[To: The Albany Plan Re-Visited]
Posted: 14 January 2014
Each book has a reason why I think it important and whether or not it is political (P), historic (H), must read (MR), should read (SR), could read (CR) and of interest (OI). Not all of the books in the body of the text are here, e.g., gosh, is it here, yet again??? You guessed it, McClanahan’s,
The Founders’ Guide to the Constitution
. Sigh, so much to read, learn, and comprehend, so little time!
Originally written in 2005, there have been loads of good books published since then. The two biographies of George Washington that I mentioned early on are among them. I put as many of the new books as possible in the appropriate place above, but I certainly have not been complete, just mentioning how I learned of James Q. Wilson and his works would take up a page, so, here’s the incomplete bibliography:
The Constitution of the United States
, ed. Conrad Smith, Harper & Row, ISBN 06-460163-3
MR H&P; this copy has various case summaries as well as the 1787 Constitution, almost any copy that you can get that has some court decisions will do, but it is the first document that you must read before going any further. I further recommend that the next item that you read be the Constitution of the Confederate States, and then read Thucydides or Thucydides immediately after the Anti-Federalist Papers; for those wanting more meat, there is Ed Meese, III’s, The Heritage Guide to the U.S. Constitution
The Federalist Papers
, Hamilton, Madison & Jay, Signet Classic ISBN 0-451-52881-6
MR H&P; the book itself gives the Federalist view on why the 1787 Constitution should be ratified. It does so from both political and historic perspectives. It is also important because, from a contract viewpoint, what it promises the constitution will provide and how it is be interpreted become consideration for contract formation. What this means is that everything that they say will happen and how the constitutional clauses will be interpreted, if ratified, will be in accordance with this book. They were wrong and Patrick Henry right, but, hey….
The Anti-Federalist Papers
, Henry, DeWitt, et al, Signet Classic, ISBN 0-451-52884-0
MR H&P; the book gives the Anti-Federalist view on why the 1787 Constitution must not be ratified. More importantly, it is the basis for the Bill of Rights, which are the first ten amendments to the 1787 Constitution. Remember, the 1787 Constitution does NOT provide for free speech, the right to assemble, reasonable cause, search and seizure, bearing arms, free press, warranted searches, cruel and unusual punishment, &c., these rights are found in the amended constitution and discussion of those rights, and many other things, are found here. This is the second half of how the constitution should be interpreted and its neglect by the courts, congress and the executive, is a contributing factor to why the 1787 Constitution died in 1861 and to why we are ruled by the Ins and the Outs instead of by ourselves. It is not in the Federalist that you will find the true interpretations of the right to bear arms or of free speech and assembly, it is in here. The adoption of the Bill of Rights has the same contractual effect as the original ratification. Because of their historical context, these writings, that is both books, are actually consideration for the social contract and, as such, must both be read in interpreting the 1787 Constitution which is how The Constitution should be, but is not, interpreted. MOREOVER, it is THIS, which should always take precedence over The Federalist Papers whenever there is a conflict!
A Disquisition on Government,
John C. Calhoun, Bobbs-Merrill, ISBN 0-672-60014-5
MR H&P; a historical and political review of the first 60 years under the 1787 Constitution combined with suggestions for change. Consider it the first the Heartland Plan. Calhoun reviews the history leading up to his time of writing and gives astute and succinct commentary on what is working, and what is not working. He also adds suggestions to protect the minority from the tyranny of the democratic majority. Today, it is the majority who needs protection from the minority, thanks mostly to the legislating federal courts. Calhoun’s political savvy and conceptual social genius means that his work belongs up there with Sun Tzu and Machiavelli as must reads for anyone interested in government, politics, American history and social organizations of all types.
History of the Peloponnesian War
, Thucydides, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-04-4039-9
MR H&P; probably the best primer on war and government ever, if you read no other work in this bibliography, read this one!
