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.

For a man who wrote so many words in celebrated plays and sonnets, William Shakespeare left no writings – diaries, memos, letters or interviews – to explain how he arrived at his masterpieces. So we are left to guess at his muses and motivations.
Two of the nation’s leading Civil War historians have joined to write a concise and deeply informed survey of the conflict that cost 620,000 lives while ending slavery and changing the country fundamentally.
I increasingly find my reading list packed with books reviewed in the Wall Street Journal’s opening editorial page or in the excellent “Review” section of the weekend Journal.
For most of the 20th century’s first half and beyond, Winston Churchill was a prominent figure on the world stage, reaching the pinnacle in his decisive role in confronting and defeating the Nazi menace.

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