The Seasonal Reading Challenge discussion

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OLD TASK HELP THREADS > BJ Rose's Task

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message 1: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments The link below lists world leaders who died in office. It lists all, so it includes dictators & military coup leaders, for example, so you'll need to be alert, but it's a start:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...


message 2: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Julia wrote: "BJ Rose, just curious. For your task, can we only use the 7 presidents of the US listed? Or are any okay. I was wondering if the second was meant as a "you can use these seven or any from a democra..."

Oh, dear! I went over and over the posting to make sure I included all the info - I should have said "OR About A President Or Prime Minister (Of Any Other Country) Who Has Been Democratically Elected", so it should be only those 7 presidents OR a democratically-elected president/prime minister from a country other than the U.S.A.


message 3: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Kate wrote: "BJ Rose, would All the President's Men, about Nixon and the Watergate scandal work for your task?"

NO. Must be only the 7 presidents listed (Nixon didn't die in office) OR president/prime minister from another country.


message 4: by Emily (new)

Emily | 131 comments For those from a different country, do they have to have died in office too? I'm assuming yes, but have some other books that I'd love to read if not!


message 5: by El (new)

El BJ Rose, how much does the book have to be about the president's/etc. time in office specifically? Can it focus on the person's death in while in office? I'm not suggesting Manhunt The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer as a viable option since it's just shy of 500 pages, but I'll use that here as an example of what I'm asking.


message 6: by Sam (new)

Sam (archieleach9) | 275 comments Is Team of Rivals (Lincoln) okay for this challenge?


message 7: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments SuzieR wrote: "A questions for BJ Rose ...

Does the President/Prime Minister need to have died whilst still in office? (that doesn't sound like good grammar! lol :))"
Sounds fine to me!

"Following The 'Curse Of Tippecanoe' Theme" applies to dying in office, so that was the intent, but if that becomes too difficult, let me know. I've been searching, and have already found over a dozen elected leaders of countries other than USA who died in office, which I'll be posting in the HELP section. I'll continue the search and will add to the list if I find more.


message 8: by BJ Rose (last edited Aug 24, 2009 02:39PM) (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Sam wrote: "Is Team of Rivals (Lincoln) okay for this challenge? ."

YES and it's an excellent book IMO - I've been seriously thinking of re-reading it for this task myself, but I should read something new, shouldn't I?!


message 9: by BJ Rose (last edited Aug 24, 2009 09:10PM) (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments I've been researching 'elected presidents and prime ministers' who died in office, and so far have come up with the following:

Harold Holt - Australia - 1967
John Curtin - Australia - 1945
Joseph Lyons - Australia - 1939
Sir John Macdonald - Canada - 1891
John Sparrow David Thompson - Canada - 1894
Anwar Sadat - Egypt - 1981
Lord Palmerston - England - 1865
Paul Doumer - France - 1932
George Pompidou - France - 1974
Jawaharlah Nehru - India - 1964
Chaim Weizman - Israel - 1952
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi - Israel - 1963
Benito Juarez - Mexico - 1872
Olof Palme - Sweden - 1986

Dates apply to Date of Death

Will add more as I find them. This is not an exclusive list - I know there are more! If you find one not on this list that fits the criteria, good for you




message 10: by Krista (new)

Krista (kacey14) Olof Palme - Sweden - 1986


Sarah (Mood Reader) (bookworm1887) | 467 comments BJ... just so I can see if I got this right... if I wanted to read about Lincoln I would have to find a non-fiction book on him that is more than 500 pages correct?


message 12: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Emily wrote: "For those from a different country, do they have to have died in office too? I'm assuming yes, but have some other books that I'd love to read if not! "

Yes. I've listed some possibilities in Message #9 above. As others are named, I'll try to remember to add to that list




message 13: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Krista wrote: "Olof Palme - Sweden - 1986"

Yes, thanks
Am adding him to the list above






message 14: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments Can I read No Ordinary Time Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt The Home Front in World War II? My husband is begging me to read a book on FDR and this looks good (highly rated on GR and a Pulitzer Prize winner).


message 15: by BJ Rose (last edited Aug 24, 2009 09:24PM) (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments El wrote: "BJ Rose, how much does the book have to be about the president's/etc. time in office specifically? Can it focus on the person's death in while in office?"

Enough of the book should be on the time in office so that it shows the leader's major accomplishments worst scandal etc. The majority of the book should NOT be on the assassination such as book:The Day Lincoln Was Shot]), but a significant part of it may be - especially in the case of assassination, since that may very well have to do with accomplishments or scandals in the administration.




message 16: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Sam wrote: "Is Team of Rivals (Lincoln) okay for this challenge? "

Definitely!




message 17: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Sarah wrote: "BJ... just so I can see if I got this right... if I wanted to read about Lincoln I would have to find a non-fiction book on him that is more than 500 pages correct?"

Yes - and I think he's the easiest one to find lots of books for.




message 18: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments I've been compiling a list of possible books for the 7 presidents listed - will try to get that posted tomorrow (Tuesday)


message 19: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Cait wrote: "Can I read No Ordinary Time Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt The Home Front in World War II? My husband is begging me to read a book on FDR and this looks good (highly rated on GR and..."

Yes - and Doris Kearns Goodwin writes top-notch stuff



message 20: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments BJ Rose wrote: "Cait wrote: "Can I read No Ordinary Time Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt The Home Front in World War II? My husband is begging me to read a book on FDR and this looks good (highly ra..."

Awesome, thank you!




message 21: by BJ Rose (last edited Aug 25, 2009 07:22PM) (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Books on U.S. presidents I've come across so far that fit the criteria of this task:

William Henry Harrison:
1) Counterpoint: Tecumseh vs. William Henry Harrison by James Huston (616 pp)

Abraham Lincoln:
1) Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (944 pp)
2) With Malice Toward None:A LIfe of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen B. Oates (816 pp)
3) Lincoln by David Herbert Donald (720 pp)
4) Abraham Lincoln: A Biography by Benjamin Thomas (576 pp.)
5) Abraham Lincoln: A Biography by Ronald C. White (816 pp)

James Garfield:
1) From the Tow Path to the White House by James S. Brisbin (588pp)
2) From Log Cabin to the White House by Makepeace Thayer (500 pp)
3) Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield} by Kenneth D. Ackerman (560 pp)

William McKinley:
1) [book:William McKinley and His America
by H. Wayne Morgan (672 pp)
2) President McKinley War and Empire:President McKinley and the Coming of War Vol. I by Richard Hamilton (274 pp)
2) President McKinley War and Empire:President McKinley and America's "New Empire" Vol II by Richard Hamilton (217 pp)
NOTE: Volumes I & II of the 2nd book listed here would qualify if both were read, even tho total is just shy of 500 pp.

Warren G. Harding"
1) The Harding Era: Warren G. Harding and His Administration by Robert K Murray (626 pp)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
1) FDR by Jean Edward Smith (880 pp)
2) No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin (768 pp)
3) Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Rendezvous with Destiny by Frank Freidel (710 pp)
4) Traitor to His Class:The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of FDR by H.W. Brands (912 pp)

John F. Kennedy:
1) An Unfinished Life:John F. Kennedy 1917-1963 by Robert Dallek (848 pp)
2) A Thousand Days: JFK in the White House by Arthur M. Schlesinger (1120 pp)
3) John F. Kennedy: A Biography by Michael O'Brien (992 pp)
4) JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass (510 pp)


Again, this is not an exclusive list - there are many more out there - these are just some ideas




message 22: by Sara ♥ (last edited Aug 25, 2009 01:48PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 1136 comments Confession time: I'm a US Citizen, and I know virtually NOTHING about any of the Presidents of the United States before Clinton (he was in office from when I was 9 to 17), other than a bit about Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy. And I don't know much about them, either. Heck, I don't even recognize all of the past presidents' names. (John Tyler? Zachary Taylor?) But this William McKinley guy (who I MIGHT have been able to peg for a president... maybe...) seems fairly interesting, AND my library has a copy of the book....

So if I get this far into the challenge, I'm sure it will be interesting to learn about him! Plus, it will be nice to go into a nonfiction book with no prejudices or preconceived notions of any kind, you know?


Sarah (Mood Reader) (bookworm1887) | 467 comments Does it matter if it's an autobiography or not?


message 24: by Beth (new)

Beth | 665 comments I have a question related to message #15 about how the majority of the book should NOT be about the assassination itself but should focus primarily on the administration.

I’ve been tentatively thinking about reading JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass because my local library has it.

Maybe I’m splitting hairs because while the title implies that it is primarily about his assassination, from reviews I’ve read on this site, Amazon and other generic Google searches, it seems like it focuses a lot more heavily on the events that may have led up to his assassination (ie. Cuban Missile Crisis, alleged mafia affiliations) which would have to focus on the decisions he made in office and prior to his assassination.

So…would this book work? Yay or nay?



message 26: by Katie (new)

Katie Beth(MN) wrote: "I have a question related to message #15 about how the majority of the book should NOT be about the assassination itself but should focus primarily on the administration.

I’ve been tentatively..."


Oooh, that one sounds really good. ***fingers crossed***


message 27: by Bonnie (last edited Aug 25, 2009 05:34PM) (new)

Bonnie | 111 comments Wow, so many of these are doorstoppers/blunt weapons. I chose FDR, because that's what I could get on audiobook. It is THIRTY TWO HOURS long. I'm going to spend a day and a half with Frankie. That's crazy!

I'm on hour two now (because no way am I getting halfway through it before the start of the challenge) and I've already learned quite a bit, about both him and Eleanor. I found out I know a lot about his politics (thank you, AP US History), but nothing about his private life and his marriage to Eleanor (he had an affair! I didn't know that...that sucks).

If only Jean Edward Smith would cut out all the useless information about his ancestors and random relatives who I can't keep straight anyway, this might only be 24 hours long.

Anyway, I recommend it to anyone who is interested in FDR. I'm pretty sure this is THE biography and it's well done (though I do recommend skimming through all those relatives)


message 28: by Sam (new)

Sam (archieleach9) | 275 comments Bonnie wrote: "Wow, so many of these are doorstoppers/blunt weapons. I chose FDR, because that's what I could get on audiobook. It is THIRTY TWO HOURS long. I'm going to spend a day and a half with ..."

I'm partial to Jonathan Alter's book, The Defining Moment.


message 29: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Beth(MN) wrote: "I have a question related to message #15 about how the majority of the book should NOT be about the assassination itself but should focus primarily on the administration.

I’ve been tentatively thinking about reading JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass because my local library has it.

Maybe I’m splitting hairs because while the title implies that it is primarily about his assassination, from reviews I’ve read on this site, Amazon and other generic Google searches, it seems like it focuses a lot more heavily on the events that may have led up to his assassination (ie. Cuban Missile Crisis, alleged mafia affiliations) which would have to focus on the decisions he made in office and prior to his assassination."


I don't think you're splitting hairs. As I responded earlier to El, "The majority of the book should NOT be on the assassination, but a significant part of it may be - especially in the case of assassination, since that may very well have to do with accomplishments or scandals in the administration.

So it sounds like you'll be fine.




message 30: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Sam wrote: "I'm partial to Jonathan Alter's book, The Defining Moment."

I haven't read it, but didn't include that on the list because of the length (432 pp)




message 31: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Sarah wrote: "Does it matter if it's an autobiography or not?"

I would prefer not, for two reasons:
1) Pre-mid-20th century presidents were less likely to write expansive autobiographies, so that option wouldn't exist for those who choose an earlier president or prime minister;
2) Most autobios focus more on the positive and minimize what others might see as major negative events (well, who wouldn't?!)

That said, I deliberately did not exclude autobiographies this time, so you make the decision. I just know that if I want an evenhanded look at an administration, I don't reach for a book written by the leader of the administration.




message 32: by Beth (new)

Beth | 665 comments Excellent, thanks BJ Rose!


message 33: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Sara wrote: "Confession time: I'm a US Citizen, and I know virtually NOTHING about any of the Presidents of the United States before Clinton (he was in office from when I was 9 to 17), other than a bit about Wa..."

It's never too late to start, Sara. Hope you have time to get around to this one!




message 34: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments El wrote: "BJ Rose, I assume Dark Horse The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield would also be okay?"