The English Constitution,
Walter Bagehot, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-9023-5
MR H&P; in 1787 we could have gone the parliamentary way, here is what that looks like and how that worked up until 1867, when Bagehot penned this work. This work is an absolute must as there must be a comparison against which to judge the 1787 Constitution. This is it. ‘This work is a study of the classical period of Cabinet government before the extension of the suffrage, the creation of the British party machines, and the emergence of the independent civil service administering a vast welfare state.’ (paraphrased from the end cover which sums it up quite well)
Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic
, Matthew Mason, Chapel Hill, ISBN 978-0-8078-3049-9
MR H&P; the title pretty much says it, but for me, the fact that it is readable when compared to Thomas’ work is much more important. It truly brings out the effect of slavery on our early history by placing into context the complexity of the interrelationships of slavery with most of the early development of the United States.
The Slave Trade,
Hugh Thomas, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-81063-8
MR H; Hugh Thomas, an Oxford Don, has gone into the records of the ships, merchants, owners and governments in order to tell the story of slavery in the European Ecumene. This is a tough but worthwhile read because it debunks so many of the myths that have been percolating as both truth and justification for so much of XXth Century welfarism in the West. Much of what is out there is false regarding who benefited from slavery, how it developed, who enslaved who, where the slaves actually went as well as where the profits went. If you’re going to talk racism based on slavery or use slavery as a justification for compensation, you had better have read this book, as well as the one above and the one below, first.
The South was Right
, the Kennedy brothers, Pelican (LA), ISBN 1-56554-024-7
MR H&P; the Kennedy brothers, James & Walter, in an engaging fashion, point out certain facts that are ignored below the graduate level in our educational system. One of the most important is their analysis of the 1860 census showing the breakdown of races both enslaved and owning slaves. Another is to point out that the War of 1861 was not about slavery but it was about independence and State’s Rights, leading us back to Calhoun and books further down on this list.
Not Out of Africa
, how Afrocentrism became an excuse to teach myth as history, Mary Lefkowitz, Harper-Collins, ISBN 0-465-09838-X
MR H; so, you think that the Kennedy brothers are Neo-Confederates and have falsified their “facts” about race and slavery, &c.? Nope, before letting yourself be swayed that the people of color are owed anything based on historical fact, you had better read this to find out what historical fact actually is.
The Civil War,
a narrative, Shelby Foote, Vintage (in three volumes) ISBN 0-394-74623-6
MR H&P; primarily the best history book taking in the whole War of 1861, it also includes political factors justifying or explaining the behavior of the participants of that war. Of special interest to the Heartland Plan are the various quotes and researches relating to causes. The quotes you have already seen in the plan proper, but in order to see how The Emancipation Proclamation destroyed the Confederacy and how it was unconstitutional in the first place, you have got to go through the book. Foote explains how just after Antietam, Britain and France were going to recognize the Confederacy but because the proclamation changed the footing of the war from one based on the legitimate right to secede and form one’s own government, to one based on the abolition of the abomination of slavery, they couldn’t, thus dooming the confederacy and killing the constitution of 1787. (Time-Life books has a truly collectible edition in a multi-volume hard-back available.)
One Nation Under Law;
America’s Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State, Mark D. McGarvie, Northern Illinois, ISBN 0-87580-333-4
MR H&P; although he doesn’t go back far enough in his discussion as to where, when and why separation of church and state becomes important, look at how Rome collected taxes and how Christians became scapegoats as well as the pre-Jesus anti-Semitism that existed, he does cover and discuss quite fully the American perspective of it from before the revolution and how it has become such a hot issue. This is a MR because of its research and reasoning.
The People Themselves
, popular constitutionalism and judicial review, Larry D. Kramer, Oxford Press, ISBN 0-19-516918-2
MR H&P; so, you think that I made up all that stuff about the legislating Supremes and juries and what not! This is a must read to understand how the Marshalista’s and populists stole our land and government.
What Kind of Nation,
Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the epic struggle to create a United States, James F. Simon, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-84871-6
MR H&P; no, really, so you think that I made up all that stuff about the legislating Supremes and juries and what not. You have got to read this to understand how our republican democracy was stolen from right under us at the very beginning. Jefferson was NOT one of our better presidents, regardless of his intellect and writings.
How Democratic is the American Constitution,
Robert A. Dahl, Yale, ISBN 0-300-09218-0
SR P; it’s not, and Dahl explains it, and because it’s not, the minority is ruling the majority in a downward socialist spiral
The First American,
the life and times of Benjamin Franklin, H. W. Brand, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-49328-2
MR H; the first of many biographies and, with the possible exception of Alexander Hamilton, probably of the greatest American thinker who ever thunk and with the possible exception of George Washington, the greatest American. Biographies in general are important because they explain so much of the people and times. One of the most crucial events in American history occurred in “the pit” of a cabinet ministry when Doctor Franklin was exposed to the vitriolic hatred and spite of the Prime Minister shortly before 1775. Why did the American Voice of Reason resort to revolution? And how did Doctor Franklin conceive of some of his political theories?
His Excellency, George Washington,
Joseph J. Ellis, Knopf, ISBN 1-4000-4031-0
MR H&P; the only great American president. He is historically important because of all the things that we learned in grade school, but the man’s political genius is ignored, for the most part. When in doubt of a political, governmental or governance issue, he would have both Hamilton, his Secretary of the Treasury, and Thomas Jefferson, his Secretary of State, write out a position, always giving each the opposite. He usually went with Hamilton’s position which is part of why Jefferson left the cabinet and spent Washington’s second administration creating a true political party and party machine, sniping at Washington from behind Freneau’s libels, and suborning Madison from Federalism.
Ron Chernow, The Penguin Press, ISBN 1-59420-009-2
MR H&P; the person who most shaped Washington’s administrations and the early years of the Federal Government by virtue of his intellect, bastardy, and most particularly, his prominent position as key author of The Federalist. His financial insights and genius laid the early foundation which held such great promise but took such direct hits from Jefferson, Madison and Andrew Jackson that our economy, except for the interlude when J. P. Morgan acted as our central bank, until the mid-1930’s was so wrought with massive depressions and booms. For those who consider the “great” depression of the 1930’s to have been so horrific, one should look to the depression caused by Jefferson’s isolationist policies and laws, his friendship with Madison causing the War of 1812, and Andrew Jackson’s tax and economic policies.
a strange case of mistaken identity, Alf J. Mapp, Jr., Madison Books, ISBN 0-8191-7454-8
MR H&P; unlike Koch’s fawning, Mapp looks into much more of Jefferson’s life and character which helps to explain his motivations. His facts regarding Sally Hemings, pp 263 – 264, his blond mistresses in Paris, and how his writings reflect his elitist planter attitudes as well as his “yeomen farmer” democratic theories are important to the understanding of the principles which drove both the High Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. His friendship and estrangement with the John Adams’ are here as well.
The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson,
Adrienne Koch & William Peden, Random House, ISBN 0-375-75218-8
MR H&P; in addition to a biography, Koch & Peden have edited much of Jefferson’s writings. This copy is necessary because of the writings included as well as to offset the Mapp biography. Considering Jefferson’s behavior as both Governor of Virginia and President of the United States, his writings are of great significance to understanding both him and his actions. As Mapp says, “a strange case of mistaken identity.”
John Quincy Adams
, Robert V. Remini, Times Books, ISBN 0-8050-6939-9
MR H&P; “It is the responsibility of government to improve the conditions of life for those who are subject to its authority; otherwise government can never accomplish its lawful ends.” J.Q.A.
, David McCullough, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0684-81363-7
MR H&P; yep, another biography. Apparently a cranky puritan with an eye for detail and an incredible intellect that he thought that most of his fellows were envious of. Intolerant of others and not afraid to voice that intolerance, Adams contributed much to all discussions with sound reasoning and a sounder base of fact. His one term in office as president and two as vice-president gave us a start that Jefferson and Madison abused. The ‘impressment wars’ with France and Britain, the Jay Treaty and the unconstitutional ‘Alien and Sedition Acts’ with the Supremes approving of them, make this an important read. By understanding these people, we get a much greater understanding of our current history and politics. BTW, one should consider the timing of his proposal of marriage to Abigail, the date of their wedding, and the date of the birth of their first child. Yupper, that’s what I thought, too!
, Garry Willis, Times Books, ISBN 0-8050-6905-4
MR H&P; at the time in 1812 that Madison, with Jefferson pushing from the shadows, went to congress to ask for a Declaration of War, we were still negotiating for fulfillment of the 1783 Treaty of Paris Accords which supposedly ended the Revolution. We had diplomats in London on a peace mission! Not the great tome on Madison, but enough to fill in the times and conditions of The Founders and some of how he figured into the picture, it’s just not complete enough to be the only book on him.
