The following is a list, that I have put together, based on readings that I have read throughout the year 2015. Out of the twenty to thirty books that I have read over the course of this one year, the following includes the exceptional writings that I have found o be the most interesting and valuable in my personal library. All of the books are non-fiction, and they encompass political philosophy, U.S. foreign policy, conflict management and resolution (domestic and international), science, alternative dispute resolution, peace-keeping operations, history, political science, war, and a variety of other important topics.
5. The Years Of Lyndon Johnson – Master Of The Senate written by Robert A. Caro – 2002:
“Caro’s immersion in the man and period yields a fascinating, entertaining abundance . . . Master of the Senate splendidly reassembles the U.S. Senate of those years.” ~ Time
This book was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and according to the New York Times, “a wonderful, a glorious tale. It will be hard to equal this amazing book.” It is not a new read, but my girlfriend found it for me at the Goodwill down the road, and for one dollar, it is a priceless addition to my collection. It encompasses all of Johnson’s work throughout his time in various offices. It was a #1 national bestseller when it was first published in 2002. A political biography, to say the least, this book entertainingly details Johnson’s fight in the Senate, to pass legislation, as he also struggles with his own personal battles and other pressing issues during the time in history.
Available @ http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0394720954?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
4. From Cultural Rebellion to Counterrevolution The Politics of Maurice Barres written by C. Stewart Doty – 1976.
This little gem is an old book; do not get the wrong idea. Although I have just recently read this book in July of 2015, it covers much of Maurice Barres’ political philosophy, and life work. It does not attempt to argue for or against, as I prefer most of the books I read, the author works diligently to provide an objective analysis of Barres. Barres was an author, politician, and was instrumental in shaping the political and cultural attitudes in France; at the time. He lived from 1862-1923, and his philosophy greatly influenced and shaped the political atmosphere, up until present day. If you enjoy biographies and political philosophy, I highly recommend this book. Also, alike #5 on this list, since it is an older book, you can locate it for a very cheap price or possibly free on Kindle.
Available @ http://www.amazon.com/Cultural-Rebellion-Counterrevolution-Politics-Maurice/dp/0821401912/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442507015&sr=1-1&keywords=from+cultural+rebellion+to+counterrevolution
3. From Colony To Superpower – U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 written by George C. Herring – 2008
” The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize-winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of the prestigious Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. From Colony to Superpower is the only thematic volume commissioned for the series. Here, George C. Herring uses foreign relations as the lens through which to tell the story of America’s dramatic rise from thirteen disparate colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast to the world’s greatest superpower. A sweeping account of United States foreign relations and diplomacy, this magisterial volume documents America’s interaction with other peoples and nations of the world. Herring tells a story of stunning successes and sometimes tragic failures, captured in a fast-paced narrative that illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation, and highlights its ongoing impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. He shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of an “American way” of life. Herring does all this in a story rich in human drama and filled with epic events. Statesmen such as Benjamin Franklin, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, and Dean Acheson played key roles in America’s rise to world power. But America’s expansion as a nation also owes much to the adventurers and explorers, the sea captains, merchants and captains of industry, the missionaries and diplomats, who discovered or charted new lands, developed new avenues of commerce, and established and defended the nation’s interests abroad. From the American Revolution to the fifty-year struggle with communism and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, From Colony to Superpower tells the dramatic story of America’s emergence as superpower–its birth in revolution, its troubled present, and its uncertain future.” [AMAZON REVIEW]
Available @ http://www.amazon.com/Colony-Superpower-Foreign-Relations-History/dp/0199765537/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442507672&sr=1-1&keywords=from+colony+to+superpower
2. Winter King – Henry VII and The Dawn of Tudor England written by Thomas Penn – 2011
“Compelling . . . Fascinating . . . I feel I’ve been waiting to read this book a long time.” ~ Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies
A more recent book, which I highly recommend, is this biography of the life of Henry VII; the foundation of the Tudor Dynasty. It took me a long time to locate a good biography on Henry VII, but it was worth the wait. Capturing all the various aspects depicting the 16th century in England, and how the dynasty came into power, this book offers an compelling perspective filled with violence, coups, and conspiracy. It is essential to every historians library, as well as anyone who enjoys reading historical biographies.
“A definitive and accesible account of the reign of Henry VII that will alter our view not just of Henry, but of the country he dominated and corrupted, and of the dynasty he founded.” ~ Philippa Gregory, The Guardian (UK)
“This is an exceptionally stylish literary debut. Henry VII may be the most unlikely person ever to have occupied the throne of England, and his biographers have rarely conveyed just what a weird man he was. Tom Penn does this triumphantly, and in the process manages to place his subject in a vividly-realised landscape. His book should be the first port of call for anyone trying to understand England’s most flagrant usurper since William the Conqueror.” ~
Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
“As Thomas Penn shows us so vividly in Winter King, the first Tudor monarch is as fascinating as his son and his life story nearly as full of drama and incident.” ~ Martin Rubin, The Wall Street Journal
Available @ http://www.amazon.com/Winter-King-Henry-Tudor-England/dp/1439191573/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442509900&sr=8-1&keywords=winter+king+penn
1. The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr written by H.W. Brands – 2012
“Tightly crafted. . . . Aaron Burr is our Founding Father in the shadows. So often the gifted American who gut-shot Alexander Hamilton on a sheltered rocky ledge in Weehawken, N.J., is remembered as a nasty piece of work. . . . The flawed, fascinating pol has been the subject of many biographies. But in H.W. Brands’ beguiling 192-pager, The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr, the grandson of Calvinist preacher Jonathan Edwards steps off the page with customary aplomb—not as a cartoonish villain but as a cultured, considerate and caring father who was a Princeton graduate at 16, a hero of the Revolution at 20, New York state attorney general at 30 and U.S. senator at 35. . . . Like Herman Melville, who swept us back to 19th-century New Bedford’s Spouter-Inn in Moby-Dick, Brands transports us to a room on Stone Street in New York ‘on this eighth day of June, anno domini 1812.’ . . . And it’s [Burr and Theo’s] highly literate, lively correspondence that leavens this revealing book and makes its subjects spring to life.” ~ Austin American-Statesman
“Brands reveals another side of Burr in this examination of his extensive correspondence with his beloved daughter, Theodosia. . . . The letters deal with more than personal relations, as Burr discourses upon subjects as varied as sexual equality and political rivalry. . . . This useful, often emotionally stirring work offers a surprising view of an enigmatic personality.” ~ Booklist
“The second in the author’s series entitled American Portraits, this is one of the increasingly popular “small stories” that give so much insight into the men, women and events of history. A short but thrilling page-turner. Brands burrows into Burr’s psyche and exposes his failings as he details the outstanding talents that were so sadly wasted.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
H. W. Brands is the Dickson Allen Anderson Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, and for Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Available @ http://www.amazon.com/Heartbreak-Aaron-Burr-American-Portraits/dp/0307743268/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442510358&sr=1-1&keywords=heartbreak+of+aaron+burr
September 17th, 2015
Ryan Timothy Jacobs