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Book Buddy ! > Freedom From Fear- David M. Kennedy- January 2012

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments What: Book Buddy Read. All are welcome to join in.

Book: Freedom from Fear The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 by David M. KennedyFreedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945

Author: David M. Kennedy
David M. Kennedy is Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University and co-director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. After C. Vann Woodward's death, he was appointed series editor for the Oxford History of the United States series. His volume in the series, Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945, won the Pulitzer Prize for History, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Ambassador's Prize, and the California Gold Medal for Literature. He is the author of Over Here: The First World War and American Society, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, which won a Bancroft Prize. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

When: We will start reading this book on January 2012. We will read one chapter per week.

Where: The discussion will take place in this thread.

Spoiler etiquette: Please put the chapter # that you are discussing at the top of your post.

Book Details:
# Paperback: 936 pages
# Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (April 19, 2001)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0195144031

Synopsis:
One of our most broad-gauged American historians brings us that increasing rarity: a big book about a big subject. In a compelling narrative...the Stanford scholar takes on the job of tracing the American people through three of the most important and widely written-about epochs in the century-the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II-and provides us with consistently original and sometimes startling conclusions.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Fear-Am...


message 2: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments **** REPOSTING FROM ANOTHER THREAD


Julie wrote: "Do you own the book? Are most of the chapters similar length and how many pages are they? How many actual reading pages are there minus the index and stuff?
-----------------
Alias responded:
Yes, I got it at Amazon. If I recall correctly at a good discount.

Lets see
Prologue starts page 1 -10
Chapter 1 The American People on the eve of the GD pages 10-43
Chapter 2 Panic page 43
Chapter 3 Ordeal of Herbert Hoover page 70
Chapter 4 Interregnum page 104
Chapter 5 The Hundred Days page 131
Chapter 6 The ordeal of the American people page 160
Chapter 7 Chasing the Phantom of Recovery page 190
Chapter 8 The Rumble of Discontent page218
Chapter 9 Season of Reform page248
Chapter 10 Strike - page 288
Chap. 11 The ordeal of FDR page 323
Chap. 12 What the new deal did - page 363
Chap. 13- Gathering Storm page 381
Chap. 14 - The agony of neutrality - page 426
Chap. 15 - To the Brink page 465
chap. 16 War in the pacific page 516
chap. 17 Unready ally, uneasy alliance page 565
chap 18- The war of machines page 615
chap 19 The struggle for a second front page 669
chap. 20 Battle for Northwest Europe page 709
chap. 21 Cauldron of the home Front page 746
chap 22 Endgame page 746
Epilogue The world the war made page 852 to 858

Total pages 858
22 chapter and a Prologue Epilogue

Freedom from Fear The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945David M. Kennedy

I'll move this post over to the Buddy Read thread if you think you are up to reading it, starting in January.

-------------------------------------

Julie wrote:

Ok, do you want to try a chapter a week?

===============================
Alias Reader wrote:

Sounds good to me, I put up the thread and we can start Jan 1


message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments I am usually a library person, but I figured this might be a book to actually buy so I just ordered it from Amazon. I had to get A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present also in order to get free shipping. :-)


message 4: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 13, 2011 06:16PM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments I thought the discussion of A Peoples History was here on GR. I guess we did it on AOL. I just checked my jnl and it was in 2007. We didn't come here to GR until October 2008.

It's a terrific book.


message 5: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3458 comments I enjoyed the Zinn book very much when the group read it. It was a gift to me back in the '90s, when i immediately read the first chapter, then set it aside. It was only by reading it as a group that i pulled myself together enough to finish it. You'll learn many new angles of old history stories, Julie. Keep us posted on your thoughts.

deb


message 6: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 21, 2011 09:04PM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments I just read the prologue and found it to be very well written. If the rest of the book is like this we are in for a treat. The author, Kennedy, sure can turn a phrase. I can see why he won the Pulitzer Prize for History.

