What Karl's reading

After three years preparing The Triumph of William McKinley by reading very little but books, letters, articles and newspapers from the Gilded Age, I’m trying to get back into my regular routine, which I’ll chronicle here with an occasional review of what I’ve read.

Since this year (actually April 23) is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare, expect more than a few books on the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon in the next few book reviews. Emma Smith is an Oxford professor who has written about the famed “First Folio,” the effort of two of Shakespeare’s friends and fellow actors to collect and publish the works of the man now considered the world’s greatest dramatist.
Blogger and radio host Ed Morrissey has written a slim, powerful volume about what Republicans must do to win the 2016 presidential election. He examines trends in seven counties in battleground states that President George W. Bush won in 2004, but which were lost by Senator John McCain in 2008 and Governor Mitt Romney in 2012.
One of America’s great popular historians, Gordon has written a compact and enjoyable history of the Washington Monument which ranges from Egypt’s Middle Kingdom to the Revolutionary War to the worst recorded earthquake to hit the Nation’s Capital, with appearances by the Masons, the Know-Nothings, Napoleon, assorted European aristocrats and ancient inventors.
If you are concerned about the threat to America of Islamic terrorism, read this book. If you want to truly and accurately understand what your government has done to protect the American people from attacks, order this book today. If you want an honest and revealing look inside some of the most difficult decisions of the Bush administration on the War on Terror, get ahold of this book. And if you want a candid appraisal of how the United States is faring in this global struggle – its successes and its shortcomings – hope that whoever the next president is reads this volume and takes it to heart. For decades, General Michael Hayden has played a critical role in fashioning America’s intelligence capabilities, from his leadership as director of the National Security Agency to his service as CIA Director. This memoir of a quiet, yet intense man who was calm in the midst of chaos and danger is a fine read. I strongly recommend it to you.

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