Founding brothers, the Revolutionary Generation,
Joseph J. Ellis, Knopf, ISBN 0-375-40544-5
MR H&P; “Ellis recounts the sometimes collaborative, sometimes archly antagonistic interactions between these men, and shows us the private characters behind the public personas: Adams, the ever-combative iconoclast, whose closest political collaborator was his wife, Abigail; Burr, crafty, smooth, and one of the most despised public figures of his time; Hamilton, whose audacious manner and deep economic savvy masked his humble origins; Jefferson, renowned for his eloquence, but so reclusive and taciturn that he rarely spoke more than a few sentences in public; Madison, small, sickly, and paralyzingly shy, yet one of the most effective debaters of his generation; and the stiffly formal Washington, the ultimate realist, larger-than-life, and America’s only truly indispensable figure.” I copied this from the overleaf. It says what I want to say about this book, only much better.
Prelude to Civil War; The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina 1816 – 1836
, William W. Freehling, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-50768-18
MR H&P, excepting only Shelby Foote, Freehling is probably the top authority on ante-bellum U.S. history. Personally, I think that he allows some of his personal bias into his conclusions, but his academic integrity is, in my opinion, exceptional and his work authoritative, complete, readable and understandable. If you’re going to consider anything about nullification and secession, this, the second volume to this, and the following work are essential.
Secession Debated; Georgia’s Showdown in 1860
, William W. Freehling, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-50794-5-0
MR H&P, Secession was and is legal. Here are the arguments and the historical background within which they were used in 1860 Georgia. Must read for anyone considering secession and its moral and legal foundations.
The Rise of the West,
a history of the Human Community, William H. McNeill, University of Chicago, Book # ME751 (that’s how old my copy is, before ISBNs)
MR H; it doesn’t get anymore Must Read than this. If you pretend to have an understanding of Western Civilization without having read this monster at least twice, you will probably lose any debate that you have with someone who has read this work. It is an extraordinarily succinct and astute work considering its breadth. It’s the basic foundation for any historian of The West.
translated by N.J. Dawood, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-044052-6 (or any decent translation, there’s a much more recent one than my 1956 © out there)
MR H&P; take a pad and pencil with you when you read this. I like Dawood’s translation because he ordered it historically. He put everything in chronological sequence as the Angel Gabriel gave it to Mohammed from Allah. Most learning of the Koran (or Q’ran) is taken from copies where the first verse is the shortest and the last verse the longest. This way, out of context as to both time and place, the student memorizes the verses from the easiest to memorize to the longest or most difficult, which is probably one of many reasons for its slavish acceptance. Take the pad and pencil so that as your read it, you can mark and copy over each section that says that a true believer cannot make a binding contract with the infidel, that it’s the duty of the true believer to send the infidel to a fiery and horrific death, that infidels should all die and go to hell where they will eat feces and drink boiling water for all eternity, and on and on. This particular work needs to be read and those sections marked by one and all if man is to survive and prosper.
For those of you who wonder as to why I have made many of the conclusions that I have and as to their validity, since I am not fluent in Arabic, I also have, and have read, the official English Language version. My particular copy is published by the main U.S. mosque in Queens County NY.
The Future of Freedom,
illiberal democracy at home and abroad, Fareed Zakaria, W. W. Norton, ISBN 0-393-32487-7
MR P; if you think that you know democracy and haven’t read this work, you’ve got a gap that needs filling.
The Economics of Trade Unions
, Albert Rees, University of Chicago, ISBN 0-226-70702-4
MR P; like Zakaria’s work, you must read it to understand how unions work and play a part in U.S. politics
An Empire of Wealth,
the Epic History of American Economic Power, John S. Gordon, Harper-Collins, ISBN 0-06-009362-5
MR H; remember all of those economics and statistical numbers thrown at you regarding the industrial revolution and those stories of robber barons and employee abuses? Gordon actually looked up those figures and put together a book that debunks much of what you learned in high school about capitalism in the XIXth Century.