Additionally, the book seems to have terrific footnotes. I always prefer footnotes to endnotes. Especially with a paperback book this large, flipping back and forth I am sure would render the book a shambles in short order.


message 7: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3458 comments Lately it's rare to get footnotes. I'm with you, Alias, preferring them. Even though i keep a bookmark in the back where the endnotes are, it's inconvenient to go back & forth, even when i wait until the end of the chapter. I wish they could devise a system wherein informational notes are at the foot of the page while reference notes (from where & when the quote was gathered) are at the end (of the chapter or the entire book). It would simplify the process for many readers, as well as make it more likely valued material is easily located.

deb, the opinionated


message 8: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments Hey no fair getting ahead of me! :-)
My copy FINALLY came today. I should have had it monday, but I think it sat in a corner of the post office for days. No actually I think people threw it around the post office for days judging by the condition of the box. Thankfully the books were still ok! So are we doing chapter 1 for the first week? The prologue is short...I'll try to squeeze it in before that like you did Alias.


message 9: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 23, 2011 02:53PM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments The first week of January for the prologue and chapter 1 sounds fine to me. Usually, the prologue isn't a big deal, but I found the prologue to this book to be excellent and not to be missed.

Next week I am going to be busy, so I don't think I'll get much reading/posting done.

Julie, I think you will be pleased at the writing style. I think it is well done. Especially for a topic with a lot of stats which some may find dry but are totally necessary to understanding the topic. I think I've underlined something on every page I've read !


message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Next week I am going to be busy, so I don't think I'll get much reading/posting done. ..."

I noticed you set up all these new threads for next month/year aready!


message 11: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Yes, it takes awhile to do, and I had the extra time so I thought I would get it out of the way.


message 12: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 02, 2012 09:10AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Prologue and Chapter 1

I read up to page 42. Are you also reading the soft cover edition?

I find it interesting that most people would associate Hoover with hard right conservatism. Yet he was a progressive. Today he would be considered a liberal !

One thing that I found thought provoking was the notion that the stock mkt. crash was not a major cause of the Depression. I don't think I agree with this sentiment.

First, the Consumer Confidence index began in 1967. So we can't measure what it might have been in 1929. Though I can't imagine it was a healthy number. We now know that this is a major indicator of where the economy is headed. I really doubt, even if most people didn't own stocks themselves, that a major collapse of the financial system would not have had any impact on CC.

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

Second, what about the companies whose stocks collapsed? Didn't they lay off many?

Lastly, what about the speculative bubble in stocks and real estate? That collapse had to have a major impact on peoples psyche, jobs and personal wealth.

On another note, it's interesting to see that the same old demons we have today, war debts, state debts & speculative bubbles to name a few were also a factor back then.

I really love Kennedy's wit. Maybe it is just me but I get a kick out of sentences like the one on page 34 about President Coolidge and his penchant for doing as little as possible. "Fortune smiled on the recumbent Coolidge until he made his somnambulatory exit from the White House in early 1929."

* It's not to late to join in this Buddy Read. We are only reading a chapter a week.


message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments Yes, I am reading the soft cover. I am only on page 15, but I came here to make a comment that I had no idea that so many immigrants went back home! I think I am going to learn a lot of interesting tidbits from this book. I was never a big fan of history in school and I remember...well...not much. Time to educate myself.

Yes, its funny how Hoover was a republican and they called him progressive, which is what they would call liberal democrats now. More comments to come when I finish.


message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments No, hurry, Julie. There is a lot to absorb.


message 15: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments Yes...I am reading it very slowly--with a highlighter. I am also reading 3 other books at the same time!
I liked the mention of "Fordism". It made me think of when we read Brave New World.


message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Yes, I am underlining and also looking up words.
I also like the footnotes and the mention of other books, even if I fear my TBR list will be growing.

