Lincoln Book Haul

Friday, June 10, AD 2016

 

Well, yesterday my family and I made our annual pilgrimage to Springfield to attend the Lincoln Museum and go to the Lincoln Tomb.  As we made our way though the Museum we encountered a large number of Amish touring the Museum, the women wearing long dresses and poke bonnets that made them look as if they stepped from the 1860s.  The Amish were obviously fascinated by what they were seeing and talked among themselves in “Pennsylvania Dutch”.   Illinois has had a large colony of Amish in the Arthur, Illinois area, about 72 miles from Springfield, since the 19th century.  (Although the Amish are as theologically as far from the Church as it is possible for Christians to be, I should note that I have a huge amount of respect for them.  They take care of their own, and ask nothing from the larger society in which they live, except to be left alone, a sentiment which resonates with me.)  After the museum my family went to the Prairie Archives bookstore where I again marveled at their large collection of Lincoln books.

As usual we had a first rate lunch at the nearby The Feed Store.  (Nothing shouts Midwest more than eating in a restaurant with a name like that.)  We finished our day at Lincoln’s tomb praying for the repose of his soul and the souls of his wife and kids.)  Once again I thought to myself how nice it was that the first or second greatest President in our history, has his tomb in a cemetery open to all, where there are no guards, no charges for admission, not even for parking.  You simply pull up to the small parking area next to the tomb, go in and make your way through the tomb.  We owe Mary Todd Lincoln for that.  After Lincoln’s murder, there was an attempt to have Lincoln buried in Washington with a grand mausoleum being erected thereafter over his remains.  Mary Lincoln would have none of it.  She took her dead husband, and had the remains of her dead son Willie exhumed, and traveled with them both back to Springfield for burial.  She wanted nothing more from Washington except to get out of there as quickly as she could, a city where she had suffered grief that makes her such a poignant figure in American history.  (An exhibit in the Museum shows her framed by a rain stained window, sitting forlornly, mourning the loss of Willie.  My bride observed to me yesterday that, sadly, we know precisely how she feels.)

It wouldn’t be a McClarey expedition if we didn’t buy books.  We bought books yesterday at the Museum, the Prairie Archives and a used book store in Bloomington during an extended pit stop on our way home to Dwight.  Most of the books were about Lincoln (surprise!) and here are those books:

  1.  Lincoln’s Political Generals, David Work (2009)-Usually the incompetence of the generals appointed for political reasons is highlighted by historians, but it has always struck me how many of them, a perfect example is Illinois Congressman turned general John “Black Jack” Logan, eventually became competent officers.  Just as more than a few West Pointers failed the iron test of war, more than a few politician-soldiers passed it.
  2. Abraham Lincoln:  The Quest For Immortality, Dwight G. Anderson (1982)-A controversial book, Anderson contends that Lincoln deliberately sought to achieve immortality by becoming a second Washington.  I find his thesis unconvincing, but I was happy to add his book to my collection as it is well argued and does highlight an aspect of Lincoln often missed, surprisingly, by other historians:  that Lincoln was very conscious of history and how he and his contemporaries would be perceived by future generations.
  3. Lincoln the President, volume II (1945-reprinted 1974)-James G. Randall’s Lincoln the President is an exhaustive look at Lincoln as President, from an interesting standpoint: an admirer of Lincoln who also thought the Civil War was unnecessary. Scholarship was superb, albeit dated after six decades.  I now have three volumes, of the four, in my library.
  4. Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Winter 2008 and Summer 2009. Cutting edge articles on studies of Lincoln and his times are published twice a year by the Springfield based Abraham Lincoln Association.
  5. Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen:  A Culinary View of Lincoln’s Life and Times, Rae Katherine Eighmey, (2013)-I told my bride that Lincoln had a marked indifference to what he ate, with a slight preference for the humble country fare on which he was raised, but that did not dampen her enthusiasm for this tome.
  6. “Here I Have Lived”:  A History of Lincoln’s Springfield, Paul M. Angle (1933-reprint 1971)-A look at Springfield during the life of Lincoln.  It is hard to overestimate the impact of that community on Lincoln.
  7. Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason, David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften (2010-first paperback printing 2015)-A look at the impact of Lincoln’s study of Euclid on the way he thought.  Go here to read a post I wrote back in 2012 on that subject.
  8. The Annotated Lincoln, edited by Harold Holzer and Thomas A. Horrocks (2016)-A 604 page look at most of the major writings of Lincoln and a representative sample of his correspondence.   The clarity, and logical precision, of Lincoln’s mind shines through in his writings.  When one considers the meager education that Lincoln had, viewing his body of work makes one weep for the output of most modern politicians, albeit one can rarely be certain what is written by any modern politician after they attain office, and what is the product of the minds of staffers.  O tempora, O mores!