; watchdog agencies and the public interest, Louis M. Kohlmeier, Jr., Harper & Row, Library of Congress #69-15314
MR P&H; yep, another pre-ISBN. People think that I make up much of what I talk about. Here is a work from 1969 that is a simple survey of how bureaucracy works. I particularly like the “yak fat” incident on pp 95 – 97. Chapter 2 has a very nice dissertation of the constitutionality of government regulation. Bureaucracies only respond to their owners, the politicians. Read this and decide for yourself.
The Strange Death of Vincent Foster, an investigation, Christopher Ruddy, Free Press, ISBN 0-684-83837-0
MR P&H; and here is a current work to show how bureaucracy works. On its face, it doesn’t appear to be about bureaucracy but about an assassination, however, if Mr. Ruddy is to be believed, it appears that the murder was committed by a bureaucrat not only under the direction of but in the presence of, a politician. This is a MR because you must come to your own conclusion as to who is responsive to whom.
This book, and the forensic evidence presented in it, is reason enough to NOT allow Hillary Clinton to run for, much less be, President of these United States!
, a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything, Levitt and Dubner, William Morrow, ISBN 0-06-073132-X
SR H; the economist put statistical analysis to all sorts of social conditions, in other words, he applied the scientific method to social conditions, and you will probably be very surprised as to his results. Like Gordon above, the actual use of the scientific method exposes a considerable amount of myth and urban legend that’s being used as the basis for spending tax dollars and in the making of social and government policy. There’s a follow-up book that is also worth getting and reading
Ayn Rand, Signet, ISBN 0-451-09135-3
SR P; except for John Galt’s turgid monologue, this is why the center is where we’re whole, her other works are CR or OI and include: The Fountainhead, Anthem, For the New Intellectual, The Virtue of Selfishness, Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, The New Left: the Anti-Industrial Revolution, Night of January 16th, and The Romantic Manifesto
A Leap in the Dark,
The Struggle to Create the American Republic, John Ferling, Oxford Press, ISBN 0-19-515924-1
SR H; good telling of what led up to the Revolution, it fills in details and relationships that biographies don’t do on their own.
The Genuine Article
, A Historian Looks at Early America, Edmund S. Morgan, W. W. Norton, ISBN 0-393-05920-0
SR H; Another filler of detail and relationships. These books give a broader and wider scope than straight biographies and help keep down the adulation one can feel for the subject of a biography which can and does cause one to lose focus on the reality of the community.
The French & Indian War,
deciding the fate of North America, Walter R. Borneman, Harper-Collins, ISBN 978-0-06-076184-4
SR H; the first Global War. This read is the one that covers the original set of grievances between Britain and us. Considering its relationship to the Revolutionary War of 1776 as being almost identical to that of World War I’s, 1914 – 1918 relationship to World War II, 1939 – 1945, understanding what happened here becomes as important as understanding that it’s not until 1819 that the Revolutionary War of 1776 finally concludes with the United States ordering the payment of the rightful debts of its citizens and the withdrawal of British Troops from the Mid-West.
Understanding these reasons explains the how and why of The Declaration of Independence, and why so many literate, non-The New York Times readers, are secessionists!
The Scratch of a Pen,
1763 and the transformation of North America, Colin G. Calloway, Oxford Press, ISBN 0-19-530071-8
SR H; a really good analysis of the treaty ending the first global war and how it changed the face of the geo-political world in 1763. This is the treaty and its effect on North America; this is the analytical prelude to the revolution.
The Glorious Cause,
the American Revolution, 1763 – 1789, Robert Middlekauff, Oxford Press, ISBN 0-19-503575-5
SR H; good narrative history of the Revolution
1812; The War that Forged a Nation
, Walter R. Borneman, Harper-Collins, ISBN 0-06-053112-6
SR H; personally, the American Revolution took place from about 1745 through 1819, by starting with Borneman’s The French and Indian War, reading the in-between works, and ending with this work, you’ll have an excellent grasp of what happened, and more importantly, why it happened.
The Histories, Herodotus,
Barnes & Noble, Classics, ISBN 1-59308-102-2
CR H; facts, myths, fables and fabrications from before the common era (B.C.E.), This is the spice and narrative missing from MacNeill’s work for that particular period of time. What were the people like, is revealed in here.
