This was a fast-paced telling of Ronald Reagan's near assassination that captured my interest completely from the first page until the last. It was es...moreThis was a fast-paced telling of Ronald Reagan's near assassination that captured my interest completely from the first page until the last. It was especially moving reading about Ronald Reagan's gracious response to a horrifying experience. Even while facing death square in the face he was calm, praying for his assailant, thinking of others, and using his sparkling humor to diffuse the tension and the fear. (Throughout his hospital stay, he constantly entertained the nurses and doctors with witty one-liners and corny jokes.) I think that seeing Ronald Reagan at the beginning of his presidency go through the valley of the shadow of death with grace, humility, and ultimate triumph convinced America that they had chosen a leader of epic proportions. (less)
I've never really thought the world of Jimmy Carter and this book didn't improve my view of him. The writing itself was bland, boring, and seemed to g...moreI've never really thought the world of Jimmy Carter and this book didn't improve my view of him. The writing itself was bland, boring, and seemed to gloss over most everything (except election numbers and analysis). Although I am happy that Jimmy Carter makes a profession of faith and that he has led a somewhat moral life and advocated for moral values, I just was not impressed with his style of leadership and a lot of his political views. I'm glad to move on to one of my favorite presidents. :)(less)
Throughout this book, even though it appears to be a positive take on JFK, I kept thinking to myself, "Kennedy was a bona fide jerk." He was an excell...moreThroughout this book, even though it appears to be a positive take on JFK, I kept thinking to myself, "Kennedy was a bona fide jerk." He was an excellent politician, extremely smooth, polished, and entirely unreal and uncaring. It seemed that most of his life choices were made to promote himself. He was completely immoral, couldn't stay faithful for even a short period of time to his amazingly beautiful and gracious wife, and neglected her in incredible ways, using her only when it would help his political career out. However, the presidency seemed to have shook Kennedy up and he truly did have some heroic moments (not unlike his amazingly heroic behavior in World War II) and I did end the book admiring him for the strength that he had when it was so very needed in our country. His strength of character and deep commitment to peace most likely kept the world from horrific nuclear warfare. I truly believe that God placed John F. Kennedy in the presidency at just the right time. Although a JFK was a weak, sinful man, God used him to help protect our world and to promote peace.
Chris Matthews did a great job with this biography: it has a good blend of personal insight and historical fact. It's short, but it hits on the important parts of JFK's life. I felt like Matthews was able to focus on the overarching themes and the big picture, which I appreciated greatly, but also included those little personal details that helped to make JFK seem real in my mind. (less)
I gave this book four stars for the subject matter. It was so interesting to read about the lives of the daughters of Robert E. Lee, young ladies grow...moreI gave this book four stars for the subject matter. It was so interesting to read about the lives of the daughters of Robert E. Lee, young ladies growing up in the Civil War Era. It also shed light on the parents of these girls and the marvelous job they did in raising their children. Robert was an excellent father, tender, devoted, fun, yet stern and one who encouraged discipline and hard work. Mary Lee was an amazing lady of faith; I was especially amazed by her calmness and trust in God during the siege of Richmond and beyond.
Although filled with many person and charming details of the Lee home life, this book is not particularly well written. The author did her research and obviously has a great love and admiration for the Lees, but she did not quite make an effort to present the story in a palatable way. This book could have been absolutely amazing if left in the hands of a skilled writer.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to more about the home life of wives and daughters of the men who fought the Civil War. (less)