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3 Responses to Lincoln Book Haul

  • I have another new-book recommendation. My Library had it.
    .
    Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery – The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union by Daniel W. Crofts

    Apparently, early the morning of Lincoln’s first Inauguration, the US Senate (the House had earlier) passed an Amendment that would have stated the Federal government would never act against slavery in states where it existed. It never went to the states -deep south hiot heads, Fort Sumter – anywhere. The book was too detailed and I stopped after the lengthy prologue.

  • What fun! Thanks for the book titles.

    Re: Mary Todd Lincoln’s grief/loss in Washington DC & the poignancy of her suffering.

    My graduate work & the majority of my career (& life) has been spent working with people with multiple disabilities. I say that to say this. Mary seems to have exhibited many characteristics of having a traumatic brain injury after she was involved in that carriage accident, the attempted assassination of Lincoln through sabotage to his carriage, which ended up almost killing Mary, instead. To me, given the side effects of TBI, and the lack of treatment and understanding she endured, only increases the poignancy of her suffering.

  • It may be TCT. Having lost one child myself, and having experience that grief, I can only imagine the grief that Mary eventually dealt with, losing three of her four sons and having her husband murdered before her eyes. She has always struck me as one of the more poignant figures in American history.

Vacation Book Haul

Monday, June 15, AD 2015

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As faithful readers of his blog know, I am a biblioholic.  Last week my bride and I were on vacation from the law mines, well for three of the days of last week, and we went to a fantastic book sale put on each year by the local chapter of the American Association of University Women in Naperville.  This is a big sale with approximately 40,000 books.  We purchased 45, well actually 46 because I accidentally picked up two copies of the same book, for $100.00.  Here is a list of the books with commentary.  Fortunately my bride shares to the full my biblioholism!  She will be doing the commentary for 4-12 on the list.

1.   From Savannah to Yorktown, Henry Lumpkin (1981)-Perhaps the best one volume modern study on the campaign waged by the British in the latter half of the Revolution to conquer the South.  Lumpkin does a good job of detailing the savagery of this fighting, with Northern and Southern Tories in the ranks of the British adding an air of civil war to the conflict.

2.   How to Stop a War, James Dunnigan and William Martel (1987)-Dunnigan is the founder of Simulations Publications Illustrated (dear old SPI) and the designer of numerous war games.  After SPI went bankrupt in the early eighties and was sold to TSR, he began a career of writing books about war.  This is one of his early efforts and contains his usual skillful use of historical examples to make his points.

3.   An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, Arundhati Roy, (2005)-The one dud in our purchases.  Roy is a left wing loon and her tome reads like a fairly illiterate sophomore’s take on the world after having dozed through a class on Marxian Analysis of the World Crisis, while her boyfriend took occasional notes.  She is a supporter of the Naxalites, a particularly bloody and futile Maoist insurrectionary movement that has been going on in India since 1967.  This book is soon to be seen on e-bay.

4.   Saint Louis and the Last Crusade, Margaret Ann Hubbard, (1958)-This and the following 4 books are all Vision Books children’s biographies of saints, in the original hardcover editions (not the Ignatius Press paperback reprints).  Similar to Landmark Books, but on Catholic subjects and written from a Catholic perspective.  This one is a biography of King Louis IX of France.

5.   Katharine Drexel, Friend of the Neglected, Ellen Tarry, (1958)-A biography of St. Katharine Drexel (not yet canonized at the time of publication).  Cathy read this to the kids for their afterschool “mommy school” when they were in grade school.

6.  Saint Elizabeth’s Three Crowns, Blanche Jennings Thompson, (1958)-A biography of St. Elizabeth of Hungary; Cathy vaguely remembers reading about her to the kids during “mommy school” (might have been this book, or possibly a shorter account of her life elsewhere).

7.   Saint Isaac and the Indians, Milton Lomask, (1958)-A biography of St. Isaac Jogues, one of the Jesuit “Blackrobes” who worked (and died) among the Indians in North America (mostly Canada).  Cathy definitely remembers reading this one to the kids during “mommy school”!

8.   Saint Thomas More of London, Elizabeth M. Ince, (1957)-A biography of St. Thomas More, of course; Cathy thinks homeschoolers could use this alongside a family viewing of A Man for All Seasons (preferably the 1960s version) as an introduction to the Reformation in England.

9.   The Pattern Library, Crochet, Amy Carrol and Dorothea Hall, (1982)-An inexpensive crochet stitch dictionary for Cathy (if a family member knits or crochets, they’ll know what that is).

10.  Knitting into the Mystery, Susan S. Jorgensen and Susan S. Izard, (2003)-A book on prayer shawl ministries coauthored by a female United Church of Christ minister (Izard) and a Roman Catholic laywoman (Jorgensen); mostly about the spiritual side of such groups, rather than making the shawls themselves (although 2 simple patterns – 1 each knit & crochet – are included); tries hard (maybe a little too hard) to appeal to an interfaith audience.

11.  The Illustrated Afghan, Leslie Linsley, (1990)-A crochet afghan pattern book where the main panel or squares are done in plain Tunisian crochet (what Cathy says earlier generations called “afghan stitch”), and the intricate designs are cross-stitched on top.

12.  Norwegian Rosemaling, Margaret M. Miller and Sigmund Aarseth, (1974)-A book on Norwegian folk art decorative painting on wood, featuring lots of stylized flowers/leaves/scrolls/etc.; looks a lot like tole painting (but don’t let a rosemaaling fan hear you say that!).  We still have a couple of small rosemaalt items (a trinket box & a small decorative plate) Cathy acquired back in college while minoring in Scandinavian studies and connecting with distant cousins in Norway.

13.  Socrates in the City, Eric Metaxas, editor, (2011)-A collection of lectures by such luminaries as Peter Kreeft, the late Father Richard John Neuhaus, the late Chuck Colson, et al on the big issues:  God, Good, Evil, etc.  Metaxas is a man to keep your eye on.  He combines profound learning, a deep faith in God and a profound commitment to the pro-life cause.  His biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a grand example of using the past to help illuminate the present.

14.  Drummer Hodge:  The Poetry of the Anglo-Boer War, M. Van Wyk Smith, (1978)-Now what list of books purchased by me would be complete without some obscure tomes.  A good look at the poetry, and there was a fair amount of it, unleashed upon the world by the Boer War.  Most of it was forgettable and much of it was bad, but looking at it helps us understand the passions roused by this controversial war.

15.  Churchill’s Secret War, Madhusree Mukerjee, (2010)-Ms. Mukerjee claims in her book that Churchill’s dislike of Indians contributed to the toll of the Bengal Famine of 1943-44.  Arthur Herman, who wrote a recent joint biography of Churchill and Gandhi has written a devastating rejoinder.  Go here to read it.  I will reserve judgment until I have read the book.

16.  Platoon Leader, Thomas R. McDonough, (1985)-I have been reading this book since we purchased it last Thursday and have completed it.  It relates the story of the author as a newly graduated West Pointer, assigned as a First Lieutenant to command an understrength platoon occupying a village in a Viet Cong dominated section of Vietnam.  McDonough relates his struggles to be a competent platoon commander as he learns all the things that the Army had failed to train him about and that were vital for him to learn quickly if he and his men were to survive and prevail.  McDonough learned that when it came to stand up fights with the Viet Cong assaulting his village, American fire power would prevail and inflict heavy losses on the enemy.  What was deadly for the troops were the drip, drip losses caused on daily patrols through booby-traps planted by the Cong.  (Shades of IEDs in Iraq!)  McDonough comes to respect and like almost all the men he commands, impressed by their courage and their willingness to fight for each other.  He does not romanticize them, but he clearly shows the nobility of spirit of most of them as they stoically endure their tours.  The burden of command lays heavily on McDonough, a constant theme of the book.  This is illustrated when he sends a squad to swim in the ocean, hoping that the salt water will be good for their jungle sores, and be fun for the men.  Two of the men are caught in the tide and drown, and McDonough blames himself for their deaths, learning the old military fact of life that when you are in command, everything is your responsibility.

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3 Responses to Vacation Book Haul

  • I hate the idea of burning books, but that one by Arundhati Roy is a tempter. Before you put it up on ebay you might want to fill it with marginal notes so that it is less dangerous for the weak minded.

  • I’ve never seen a life of Saint Louis for adults. He’d be a great subject for a biography.

    I am happy with the increase in books about the saints for children, though. It’s a great vaccination against our modern culture. I grew up during the era that we forgot about the saints.

  • Amazing, Mr. McClarey. Before my kids were born I was a prolific reader of all sorts, usually nonfiction. A tedious job, a house with a yard, a seven year old in hockey and baseball and a three year old leave little time for reading – usually on the bus to and from work.

    I ought to read more and argue on the Internet less. Internet atheists are the scourge of mankind. Almost every time I encounter them I need to go to Confession and the last time is no exception.

    The last four books I have read – Reagan – The Last Crusader by Paul Kengor, Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder (the saddest book I have ever read), FDR Goes to War and Unvanquished – Pilsudski (just finished that one).

    The Black Book of Communism made me angry. I had to set it down multiple times before finishing it because Communist atrocities put me in a mental rage. On the other hand it hurt to read Bloodlands. It was an excellent book, but the atrocities inflicted upon innocent people by the USSR and the Nazis were heartbreaking.

    FDR Goes to War will change anyone’s mind about FDR. Well, anyone capable of objective thought.

    Had the Entente and the United States listened to Pilsudski, there would not have been a USSR and the Nazis would have been thrown out of power in Germany in less than a year.

    I hope you enjoy your reading. This encyclical will have little lasting impact because those who oppose global warming junk science will never conform to silly government edicts.
    Time to say good night.

Don’s Book Haul

Friday, June 17, AD 2011

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

Erasmus

We at The American Catholic like to keep an eye, frequently jaundiced, on popular culture.  One recent development that I enthusiastically endorse are videos posted by individuals on Youtube discussing “book hauls”, books that they have recently purchased.  I find this heartening.  I have always regarded myself as a hopeless book addict, and now I learn that my addiction is socially acceptable, perhaps even cutting edge!  This post will therefore tell you about a book haul I made yesterday, but first a bit of background information.

When I was growing up in Paris, Illinois, my mother and father used to give me and my brother a dollar each as our allowance.  (Considering that between them my parents brought home about a $100.00 a week, I thought the allowance was rather generous. )  My parents expected us to clean the house each day before school, to do the dishes and to run to the grocery store to pick up items during the week.  It was emphasized to us that the allowances were not payment for our work.  We worked at our chores because we were members of the family, and our parents gave us our allowances because we were members of the family.

You could do a lot with a dollar when you were a kid in the sixties.  Comic books cost 12 cents, cokes were a dime, candy could be purchased for a nickel to a dime.  However, I spent a fair part of my money at the local Goodwill.  Paris did not have a bookstore, but the Goodwill had a bookcase with used paperbacks and hardbacks.  The paperbacks were a nickel and the hardbacks were a dime.  New used books came in fairly frequently.  Most Saturday mornings I would go into the Goodwill and search through the books.  It was there I first made the acquaintance of Plato, Aristotle and Aristophanes.  On one memorable day, the divine Dante came my way for the first time with a paperback copy of Purgatorio, and a “new life” began for me.  History books were plentiful, especially on the Civil War and World War II and I gobbled them up.  Thus I began my personal library, and I have some of those books to this day.  And so my shameful addiction devotion to purchasing mass quantities of books as cheaply as I can began.

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25 Responses to Don’s Book Haul

  • Not exactly a “haul,” but good recent finds from the used book stores:

    1. The University Sermons of Ronald Knox. An absolute steal at $8, given that Bookfinder doesn’t have the Sheed version (which is what mine is) at below $68.

    2. Freedom From Fear by David Wallace. It’s a history of the Depression and WW2, part of the Oxford History of the US series. Excellent so far, but try to find the hardcover as it is an unwieldy (if well-bound) paperback.

    3. Hilaire Belloc: Edwardian Radical. Looking very much forward to this after I finish off the other two.

    As an aside, Union 1812 is a good book. Great character and event sketches written in an engaging journalistic style. A little light on details (and maps), though.

  • Anything by Ronald Knox is a very good find Dale. I assume that people hold tight to his works as I do not find them very abundant at the book sales I haunt.

    Agreed as to Union 1812. Inadequate maps are the bane of most books on military history, sometimes comically so. I was recently reading a fairly good book on the peninsula war marred by the handdrawn maps of the author that combined lack of detail with extreme inaccuracy. Good historical atlases are often a necessary accompaniment to much of my reading.

  • Great haul, Don. I, too, have been a voracious reader since junior high, picking up steam during my Navy days when long voyages at sea taught me to carry along Hemingway, Steinbeck, Twain and several classics including Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Divine Comedy. I read two books a week, a pace I have kept up until now my 69th year.

    Unfortunately, over the years my book shelves got so crowded I was forced to donate many to local libraries and charities, and sometimes would find them recycled at area flea markets, where, succumbing to a sentimental streak, I would often buy them back.

    As a devotee of pre-and post Victorian-era literature, I zeroed in in a lot of Dickens, Hardy, Eliot, Trollope, Fielding, Thackeray, Gaskell, Wilkie Collins with a few Russian novelists such as Dostoevsky and Tolstoy thrown in. For me, most anything written in antiquity or up to 1900 beats almost anything written afterwards except for the few standouts mentioned above.

    While I prefer fiction, I haven’t ignored the Bible, of course, which I suppose isn’t fiction (I read it cover to cover although it didn’t quite all sink in), and have a good collection of Bishop Sheen, Chesterton, and early Christian writers that I keep on my top shelf, along with most of Taylor Caldwell’s novels (Great Lion of God, Pillar of Iron (the life of Cicero), and Dear and Glorious Physician my three favorites).

    Recent pickups include The Warden and Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope, Edward Abbey’s The Journey Home, No Name by Wilkie Collins, The Brothers Karamazov (new translation) for a re-reard, and The Dictionary of Mis-Information, which explodes dozens of urban legends and other myths such as: The Battle of Bunker Hill was not fought at Bunker Hill, Paul Revere never made it to Concord on his famous midnight ride, and Lincoldn did not write the Gettysburg Address while on a train, nor did he write it on the back of an envelope. Also, Cleopatra was not Egyptian, the guillotine was not French nor named for its inventor, and a compass does not point to either the North geographic pople or the North magnetic pole.

    As an amateur study of history and a lifelong journalist, I believe fact-checking is important and too much written historian is a product of invention and wishful thinking.

    Enjoy your new reads and please share any nuggets you discover with the TAC audience as future grist for debate or discussion.

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

  • Thank you Joe. I have always found that books make the best of friends, except when you try to borrow money from them. 🙂

  • The local library had a book sale last weekend as part of the summer reading program kickoff. We bought 20 hardbound children’s books (probably close to $200 worth) for $4.

  • We bought 20 hardbound children’s books (probably close to $200 worth) for $4.

    AND YOU DIDN’T LET THE REST OF US KNOW?! Seriously–wow. I pulled up something similar–but still not that good–when a local library branch closed four years ago. About 10 or so Madeline and Dr. Seuss books for a song. It was the haul of books for the grownups that had my wife doing the Double Facepalm.

  • Joe,

    Trollope beat me to it. I was going to write a book and title it, The Warden: The Story of My Wife.

  • T. Shaw, actually the Warden in Trollope’s book was a nice guy. But I know what you mean, having been “institutionalized” most of my life. Has anyone read “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand? I just ordered it, after recently re-reading her wonderful book about Seabiscuit.

  • I am in the process of reading Atlas Shrugged and find it wanting. I have affinity for the theory behind the book – producer, second handlers, looter, parasites, etc but find the characters hollow, the plot is weak and the book is very predictable. On well only 900 +/- pages to go.

    Any recommendations for my next summer book?

  • Dale, they were selling books in almost spotless condition for .25 apiece or 5 for $1. Couldn’t believe some of the books we were able to get for that price.

  • CatholicLawyer, I read one Ayn Rand book, “The Fountainhead,” and found it boring. Fiction: “Captains and the Kings” by Taylor Caldwell. Non-fiction: “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt,” by Edmund Morris.

  • My sympathies, CL. Read it a year ago and just recently got over the emotional scarring of trudging through that crap.

    How about some Dostoevsky? Not exactly light, but you can’t go wrong.

  • Dale, they were selling books in almost spotless condition for .25 apiece or 5 for $1. Couldn’t believe some of the books we were able to get for that price.

    Even better. Yeah, I’d have been a danger to myself and others at that sale. The library closure books were more of a mixed bag–definitely not pristine, but the reinforced library bindings helped. The stuff I got for personal use was much better–a two volume Cambridge medieval history, Gilbert’s Churchill biography (1 volume edition), a two volume compilation of Thomas Aquinas’ “greatest hits,” a set of the Encylopedia Americana from 1996, a multivolume Dictionary of American History, an Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World…and that’s what’s off the top of my head. I was there the day you could fill a paper grocery bag for $2.

    For some reason, Heather has laid down the law and said no more encylopedias. Period. Must be one of her inexplicable tics.

  • but find the characters hollow, the plot is weak and the book is very predictable. On well only 900 +/- pages to go.

    Even materialist morality plays can be a bit too didactic, it seems.

    I cop to not having read a word of her books–her Objectivist nephews and nieces are a turnoff that way–but I’d heard that she has a certain pulp competence with her prose that helps. I imagine even that talent could be thwarted by 1100 pages.

    How about Belloc’s “The Servile State”? Touches on a some of the same themes, but from a Catholic perspective.

  • My book haul from the annual public library book sale today included the following:

    — “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson, a critically acclaimed tale of Chicago during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. I figure I’ll like this one because I liked Larson’s “Isaac’s Storm”, about the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

    –“The Chicago Race Riots: July 1919” by Carl Sandburg. Most of you know Sandberg as a poet and Lincoln biographer, but did you also know that he was a journalist who wrote a series of articles on one of the darker moments in the tangled racial history of the Windy City? Neither did I, until I spotted this book.

    — “Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War” by T.J. Stiles. Haven’t gotten too far into it yet, but it’s already clear to me that he and his brother Frank would more accurately be described as (pro-Confederate) terrorists or war criminals than “legendary outlaws.”

  • Jesse and his brother Frank Elaine were cold blooded killers and thieves who dressed their crimes up in political ideology. My favorite film representation of Jesse James is that of Robert Duvall in the film The Great Northfield Minnesota raid.

  • “Gilbert’s Churchill biography (1 volume edition),”

    I have been collecting the individual volumes over the years, and still have a ways to go, but I have the first two volumes of Churchill from birth up to his entry into Parliament, the two volumes from 1914-1916 and Churchill’s dismissal as First Lord of the Admiralty after Gallipolia, and the two volumes on Churchill during World War II. Churchill was a very great man and in Sir Martin Gilbert he got a biographer worthy of him.

  • Don, Churchill was indeed “a very great man” and history has been very kind to him. But his early collusion with the weak Edward VIII, who wanted to cut a deal with Hitler, is well documented. Like him or not, Christopher Hitchens details such events in this piece:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2285695/

  • Churchill gave some support to Edward VIII before he abdicated in hopes that he would come to his senses and ditch the American divorcee gold digger he was infatuated with. He of course had no sympathy for the Duke of Windsor’s fatuous thoughts that a peace could be worked out with Hitler and shunted him off in 1940 as Royal Governor of the Bahamas.

    http://www.fpp.co.uk/bookchapters/WSC/Windsor.html

  • I resonated with this post because some of my best memories from childhood are centered around books. I have a question though: After hauling books around the country with us for years, we’re thinking of moving to eBooks. I feel very ambivalent about this and wondered, as a bibliophile, if you’ve tried it yet? My daughter assures me that I’d love it & they’re just going to dump all my books when I die anyway 🙂 I can see how it’d be fine for novels etc but I can’t see how I’d like that format for anything I’m attached to…

  • theresarita, My wife bought me a nook last Christmas and I did not like it, wound up getting a refund. I’m an old school, analog type of guy who likes the feel of a real book in my hands. Plus I found the Nook hard to read because of the glare. My 2 cents.

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) We’ve downloaded a few free eBooks onto our iPad (Star Wars stories for our autistic son who loves Star Wars), as well as apps for a couple of British magazines (RetroGaming and Dogs Today) which are prohibitively expensive for Yanks like us to subscribe to in their paper versions. I can see where an eBook reader would be a great convenience for college students with loads of bulky textbooks (although you can’t resell e-textbooks at the end of the semester, and one’s choice of eBook reader would depend on the format used at one’s college for their textbooks). I can also see where the compactness of an eBook reader would help someone living in really tight quarters. However, I’m still not quite used to clicking my way through an eBook, and (so far, at least) still prefer actual paper books for most things.

  • I bought a Kindle five months ago and I love it. One of the best things about it is that I can get books instantly. A cool feature is that at the end of books there are recommendations for similar books, and I’ve actually picked up a few things I would not have read otherwise. I discovered Mary Roberts Rinehart through this feature. There are so many books available for free or for much cheaper than what you’d pay for the hardcover or even a paper back. I’ve downloaded 50+ books and have probably spent less than $25 on them.

    It’s really no different than reading a book in terms of how it looks on the page. It’s not a computer screen, so your eyes don’t glaze over. And as someone who likes to read multiple longish books and who travel frequently, my back appreciates it.

  • To all my TAC friends. It’s not hard to see why those who fought in WWII are called “the greatest recommendation.”

    Don, perhaps you can piggyback on to this link about the extraordinary heroic life of Louie Zamperini, who became a Christian and forgave his Japanese torturers while he was a POW. Incredibly inspiring story.

    http://youtu.be/R9Hlu0yHb9Q

  • …”The Greatest Generation” ….