Dereliction of Duty,
Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that led to Vietnam, H. R. McMaster, Harper-Collins, ISBN 0-06-018795-6
SR H&P; the truth of how we got involved in Viet Nam. Best read without any comment from me regarding its contents. The reason it’s both H & P is that the research is from the actual tapes and writings of the participants and that what they did was everything that Thucydides said NOT to do.
The Annals of Imperial Rome,
Tacitus, Penguin Classics, ISBN 0-14-044060-7
CR H; “History as fact, rhetoric, psychology and art,” from the end-piece. More importantly, it covers from 55 Common Era (C.E.) through 117 C.E. which is the transition from Republic to Empire. Taxation and war are significant factors as is the internal political struggles he describes; got it? Taxation & war!!!
The Works of Josephus
, Translator William Whiston, Hendrickson, ISBN 0-913573-86-8
CR H; Josephus was a contemporary of Jesus. Aside from a self-serving autobiography, a historical perspective of the time is shown; and since he worked for Rome at one time in his life, he gives an accurate and personal picture of internal politics and taxation in the provinces.
, David H. Fischer, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-517034-2
OI H; the first year of the Revolution and the importance of Trenton.
Alexander Hamilton & the Persistence of Myth, Stephen F. Knott, University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-1157-6
OI H; want to know more about Hamilton’s place in history and the constant conflict between Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians?
A Wilderness so Immense,
The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America, Jon Kukla, Knopf, ISBN 0-375-40812-6
OI H; how we came to make the Louisiana Purchase, of interest because of the unconstitutionality of it all and how Jefferson did it.
Mr. Jefferson’s Lost Cause, land, farmers, slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase, Roger G. Kennedy, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-515347-2
SR H&P; a very good analysis of the Louisiana Purchase, different from Kukla’s.
Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, Stephen E. Ambrose, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-82697-6
SR H; when Jefferson sent them out, part of their job was to write a report to be published. They did not. This is an analysis and editing of all of their notes and records. It’s important because it’s an accurate first hand report of what the Native Americans were like, their living & working conditions, and their social structure. If Ambrose hadn’t made reference to U.S. Troops burning down villes in Viet Nam as part of this work, I’d’a made it a must read, instead, I’m gonna tell some of it like it was:
U.S. Troops burned all sorts of villages along the Laotian and Cambodian borders of S.E. Asia under the direction of McNamara’s DoD. Now, here’s why: in order to interdict The Ho Chi Minh Trail, Johnson & Co., decided to remove the locals upon whom the VC/NVA were dependent on for food and recruits, so, they purchased all of the land, stock, buildings, &c., of the Viet Namese who lived along the trail, and moved them, again at U.S. expense to the coast, where they were given new land to live on. These tribes decided that they did not like living on the coast under Saigon’s rules so they moved back to the areas that the U.S. had purchased and squatted on them. Johnson & Co., bought them out a second time, and moved them a second time, to the coast, again at U.S. taxpayer expense. When the tribes moved back inland a second time, Johnson & Co., decided to buy them out a third time, but ordered the destruction of their tribal homes and lands to prevent a third return. U.S. Troops had not gone wild or barbarian; it’s almost ALWAYS the politician who does that.
Jefferson, Adams, and the Revolutionary Election of 1800, Bernard A. Weisberger, William Morrow, ISBN 0-380-97763-X
MR P, SR H; what were early politics and politicians really like in the United States?
Adams vs. Jefferson,
the tumultuous election of 1800, John Ferling, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-516771-6
MR P, SR H; if you read America Afire, you should read this book, as well and for the same reasons
The First Salute,
a view of the American Revolution, Barbara W. Tuchman, Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-345-33667-4
CR H; a very good history of the revolution
The Birth of the Nation
, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-31675-8
CR H; not much to say about this one
, Alan Taylor, Viking, ISBN 0-670-87282-2
SR H; about the only work that I’m familiar with that actually discusses American life during the colonial period, that is, 1620 through 1776.
Crucible of American Democracy
, the struggle to fuse egalitarianism & capitalism in Jeffersonian Pennsylvania, Andrew Shankman, University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-1304-8
SR H&P; A microcosm of what was going on at the time both politically and historically. The depth of detail brings out nuances of the political situation whose effects are still with us.
The Island at the Center of the World,
the epic story of Dutch Manhattan & the forgotten colony that shaped America, Russell Shorto, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-50349-0
OI H; New York City before it was New York City
Jefferson Davis, American, William J. Cooper, Jr., Knopf, ISBN 0-394-56916-4
MR H&P; One of the better U.S. Presidents. Yep, U.S. Presidents. Better read this one to find out why.
The Civil War
, a narrative, Shelby Foote
Go read this one again because if you’ve been reading this list in order, you’ll need ole Shel before going on to Reconstruction and States’ Rights, or, read it for your personal pleasure, otherwise, skip right on to:
, Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the beginning of the Civil War, David Detzer, Harcourt, ISBN 0-15-100641-5
MR H; it’s an MR because of what it tells us about the times in general and the actual workings of this military action from both sides, keeping in mind that there was an armistice between Lincoln and Jefferson that Lincoln violated to unconstitutionally grab power and raise a union army.
An Honorable Defeat
, the last days of the Confederate government, William C. Davis, Harcourt, ISBN 0-15-100566-8
CR H; covers the last four months of the Confederacy
States’ Rights and the Union
, Imperium in Imperia 1776 – 1876, Forrest McDonald, University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-1040-5
MR H&P; and you thought that I was kidding when I wrote that the 1787 Constitution was pretty much died by 1880 and that the killing was done in 1861.
The Road to Disunion
, Secessionists at Bay 1776 – 1854, William W. Freehling, Oxford, ISBN (Vol. 1) 0-19-507259-6
MR H&P; a necessary read for the events and politics from Jefferson to Tyler to Lincoln
ISBN (Vol. 2) 978-0-19-505815-4 Secessionists Triumphant 1854 — 1861
The Union Divided,
party conflict in the Civil War North, Mark E. Neely, Jr., Harvard, ISBN 0-674-00742-5
MR P; remember what I said about politicians and their subjects, the bureaucracy? And what I said about Lincoln and the unconstitutional goings on?
, America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863 – 1877, Eric Foner, Perennial Classics, ISBN 0-06-093716-5
MR H; if you want to have any understanding of today’s South, you’ve got to understand the two reconstructions, the presidential and the congressional, and their effects on an entire culture.
The Death of Reconstruction, race, labor, and politics in the post-civil war North, 1865 – 1901,
Heather C. Richardson, Harvard, ISBN 0-674-00637-2
MR H; Bill O’Reilly keeps saying that it’s not about race, it’s about money, and he’s right. This is a must read to understand why the racist policies of today shouldn’t be.
The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims,
Prometheus Books, ISBN#1-59102-307-6
MR H, the title says it all, and it ain’t pretty. For those of you who, especially on the left, think that you’ll survive the loss of the War on Terror, you’d better read this one very carefully, because, you’ll be the first to go, since me and mine will already be dead. And, for all of you women who have gone beyond the 8th Grade, and don’t want to be FGM’d, this is an absolute must read.
Warriors at Suez,
Eisenhower takes America into the Middle East, Donald Neff, Linden, ISBN 0-671-41010-5
CR H&P; a good read on how we came so involved in the Middle East, and the foundation of how and why we’ve been so bad for both them and us.
The World is Flat,
a brief history of the twenty-first century, Thomas L. Friedman, Farrar, ISBN 0-374-29288-4
OI H; a discussion of the phenomena of global economics is playing out, from an elitist viewpoint, completely ignoring both Faith and that it is all local. Also, you’ll note that this was published before the 2008 Financial crash, which was caused by Clinton’s abuse of The Community Recovery Act, and his unconstitutional manipulation of both Fannie & Freddie. For more, pp 193 – 360 of William D. Cohan’s, House of Cards.
