BOOKS


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.

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After Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli is the most interesting and perhaps consequential British Prime Minister of the last two centuries. Born a Jew, he was baptized and raised as an Anglican by a father who wanted to widen the range of possibilities for his gifted son in a country in which Jews faced tremendous barriers.
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It started with a handful of disciples in a backwater of the Roman Empire, so how did Christianity become a global religion? How were its institutions and practices created and formalized? How did its leaders resolve doctrinal disputes and come to articulate a cohesive, universal faith?
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One of the preeminent historians of the Progressive Era and Gilded Age has written a slim, lively volume about Woodrow Wilson’s reelection bid in 1916, an election that often gets overlooked.
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I have been very, very bad. I turned from finishing a weighty and fascinating volume on Shakespeare to rush through a childhood favorite, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first John Carter of Mars book.

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