I put my name on the hold list at the library as soon as I heard this book was coming out and got it days after its release. Rather then a standard me...moreI put my name on the hold list at the library as soon as I heard this book was coming out and got it days after its release. Rather then a standard memoir, Bush discussed a number of important decisions he made throughout his life, the most important being his decision to quit drinking. Unfortunately I was disappointed in this book. It does provide a somewhat interesting look behind the scenes, but there is nothing shocking here. After I told my wife my thoughts on the book she said, "what did you expect?" Good question, I definitely expected more than this. The one conclusion I came to after reading this is that George Bush did what he did because he believed it was best for the country. I can't say I agree with him, but I feel a little better knowing that. A very little.
As a side note, I was interested to see they were well over 100 5 star ratings posted on Amazon with two days of the book's release, as well as a good 25 or so one star ratings. From a quick reading it did not appear that many of the raters had read the book. But again, what did I expect. (less)
Documents the changes to the New Deal caused by the 1937 recession and the Second World War. Brinkley briefly discusses the pre-Recession polices and...moreDocuments the changes to the New Deal caused by the 1937 recession and the Second World War. Brinkley briefly discusses the pre-Recession polices and then gets into extreme detail regarding the people and changes after 1937. At times I had a hard time keeping the abbreviations straight, the book could have used a listing of agencies, bureaus, committees, etc , and their abbreviations. Some knowledge of economics would be helpful to the reader. I can't recommend this to the general reader, however if you have an interest in either the New Deal or the development of liberalism, it would be worth reading.(less)
Professor Zinn and I have vastly different political beliefs but I'm going to discuss his book and not his politics right up until the end. This is an...moreProfessor Zinn and I have vastly different political beliefs but I'm going to discuss his book and not his politics right up until the end. This is an abridgement of Zinn's A People's History of the United States that only covers the 20th Century. Apparently, according to Zinn, the 20th Century didn't begin until the 1960s and then everyone protested a lot of things. Zinn makes the point of describing the "people" from the title by saying 1% of Americans control 45% of the wealth, the "people" are the other 99%. Zinn then goes on the talk about civil rights protestors, anti-war protestors, prison protestors, Indian protestors, and on and on, so in reality, the "people" are the 1% of the population who protest. The other 98% are forgotten about, I assume because they have jobs and don't have time to protest. [return][return]Zinn also misuses data to make his points, for example, comparing incomes between two groups but only converting one into 2004 dollars. He also assumes meanings to events that are not really there. For instance, in discussing the 1992 election, he states that 19% of voters were unhappy with the choices given by the two major parties and protested against the choices they were given by voting for Ross Perot. As unlikely as it seems, I would be willing to bet the a fair number of people who voted for Perot did so because they wanted to vote for him and not as a protest against the other candidates. These are just a few examples of issues I had with this book. I say book, but it was actually an audio book, so I should probably say CDs. The reason I mention that is I said at the start that I was not going to discuss Zinn's politics until the end, which would be now. [return][return]While I agree with some of what Zinn said I still had a hard time finishing the book (CD) and actually I didn't finish it. I made it to the last CD when Zinn started talking about poor oppressed Mumia Abu-Jamal and how he was sentenced to death because the government wanted to shut him up, no mention of the crime he committed or of the cop he killed. At that point I hit the eject button and if the CDs hadn't belonged to the library, I would have chucked them out the window onto 95. Damn Communist Bastard.(less)