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Chronicling every action the government had taken in the Vietnam War, they revealed a pattern of deception spanning over twenty years and four presidencies, and forever changed the relationship between American citizens and the politicians claiming to represent their interests. The investigation that resulted–as well as the attempted government coverups and vilification of the whistleblower–has timely relevance to Edward Snowden’s more recent conspiracy leaks.

A provocative and political book that interrogates the meanings of patriotism, freedom, and integrity.

Learn more or purchase Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin

 

 

January 13
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Homage to Catalonia is how Orwell became, in my view, the most important writer of the 20th century.

Homage to Catalonia is perhaps George Orwell’s most important work. It’s one of Bill Clinton’s favorite books.

‘Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it’. Thus wrote Orwell following his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled in Homage to Catalonia. Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic episode: the revolutionary euphoria of Barcelona, the courage of ordinary Spanish men and women he fought alongside, the terror and confusion of the front, his near-fatal bullet wound and the vicious treachery of his supposed allies.

A firsthand account of the brutal conditions of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia is a must read.”

Learn more or purchase Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell