The Jersey Brothers

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I received a free Kindle copy of  The Jersey Brothers  by Sally Mott Freeman courtesy of Net Galley and Simon and Schuster, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review to Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages.

I requested this book as I have read a great deal about the World War II and the description presented something that I had not read about.  This is the first book by Sally Mott Freeman that I have read.

This book is well researched as I would expect with the daughter of one of the three main indiviudals as the author. It is also well written, engaging and reads at a fairly quick pace. The storyline is about the three Mott brothers , one a prisoner of war in the Phillipines, one on the aircraft carrier Enterprise and the other in Washington D.C., and their mother. The book revolves around trying to find out if the captured brother is alive and exactly where he is.

One of the side stories that I found particuarly interesting was the development of Franklin Roosevelt’s map room which the author’s father maintained during a good portion of the war. As with many other books on this time period, it points out that Douglas McArthur was a vainglorious, self centered individual.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in World War II and in particular novels about the individuals involved in the war who were not necessarily leaders in the conflict.

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Scars of Independence

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I received a free Kindle copy of  Scars of Independence by Holger Hoock courtesy of Net Galley and Crown, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review to Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages.

I requested this book as I have read a great deal about the Revolutionary War but the description lead me to believe that this would be a different take on the events. This is the first book by Holger Hoock that I have read.

The author claims that “this is the first book to adopt violence as a central analytical and narrative focus”. While Hoock does go into more detail about the violence that occured during the Revolutionary War and the events leading up to it (such as tar and feathering), he does not uncover anything that is new or shocking.

I found his writing style to be adequate, but not on a par with a number of other Revolutionary War authors. I found myself skimming pages in order to get through the book which is never a good sign.

I can’t really recommend this book, unless you have time and a fascination with the more gory details of war.

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Last Hope Island

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I received a free Kindle of Last Hope Island by Lynne Olson courtesy of Net Galley and Random House, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review to Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages.

I requested this book as I have read a great deal about World War II, but the description covered subjects that I had read little about. This is the first book by Lynne Olson that I have read.

The book revolves around two main themes – foreign dignitaries and commoners that spent the war in England and the resistance forces in the various countries occupied by Nazi Germany. The book is well researched and written. The book is fascinating in that it concentrates on many overlooked events in other histories of this time period.

Among the things I learned was that Polish aviators played an important role in assisting the RAF in the Battle of Britian, Audrey Hepburn’s role in the resistance and the life long effects that malnurisment and disease played in her life, the role the resistance played in the occupied countries and the politics that took place in Britain involving the foreign governments housed there during the period.

Also, based on numerous quotes I want to read more of what the authors Max Hastings and Rick Akitson wrote about World War II.

I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in World War II and in particular to those who are interested in reading something new on the subject.

 

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Killers of the Flower Moon

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I received a free Kindle copy of Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann courtesy of Net Galley and Doubleday, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review of the book on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.

I requested this book as I have an interest in Native American history and culture. It is the first book by David Grann I have read.

This book is well researched and written. It reads more like a novel or historical fiction (which it is from time to time in order to connect the dots).  The author weaves the story of the Osage Tribe in Oklahoma whose reservation ended up being on top of a vast oil field, the manipulations that local non-native americans took to control and gain access to the money that was supposed to go to tribe members, and how the Federal Bureau of Investigation was formed in order to solve the cases of many early deaths of tribe members. I won’t go into great detail as that gives away many of the intriguing parts of the book and it is something that I do not particularly like in a book review.

This book dealt with specific murders associated with a single family, but the author at the end paints a picture that it was going on long before this family was involved and long after.

I recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in Native American History, the Osage tribe or the early development of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Posted in Biographies, Crime, Native Americans, NetGalley, The West | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Gatekeepers

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I decided to read The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple as I have an avid interest in the history of the United States and the Presidents who led our nation. This book offers a look into those who have the role of being the one to tell the President no or that is not a good idea.

The book is well written and researched. The author’s writing style makes it an easy to read and absorb piece that is hard to put down. This is the first book by Whipple that I have read, but after this one, I will track down some of his other works to read.

The book covers the Chiefs of Staff from Nixon through Obama. Whipple had the fortune to be able to interview many of those who served in the role and some of those who worked with them. He covers those who did a good job and those who were less than stellar in the position. He also addresses through those who have been in the position what makes a good Chief of Staff. His chapter titles were interesting. He adds an epilouge at the end where he speculates what Donald Trump may or may not do in regards to a Chief of Staff.

I recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in politics, the White House or the Presidents.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books and Crown Publishing. It was with the understanding that I would write a review and place in on Blogging for Books, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.

Posted in Biographies, Blogging for Books, Congress, Leadership, Presidents, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Urban Shocker

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I received a free Kindle copy of this book from Net Galley and the University of Nebraska Press, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.

I requested this book because I am a die-hard New York Yankees fan and read most anything that I can get my hands on. This is not the first book by Steve Steinberg that I have read.

The book is well researched and well written. The author’s style makes this a pleasureable and fairly quick read. The book does a very good job of covering how the personality of Urban Schocker was developed by his parents who were somewhat polar opposites in their approach to child rearing. He was intensely focused on winning , but at times it did not take much for him to fly off the handle early in his career.

He started out with the New York Yankees, but was traded to the St. Louis Browns and wanted to face his former team as often as he could. He particularly enjoyed his battles with Babe Ruth. Late in his career he was traded back to the Yankees just as his health started to impact his pitching. He used guile and knowledge of hitters to make up for the loss of array of pitchers. He was one of the last legal spitball pitchers, but faked it more than he used it to throw hitters off balance.

He eventually won a World Series, but did not appear in any of the games. He died in 1928 from a heart condition shortly after retiring from professional baseball.

I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of baseball and in particular the New York Yankees.

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Richard Nixon: The Life

 

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I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley and Doubleday, the publisher. It was with the expectation that I would write a review and post it to Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.

I requested this book because I have an avid interest in United States history and in particular presidential biographies. This is the first biography of Richard Nixon that I have read and the first book by John A. Farrell that I have read.

This book is well researched,  documented and written. The author’s style makes the biography come to life and easy to read. It deals deeply into the mind of Nixon and the potential causes for his deep seeded insencurity and depression. He was a brilliant man who was haunted by demons that at times existed only in his mind and at other times were very real.

My only complaint about this biography is that his time after his resignation is given a once over lightly treatment in comparison to the rest of the book that left me feeling that the author felt that there was very little in value.

I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in presidential biographies and Richard Nixon in particular. But be prepared to be somewhat disappointed in the final chapters.

 

Posted in Baseball, Biographies, NetGalley, New York Yankees | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment