Schmerguls's Comments (member since Oct 28, 2008)

Schmerguls's comments from the Readers and Reading group.

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Dead authors (136 new)
Jul 28, 2014 05:20AM

10168 Bel Kaufman, who was born in Berlin, Germany, on 19 May 1911, died in New York City on 25 July 2014. I read one of her books and said of it:

4692. Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman (read 4 Apr 2010) This is a 1964 book written by a New York City high school English teacher. It is denominated fiction, but one suspects it is derived from the author's experiences. I laughed aloud a lot of times, and found the book worth reading--but would have preferred a book holding itself out as relating actual events. The fictional teacher, Sylvia Barrett, is new to Calvin Coolidge High and this novel depicts events from September to Christmas of her first year there. I read The Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter on 13 May 1961 and suspect this book was inspired by that one; if I recall correctly that book also had a "down staircase" not to be used as an "up staircase." (four stars )
Dead authors (136 new)
Jul 21, 2014 05:23AM

10168 Curt Gentry, who was born 13 June 1931 in Lamar, Colo., died July 10 2014 in San Francisco, Cal. He was the co-author of one book I read, about which book I said:

1436 Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry (read 6 Mar 1977) The author was the chief prosecutor of the persons directed and inspired by Charles Manson to commit the seven murders on Aug. 8 and 9, 1969 of Sharon Tate and others. The first part of the book, telling of the crimes, was absorbing, but the book goes on for 664 pages and really told me more than I wanted to know about a person as bizarre and goofy as Manson. The same goes for his girls. (2 and a half stars)
Dead authors (136 new)
Jul 16, 2014 05:35AM

10168 James MacGregor Burns, who was born 3 Aug 1918 in Melrose, Mass. died yesterday, 15 July 2014, at Williamstown, Mass. I read five books by him:

1978. The American Experiment: The Vineyard of Liberty, by James MacGregor Burns (read 10 Feb 1986)
1979. The American Experiment, Volume II: The Workshop of Democracy, by James MacGregor Burns (read 22 Feb 1986)
2234. The American Experiment Volume III: The Crosswinds of Freedom, by James MacGregor Burns (read 29 Sep 1989)
4162. Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox, by James MacGregor Burns (read 17 May 2006)
4163. Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom, by James MacGregor Burns (read 21 May 2006) (Pulitzer History prize in 1971) (National Book Award for history and biography in 1971) (Parkman Prize for 1971)

My comments on them are as follows:

1978 The American Experiment: The Vineyard of Liberty, by James MacGregor Burns (read 10 Feb 1986) This is a wonderfully enjoyable and excellent book. It was published in 1982. It is superlative history, covering American history from 1787 to 1863. I can't think when I have enjoyed a book more. My knowledge of American history inevitably has as its reference point my grade school wide-eyed enjoyment thereof, and the superiority of this book's treatment over that of grade school texts makes the subject just so much more interesting. Furthermore, this book shows American history is a far cry from simplistic. This book shows how complex things were, and are, in American history. The book emphasizes what of course our texts in grade school ignored--the inequality of freedom: the slaves, women, were entirely left out. This book gives sources, including many secondary sources, but has no bibliography as such. But each period seemed the most interesting, as I read about it. If I read a better book this year, I'll be surprised. (5 stars)

1979 The American Experiment, Volume II: The Workshop of Democracy, by James MacGregor Burns (read 22 Feb 1986) This volume covers the years from 1863 to 1932. This book was not as satisfying as the first volume. It tends to be kind of "skim-my." which wasn't noticed as much in Volume I. But it was good to read, though the author's leftist bias is rather obvious, not that I object to that. I wonder when Volume III will be published? [The American Experiment Volume III: The Crosswinds of Freedom, by James MacGregor Burns (read 29 Sep 1989)] (4 stars)

2234 The American Experiment Volume III: The Crosswinds of Freedom, by James MacGregor Burns (read 29 Sep 1989) I read volumes I and II in February of 1986. This volume goes right up to the fall of 1988. It was the least satisfying of the three volumes. His view of FDR is fine with me, but some of his views on the 1970's and 1980's were disenchanting to me. Burns is quite turgid and the book at times scarcely seemed like the history I love to read. The subject--1932 to 1988--is so vast that it almost defies synthesis. I cannot conclude but that most of the country's trouble today is the fact that too few seek to observe what the author calls "old-fashioned" morality. (three stars)

4162 Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox, by James MacGregor Burns (read 17 May 2006) I have for years intended to read a FDR biography and this month I finally read Burns' two-volume one. This volume, covering the years to 1940, has many good chapters even though my reading in the first part of May covered much of the same ground. Burns is frequently non-praising of FDR though he rightly has much good to say of him. The accounts of the 1932, 1936, and 1940 elections are so much fun to read. FDR's second term was really devastated by the Court-packing fight--a fight so unnecessary as it turned out. Much of this book was sheer enjoyment to read. Political history is so much fun to read one can get so caught up in it. (four and a half stars)

4163 Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom, by James MacGregor Burns (read 21 May 2006) (Pulitzer History prize in 1971)(National Book Award for history and biography in 1971) Reading this volume was an amazing experience for me because it covered the years 1940 to 1945, all of which was a time of acute awareness for me, especially as it pertained to FDR. So the events were very familiar, even though there were things that I did not know (though not much, it seemed). Burns is not overly friendly to FDR, but on balance he is favorable to much of what he did. The final chapter, as in all great biographies, was superb and wrenching. Reading these volumes was a stupendous experience for me, eminently worthwhile, and I should have read them 35 years ago. (five stars)
Dead authors (136 new)
Jul 07, 2014 05:38AM

10168 Edvard Shevardnadze, who was born 25 Jan 1928 in Manati, Georgia, Europe, died today, July 7, 2014. He was the author of one book which I read on 9 Feb 1992:

The Future Belongs to Freedom. My comment on this book was:
2437 The Future Belongs To Freedom, by Edvard Shevardnadze translated by Catherine A. Fitzpatrick (read 9 Feb 1992) The author finished writing this book on Aug 24, 1991. He is one of the great men of these days, and one to whom much is owed. He never in this book explicitly rejects Communism, but all he does say makes excellent sense. I remember when he became Soviet Foreign Minister on July 2,1985, I had never heard of him. I think his role till he resigned Dec 20, 1990, was one solely for the good. The book is good, though turgid and not well-organized. (3 and a half stars )
Dead authors (136 new)
Jul 03, 2014 04:32AM

10168 Walter Dean Myers, who was born in Martinsburg, W.V., on 12 Aug 1937, died on July 2, 2014 in New York City. I read two books by him:

4437. The Journal of Scott Pendleton Myers A World War II Soldier, by Walter Dean Myers (read 10 May 2008)
4764. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers (read 13 Oct 2010)

My comments on them:

My grandson, who is in 7th grade, recommended this book to me. It is a true story of a a 17-year-old man from Roanoke,VA, who was in on the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944. It is part of a series: My Name is America. It is actually quite exciting and when I learned it was non-fiction I was the more impressed. It has the ring of authenticiy and ends when he was wounded in France on Aug 14, 1944. He died Mar 19, 1992, at age 65. I am glad my grandson told me to read this book and that he read it and appreciated it. (3 stars)

This is a gritty novel about a kid from Harlem enlisting in the army and going to Vietnam. It is called juvenile fiction but the language is just like Vietnam adult fiction. But the hero is not immoral and prays so I guess that is why it is deemed fit for juveiles tor read--altho our library had it on the adult fiction shelves. There is some poignancy in the story but I did not find the story overly compelling, though it is pretty realistic and certainly not likely to inspire a guy to wish he had been able to fight in Vietnam (3 stars)
Dead authors (136 new)
Jun 18, 2014 05:21AM

10168 Daniel Keyes, who was born 9 Aug 1927, in Brooklyn, New Yorke, N.Y. and died 15 June 2014 in Fla. wrote Flowers for Algeron which I read 4 Nov 2005 and of which I said:

This is a 1966 'young adult' book and my daughter Sandy was in a play based on it when she was in high school . It is listed as no. 75 on the Brothers Judd "Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century" (of which I have now read 58) . It tells of Charlie, a retarded man who undergoes an operation which turns him into a genius. It is a touching story altho Charlie even when a genius does objectionable things and one does not find him totally an admirable person. But it is well worth reading. (3 stars)
Dead authors (136 new)
May 09, 2014 05:51AM

10168 Farley Mowatdied Tuesday, 6 May 2014 at Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. He was born 12 May 1921 at Belleville, Ontario. I read four books by him:

2029 Never Cry Wolf, by Farley Mowat (read 9 Nov 1986) This tells of a biologist who is sent to Northwest Territories, Canada, to study wolves. He spends a season watching a wolf family: George, Angeline, Uncle Albert, and the cubs. He is pro-wolf, and he makes out a convincing case. I'll never go wolf-hunting. The blurb for this excellent book says it is "destined to take its place on the shelf of animal classics near Born Free, A Ring of Bright Water, the Incredible Journey, and alongside an earlier Mowat book, The Dog Who Wouldn't Be." [I've read The Incredible Journey, and after reading this book read all the other books mentioned.](four stars)

2032 The Siberians, by Farley Mowat (read 22 Nov 1986) This is a 1970 book. What a cropper! It tells of two trips of Mowat to Siberia, where he found everything and everybody perfect, and becoming more perfect all the time. The temperature is never less than 10 below--usually 40 below--and everybody is ebullient and all is paradise. He sounded--all the way through the book!--like a Communist tour guide. Ugh.(one-half star)

2033 And No Birds Sang, by Farley Mowat (read 23 Nov 1986) This is about Mowat's experience in world War II and I was really affected by it. He tells things as I believe they were: no glamour, really rough. He was in Sicily and Italy with a Canadian regiment. The book ends abruptly at Christmas 1943. It is most anti-war, and its object is to again put the lie to Homer's claim that it is a sweet and good thing to die for one's country. This is one of my more moving reading experiences. It goes to show: just because Mowat's The Siberians was so awful a book, it does not mean the author can't write. It all depends on the subject. I do not know if the title of the book owes anything to John Keats' words:

:O WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither'd from the lake,
And no birds sing. (4 stars)

2035 The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, by Farley Mowat (read 24 Nov 1986) This tells of Mutt, who was bought by the author's mother for four cents in Saskatoon, Sask. What a dog! What a book! The last chapter is the most poignant I've ever read. The last sentence thereof is: "The pact of timelessness between the two of us was ended, and I went from him into the darkening tunnel of the years." This book was the sheerest pleasure to read. (5 stars)
Dead authors (136 new)
Apr 06, 2014 06:17AM

10168 Peter Matthiessen died ysterday, March 5, 2014, at a hospital on Long Island. The news story on his death does not say which hospital so I cannot say in what city he died. If anyone knows I hope he or she will tell me. He was born in New York City on 22 May 1927. I read one book by him, of which I said:
Shadow Country: A new Rendering of the Watson Legend (read 11 Dec 2007)
This book is 892 pages and tells three times over (from different vantage points) of the life and death of Edgar Watson, a guy who was born in 1855, married three wives, killed many people, and was shot to death on 24 Oct 1910. He was an apparently larger than life figure in the Everglades country of southwest Florida. The book has power, and is at times powerfully written, but with a thoroughly unadmirable central figure, and lots of other non-admriable characters, I confess I was glad to get to the end of the book. But reading it was an experience and I am glad I read it.
Dead authors (136 new)
Mar 11, 2014 07:32AM

10168 Yesterday, Mar 10, 2014, Joe McGinnis, who was born 9 Dec 1942 in New York City, died at Worcester, Mass. I have read three of his books:

1899 Fatal Vision, by Joe McGinniss (read 5 Jan 1985) I started reading this after Thanksgiving after seeing the TV show based on it. It tells of Dr. Jeffrey McDonald, whose wife and two daughters were killed on an army base in North Carolina on 17 Feb 1970. McDonald was eventually, after many years, convicted of killing them. The author of the book concludes McDonald was guilty. I think he may be, but certainly he is an obnoxious person and his being in prison is no loss to society.

3649. Cruel Doubt by Joe McGinniss (read 11 Nov 2002) I read the author's Fatal Vision on Jan 5, 1985, with great appreciation, so when I came across this 1991 book by him I decided to read it. It is absorbing, telling of the July 25, 1988, murder of Leith Van Stein and the wounding of his wife in Beaufort, N.C. by the arrangement of the wife's son and his Dungeons and Dragons fellows. The book holds one enthralled, and one can see at 421 S.E. 2d 577 (N.C. 1992) information not in the 1991 book. This is an outstanding true crime account with a well-told account of a dramatic criminal trial.

3704. Blind Faith, by Joe McGinniss (read 23 Feb 2003) Because I so liked Fatal Vision (read 5 Jan 1985) and Cruel Doubt (read 11 Nov 2002), I read this. It is not as well done as those books. The book changes the names of many persons involved, all of which real names can be found in the New Jersey Supreme Court decision on the accused murderer: State v. Marshall, 586 A. 2d 85 (1991). There is no suspense in the book, and much whining and extravagant bathos.
Dead authors (136 new)
Mar 04, 2014 07:46AM

10168 On Sunday, March 2, 2013, Justin Kaplan died in Cambridge, Mass. I have read one of his books and this is my comment thereon:

3147. Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain, by Justin Kaplan (read Jan 15, 1999) This won the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for biography, which explains why I read it, since I have a sort of plan to read all the winners of that, too. This book starts when Twain is 31, and so omits some of his most interesting years--tho we find out about them as the book proceeds. I found the book of passing interest, tho Mark Twain has never been a special favorite of mine. (3 stars)
Dead authors (136 new)
Jan 17, 2014 04:31AM

10168 Today, Jan 17, 2014, BBC reported that Hiroo Onoda had died in Tokyo. The exact day of death was not given. I read one book by him:

4799. No Surrender My Thirty-Year War, by Hiroo Onoda Translated by Charles S. Terry (read 10 Feb 2011) The author was a Japanese officer sent to Labang Island in the Philippines in 1944 and stayed there till 1974. not believing the war was over. I found this a super-interesting account, annoying though it was that he could not believe the war was over. He started out with three other Japanese soldiers. At the end he was alone. He had a radio and got many messages the war was over but refused to believe them. He reminded me of Robinson Crusoe. One had to admire his resourcefulness in living all that time, finding food, putting up with jungle life, etc. A most interesting book, never dull even though the life he lived seemed like it had to be monotonous. According to Wikipedia he is still alive--he will be 89 on March 19, 2011.
Dead authors (136 new)
Dec 22, 2013 07:06AM

10168 John S. D. Eisenhower died yesterday, Dec 21, 2013 at a place n ot stated specifically in the news story on his death. I read one book by him and here is my comment on it:
3618. Yanks The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I, by John S. D. Eisenhower with Joanne Thompson Eisenhower (read Aug 19, 2002) This is the first book by John Eisenhower I've read, though I have often thought about reading other books by him especially The Bitter Wood, his account of the Battle of the Bulge. But I won't, now. This book was a disappointment. A far better book on the same subject is The Defeat of Imperial Germany 1917-1918, by
Rod Paschall, which I finished on (appropriately) April 6, 1991. Eisenhower's book might be great for people who had a relative in a particular unit in World War I, or maybe for wargamers, but one not overly interested in the technical aspects of war won't enjoy it much, I don't think. A tiny footnote: he says the US was at war with Austria-Hungary as of Apr 6, 1917, but I find that war was not declared on that country by the US until Dec 7, 1917.
I wonder why we declared war on it then. [I have since heard it was to encourage the Italians, who were reeling from the defeat suffered in October, 1917.] Anybody have access to the Congressional Record for that date who can tell me?
Dead authors (136 new)
Aug 30, 2013 09:09AM

10168 Seamus Heaney died today, Aug 30, 2013.

Here is what I read by him and my comment thereon:

4148 Beowulf A New Verse Translation Seamus Heaney (read 5 Apr 2006) (Whitbread Book of the Year for 1999) This book by the Nobel Prize for Literature winner in 1995 is a translation of Beowulf. I figured Beowulf is a book everyone should have read--and what easier way to read it than in this perfectly readable translation. I cannot say I was too interested--in high school and college lit classes the story never interested me. Beowulf was a heroic figure, overcoming Grendel without weapons and going after Grendel's mother in the depths of the sea. He eventually becomes king, reigns fifty years, and dies in a fight with a dragon. Well, now I've read the whole story, and it was no chore, so I am content.
Dead authors (136 new)
Aug 20, 2013 09:40AM

10168 Elmore Leonard died today, aug 20, 2013,

I read one of his books:

2751 Glitz. by Leonard Elmore (read 28 May 1995) David Lehman's ten favorite crime novels include this title so I read it. It was published in 1985. The book is laid in Puerto Rico and Atlantic City, and Vicent Moro is a Miami Beach cop. The book is full of spelled-out obscene and profane words and is really sickening. It reads easy, of course, but the last few chapters are kind of boring. I need read no more of Leonard, who reads like pulp fiction.
Dead authors (136 new)
Jun 03, 2013 07:56AM

10168 Andrew Greeley died 29 May 2013. I read three of his books:

1670 The Making of the Popes 1978 The Politics of Intrigue in the Vatican, by Andrew M. Greeley (read 11 Nov 1981) The early part of this book annoyed me greatly, as Greeley bemoans all involved with the Vatican and tells lies about things e.g., that Cesar Borgia controlled all but two votes in one conclave thru bribery and murder, and that in one conclave a large minority of cardinals were teenage nephews or sons of the late Pope) but his actual coverage of the 1978 elections and his words on both John Paul I and John Paul II were very moving. I was also impressed by his view of John Paul ! and I decided John Paul I was maybe good Pope material. I after he died thought maybe he was in over his head, but maybe he was OK. Very easy reading and except when he is sniping at his Church fun to read. ( )

2453 Happy Are the Merciful: A Blackie Ryan Mystery, by Andrew M. Greeley (read 10 Jul 1992) This book is trash. Poorly written, and the courtroom scenes are awful. This is a story of two people killed in a locked room in a rich north of Chicago suburb, the trial and conviction of their adopted daughter, the prosecuting attorney falling in love with the daughter, and Father, now Bishop, Blackwood Ryan solving the mystery. This is not serious fiction--it is pulp. It reads easily and one wants to keep reading, but there is nothing to it. Tom Clancy is a literary genius compared to this. It is bad sloppy writing. ( )

2888 White Smoke: A Novel about the Next Papal Conclave, by Andrew M. Greeley (read 17 Jul 1996) This is an exciting book about a lady working for CNN and her husband working for the New York Times--covering the 'next' papal conclave. It is poorly written and unnecessarily offensive since he has cardinals using obscenities. I found this highly obnoxious. The book is wildly liberal and conservatives would put it on the Index if the Index still existed. ( )

These notes are not very charitable, but Father Greeley did a lot of good and we are the poorer for his being gone from this earth.
Dead authors (136 new)
May 31, 2013 03:28PM

10168 Haynes Johnson died 24 May 2013 in Bethesda, MD. My comment on the books by him I read;

2441 Sleepwalking Through History: America in the Reagan Years, by Haynes Johnson (read 12 Apr 1992) This is the author's attempt to emulate Frederick Lewis Allen's great books on the 1920's and 1930's, but it is far more opinionated and not very comprehensive. It concentrates on a few things, like the greed on Wall Street, televangelists, and Iran-Contra. He clearly shows Reagan's pitiful performance as President. He certainly paints a dim picture of America's future--our 3 trillion dollar debt, the decline of America's education, etc. It is journalism, not history, but well worth reading. ( )

4713 The Battle for America 2008 The Story of an Extraordinary Election, by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson (read 27 May 2010)Even though I read Game Change (on 25 Feb 2010) and this book covers the same election, I thoroughly enjoyed this book also. It is so great to read an account where one knows that it all comes out fine in the end. This book again makes clear how important Iowa was to Obama and how serious for Hillary was her failure in iowa. And McCain's weird behavior in September 2008 in response to the economic collapse, combined with his goofy choice for vice-president, detemined the outcome of the election. A very enjoyable book. ( )
Dead authors (136 new)
Apr 08, 2013 05:25AM

10168 Margaret Thatcher died April 8, 2013. I read her two books. My comment on them:

2576 The Downing Street Years, by Margaret Thatcher (read 5 Feb 1994) This is a fascinating book, brimming with energy. Thatcher is a an extremely able, hard-working, and committed woman and her time as prime minister (May 1979 to November 1990) was good for Britain and the world. There were times in this book--as in Harold Wilson's book, which I so enjoyed and found memorable when I read it in May 1987,-- that the obscurities of internal English affairs were daunting. Long stretches on health, education, and housing politics, filled with obscure Briticisms, were hard to follow. But the foreign affairs and parliamentary intricacies were a breeze. I liked the book much, and was much moved by her quote from her final speech in Commons. This is a great book by a great leader whom I agree with on many things. ( )

2790 The Path to Power, by Margaret Thatcher (read 11 Oct 1995) This tells of the author's fascinating life from birth (on 13 Oct 1925 "over the shop" at Grantham, Lincolnshire, till the present, skipping the period 1979-1990 covered by her earlier book, The Downing Street Years. This book is well-done and convincing. She certainly makes a good case for her economic views, and her survey of the world in the last chapters is encouraging. ( )
Dead authors (136 new)
Apr 07, 2013 03:15PM

10168 On March 28, 2013, Robert V. Remini died at Evanston. Ill. I read five of his books:

1478. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire, 1767-1821, by Robert V. Remini (read 27 Jan 1978)
1868. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822-1832 Volume II, by Robert V. Remini (read 15 Sep 1984)
1869. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845, by Robert V. Remini (read 27 Sep 1984) (National Book Award nonfiction prize for 1984)
2514. Henry Clay Statesman for the Union, by Robert V. Remini (read 30 Jun 1993)
3095. Daniel Webster: The Man and His Times, by Robert V. Remini (read 26 Jul 1998)
My comments on these books:

1478 Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire, 1767-1821, by Robert V. Remini (read 27 Jan 1978) This is the first book of Remini's monumental trilogy on Jackson. It is an excellent study, though it did not excite admiration for Jackson too much. I liked John Quincy Adams better. But the book has many good points--I must admit I had never really known the picture involved in the battle of New Orleans until I read this book. The book is really well-done. The second volume had not yet been published when I read this volume. [Those volumes are:
1868 Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822-1832 Volume II, by Robert V. Remini (read 15 Sept 1984)
1869 Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845, by Robert V. Remini (read 27 Sept 1984) (National Book Award nonfiction prize for 1984)]
But this period of American history interests me a lot [and still does today]. ( )

1868 Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822-1832 Volume II, by Robert V. Remini (read 15 Sep 1984) In January 1978 I read the first volume of Remini's three-volume biography of Jackson. This second volume covers ten years--1822 to 1832. An interesting time, and the book is well-written, though rather pro-Jackson. (

1869 Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845, by Robert V. Remini (read 27 Sep 1984) (National Book Award nonfiction prize for 1984) This is the final volume of Remini's masterful biography of Jackson. It is a very pro-Jackson work, but this does not mean that the author approves of all that Jackson did. He deplores Jackson's poor appointments and his Indian removal attitude. But in general he is non-condemnatory. Jackson died June 8, 1845, having seen Polk's election and annexation of Texas. ( )

2514 Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union, by Robert V. Remini (read 30 Jun 1993) This in form is a perfect biography--it is strictly chronological. Clay was born April 12, 1777 in Hanover County, Virginia, and died June 29, 1852 in Washington, D.C. A 130 foot column at Lexington, Ky., has a 12 and a half foot statue of Clay on it I'd like to see. Clay had many faults, but he did some good things. In general I do not feel he was too very right. But his life is an interesting one and this book is excellent, though I found it not really entrancing. I feel quite familiar with the period in which he lived, since I have done much reading in it and do like that period of U.S. history. ( )

3094. Daniel Webster / The Man and His Time, by Robert V. Remini. There is so much good to say about this book I scarcely know where to begin. It is a perfect book for anyone interested in the man Webster and the super-interesting time he lived. And the footnotes are where they belong--on the same page, so one can see whether they should be read or can be skipped. (read July 26, 1998). ( )
Dead authors (136 new)
Apr 01, 2013 06:23AM

10168 On Mar 25, 2013, Anthony Lewis died in Cambridge, Mass.

I read two books by him:

3510. Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment, by Anthony Lewis (read 14 Dec 2001) This is a 1991 book dealing with the seminal case of New York Times v. Sullivan, and it is very good dealing with the events leading up to the case (a 1960 ad in the New York Times saying things about conditions in the South and seeking donations to aid the civil rights struggle), and the trial and the appeal. Anyone interested in libel law should read this book since it makes the famous case come alive. A thoroughly enjoyable book. ( )


1672 Gideon's Trumpet, by Anthony Lewis (read 17 Nov 1981) This 1964 book tells the story of Gideon v. Wainwright, which held that an indigent accused of crime was entitled to a lawyer, overruling Betts v. Brady (1942). It is a well-written book. Abe Fortas was appointed to represent Gideon and Arnold, Fortas & Porter used ample resources to represent Gideon. Florida's work was all done by a young guy in the Attorney-General's office there. Gideon was found not guilty on retrial. Very interesting account. ( )
Dead authors (136 new)
Mar 22, 2013 12:57PM

10168 On March 21, 2013, Chinua Achebe died in Boston. I read his book, Things Fall Apart, and said of it:
3175. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (read Mar 17, 1999) This is on the Radcliffe list of 100 best books in English of the 20th century. The book is told from a prospective of the pagan tribesman. I did not particualrly enjoy this book as I was reading it, but clearly it is an important book for one who might want to understand Nigeria and natives such as are painted in this book.
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