BOOKS

Washington's Monument: And the Fascinating History of the Obelisk

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John Steele Gordon, WASHINGTON’S MONUMENT: AND THE FASCINATING HISTORY OF THE OBELISK. 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. It’s an easy, fun read. Even better is Gordon’s AN EMPIRE OF WEALTH, published in 2005, which may be the best single book on America’s economic development.
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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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Not only does this volume have the best title of any book I’ve read in the past year, but it will keep you on the edge of your chair until you finish this tale.

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This is a riveting tale of brotherly love, tested in a time of global war.  The characters are vividly drawn, the action riveting and the suspense almost overwhelming. 

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My copy of PORTRAITS OF COURAGE arrived and I thumbed through it, expecting to take a quick look before adding it to my reading stack and getting to it in a few days.

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It is easy to forget that the greatest conflict in human history – World War II – was won mostly through the efforts of teenagers who made up the vast preponderance of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and merchant marines.


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