The Sword and the Shield
, the Mitrokhin Archive and the secret history of the K. G. B., Vasili Mitrokhin & C. Andrew, Perseus, ISBN 0-465-00312-5
SR H&P; you think the Rosenbergs weren’t spies? McCarthy was wrong? Here’s how a bureaucracy, the Czar’s Cheka or secret police, has survived to put one of its own, Putin, on the Czar’s throne. Mitrokhin was a K.G.B. Colonel and operative and files clerk and he brought tons of material out of Russia when the U.S.S.R. collapsed. An MR if your interest goes past 1880 and you really want to see how a bureaucracy works only at the whim of its political owners and how both the 3:00 and 9:00 operate
No Simple Victory
, Norman Davies, Viking, ISBN 978-0-670-01832-1
SR H&P. For many years I have commented to anyone who would listen that the Soviet Union and Imperial Japan were far worse tyrannies than Nazi Germany, yet for various reasons, historians and the press have ignored this. Now, famed historian Norman Davies, (and yet another Brit speaks honestly and openly, why are they not afraid of the truth?) has written the first of what will hopefully be many books on reality. He starts by asking the reader to answer several questions, of which few can be answered by anyone with a normal college education. This would be a must read if we were dealing only with history, however, because we’re more interested in the political side of things, I’m making this a should read.
The Universe in a Nutshell
, Stephen Hawking, Bantam, ISBN 0-553-80202-X
OI H; have a dictionary ready, but this is important because, and you won’t believe this, it will give you a better understanding of everything and the importance of science and engineering, and the relationship between science and God, and, maybe, religion/ religious practices
The God that Failed
, why six great writers rejected communism, Gide, Wright, Silone, Spender, Koestler, & Fischer, Bantam, F 2011 1 (another pre-ISBN book)
SR H&P; why we don’t go past socialism, the 9:00 position, on the political clock.
Democracy in America,
Alexis de Tocqueville, Library of America, ISBN 978-1-59853-152-7
Two volumes to this, Edited by Zunz, it is the Goldhammer translation.
MR H & P. Probably the best work on ante-bellum U.S.A. Thanks to Mark Levin, Kevin Gutzman, and me, it’s making a resurgence. It’s another book that you’ve got to read to believe. It is a snapshot of everything that you want to know of the United States between The War of 1812 and The War of 1861. His conclusions are sheer genius.
The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers, Richard McGregor, ISBN 978-0-06-170877-0
OI SR P H, this, and the next book, are necessary if you want any idea of not only what’s going on in China, but why they are the way that they are TODAY, and why we should be very leery of all contact with them.
The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary Rise, Walter & Howie, ISBN 978-0-470-82586-0
OI-SR-P-H, this is actually a MR, and why we should require quality control (Demingism) for ALL imports. Not only does it point out the two AMC’s (see other blog postings), but suggests the other two shadow AMC’s, for a total of 4 AMC’s, but it includes the facts surrounding the milk scandal, dog food scandal, and various real estate bubbles.
Exposing the Racial Agenda of The Obama Justice Department, J. Christian Adams, Esq., ISBN 978-1-59698-277-2
OI SR P H, it’s an exposé by a whistle blower of the corruption in the DoJ, and by extension, the entire O administration.
There are several books that I’ve loaned out and they haven’t been returned. These two are important:
Wrong on Race,
Throw them All Out,
and I don’t remember who wrote it. They are both important as Mr. Bartlett’s book, read in conjunction with Prof. Thomas’ The Slave Trade, puts so much in perspective as well as pointing out that the racist party is on the left. Throw them All Out, is a compilation of just how corrupt congress is, both parties, and how so many of them went from zero net assets to becoming millionaires through political shenanigans. Remember, Pelosi had zero net assets before entering politics, and now, ‘magically’, has a net worth of over $25,000,000.00.
Now, if you’re interested in what can be done to re-establish the ideals of the first American Revolution of 1776, you should purchase
The Albany Plan Re-Visited,
available through Barnes & Nobles eBooks. For those of you who don’t know, Lt. Colonel Benjamin Franklin, Ph.D., PA Militia, was very upset with how the colonies participated in The French & Indian War, a.k.a., The Seven Years War, which was the first global war. He created a constitution that addressed all of the problems of confederation, and came up with The Albany Plan, which for the time and place, was the, in my personal opinion, best format for a democratic style republic. The author used it for the basis for The Heartland Plan, which is included in the book. Whereas Franklin’s wrote in the 1750’s, that is, before electricity, industrial, steam, birth control, &c., The Heartland Plan takes all of these into account as well the expansion of education to everyone, not just those who could pay for it.