Most definitely!


message 35: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 1136 comments Bonnie wrote: "Wow, so many of these are doorstoppers/blunt weapons. I chose FDR, because that's what I could get on audiobook. It is THIRTY TWO HOURS long. I'm going to spend a day and a half with Frankie. That's crazy!"

I feel your pain. Sort of. I'm working on The Count of Monte Cristo audiobook. It's 43 hours long. 35 discs. Yeah. It's really good, though. Sometimes it's hard to put down! Not sure about Frankie... ;) William McKinley... I think I'll call him Billy. Billy Mac. Heehee...


message 36: by Candace (new)

Candace (candacerenee) Sara wrote: "Bonnie wrote: "Wow, so many of these are doorstoppers/blunt weapons. I chose FDR, because that's what I could get on audiobook. It is THIRTY TWO HOURS long. I'm going to spend a day and a half with..."

Billy Mac... Sara, you crack me up!


message 37: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments Sara, do you know who narrates your copy of Monte Cristo? My library has one narrated by John Lee and one narrated by Richard Matthews and I'm not sure which one to pick up.


message 38: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 1136 comments


message 39: by William (new)

William Strasburg (wfstrasburg) | 5 comments Rose,

Would a book about Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan) work? As she was elected twice as Prime Minister, the first time she was removed from office illegally, then returned to office, removed again,(again illegally), then went into self imposed exile, returned to Pakistan and subsequently assassinated while running for the office again (in a race she was clearly leading in). She was also the wife of the current Pakistani Prime Minister.


message 40: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments William wrote: "Rose,

Would a book about Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan) work? As she was elected twice as Prime Minister, the first time she was removed from office illegally, then returned to office, removed again,(a..."


I'm going to say yes - she didn't die while in office, but as you said, she was PM previously, and was assassinated because she was again seeking the office, so go with it.

BJ

Welcome to the challenge




message 41: by William (new)

William Strasburg (wfstrasburg) | 5 comments BJ Rose wrote: "William wrote: "Rose,

Would a book about Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan) work? As she was elected twice as Prime Minister, the first time she was removed from office illegally, then returned to office, ..."


Thank you on both counts!




message 43: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Angela wrote: "Would this book work?
Four Days in November: The Original Coverage of the John F. Kennedy Assassination by New York Times Staff"


I'm going to say no - this is a compilation of newspaper articles following JFK's assassination and on into his funeral and world reaction to the murder ( I hate saying no)




message 44: by Angela (new)

Angela | 410 comments What about this one?
A Question of Character: A Life of John F. Kennedy by Thomas Reeves


message 45: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Angela wrote: "What about this one?
A Question of Character: A Life of John F. Kennedy by Thomas Reeves "


Yes




message 46: by Angela (new)

Angela | 410 comments Thanks!


message 47: by Kay (new)

Kay (neenamara) | 74 comments Would Franklin and Winston An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship be acceptable? It seems like it has a lot to do with some of his greatest accomplishments, but I'm not sure it's specific enough for the challenge.

Thanks!
:)


message 48: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 822 comments Kristina wrote: "Would Franklin and Winston An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship be acceptable? It seems like it has a lot to do with some of his greatest accomplishments, but I'm not sure it's..."

Yes - This sounds very interesting, and though it focuses on their interactions about WWII, the impression I get is there's plenty of other info that explains other FDR achievements and problems. I did already approve one that focuses mainly on the home front during WWII (and is about Franklin & Eleanor), so go for it!




message 49: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Is Roosevelt The Lion and the Fox 1882-1940 okay? It only covers his life through the first two terms in office (up to 1940).


message 50: by Bridgit (new)

Bridgit | 515 comments BJ Rose wrote: "Kristina wrote: "Would Franklin and Winston An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship be acceptable? It seems like it has a lot to do with some of his greatest accomplishments, but ..."


Kristina - I read this a few years ago. Jon Meacham, the author, was a speaker at an event I ran and so I bought about 300 of this book and he signed them all for the attendees. I actually really liked it - it is what got me interested in biographies to begin with. It is definitely all about FDR's presidency - but it gives a really interesting perspective on the personalities of the two leaders. I was a bit shocked at it. I'd love to hear what you think when you finish!



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