I'm glad to hear you think you will like the book.


message 17: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments One thing that I found thought provoking was the notion that the stock mkt. crash was not a major cause of the Depression.

Yes! I can't wait to see in the next chapter, "Panic", what else he says about that. Some of the stock market stuff was over my head....call loans and margins....

On another note, it's interesting to see that the same old demons we have today, war debts, state debts & speculative bubbles to name a few were also a factor back then.

Yep, I kept thinking the same thing as I was reading.


message 18: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 06, 2012 07:37AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Margin is simply borrowing money from the brokerage firm to buy securities. People do this to give themselves more leverage. They can buy more stock for a fraction of the cost of the stock.

For example, let's take a 75% margin rate. Which would mean you need to put up 75% of the cost of the security and they, the brokerage firm, loans you 25%. The margin loan rate is a set rate, but the brokerage firm can raise it if they want to. They will sometimes do this in a unstable market to halt speculation.

The problem comes in when the price of the stock or commodity falls below a certain set %. For example, if the stock falls below the price you bought it by a certain %, you need to put up money to bring your account back up to the margin level. So if the stock falls 10%, you need to bring it back up to the 75% level, in our above example. It's called a margin call. If you can't put up the money,usually in 24 hours, the brokerage company will sell your stock. In a falling market these margin calls can add additional downward pressure on the stock market as all these sell orders hit the market.

During the 1930's I think the margin rate went as low as 10%. So they would loan you 90%.

Today, I think the margin loan rate is 50%.

A call loan "is provided to a brokerage firm and used by them to finance margin accounts. The interest rate on a call loan is calculated daily. The resulting interest rate is referred to as the call loan rate."

So the margin rate is for customers and the loan rate is for the brokerage firm.


Here is a link to a small financial dictionary.
http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/#...


message 19: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3458 comments Great explanation, Alias. You could create your own web dictionary for these terms, as your explanation made it clear to me & i'm rather thick about such things. Thanks. I'm not reading the book with ya'll but i am learning!

deb


message 20: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 07, 2012 10:37AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments You're welcome, Deb.


message 21: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments The quote at the beginning of chapter 2 made me laugh


message 22: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Sorry I haven't started chapter 2 yet. I will catch up soon.


message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments No problem. I just started last night. I almost finished it but not quite.


message 24: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 12, 2012 09:44PM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Chapter 2

While this chapter may seem statics laden, I think it is necessary for the author to create the proper foundation for what will follow.

I enjoy the way he turns a phrase.
"the piratical abuses on Wall Street"
"fear licked like fire through a house of cards"
"...partisan infighter of reptilian cunning"

I think this chapter was very enlightening in regards to Hoover. Kennedy is much more lenient on him then any other account I've read before. I don't know that I agree with everything he posits, though it is interesting and instructional to hear other points of view.

It's interesting to see how Hoover went from immense popularity to one of derision.

Once again, it's somewhat disconcerting to see the same problems and issues arise again in our own time. Though I think now, thanks to Keynesian economics, we hopefully will avoid a full blown depression in the future. (as I think we did, thankfully, in 2008) Also we now have social safety nets that also help in that regard, social security and unemployment to name a few. Though I wish Wall Street was better regulated. Reinstitution Glass-Stegall would be a good start. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass%E2...
Though I don't see this happening until another major crisis hangs over our heads.
(Glass is mentioned on page 66)


message 25: by madrano (new)

madrano | 3015 comments Somewhere on this board i mentioned a tv program i saw with young journalists. The host, i now know, is Chris Hayes. What i saw was just a segment on the economy but it was informative. They mentioned Glass-Stegall and how the time to reinstitute it may have already passed. It seemed each commentator was in favor of it. I'm glad to have a hook into what they were discussing, by seeing it here.

deb


message 26: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 13, 2012 06:45AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments madrano wrote: "Somewhere on this board i mentioned a tv program i saw with young journalists. The host, i now know, is Chris Hayes. What i saw was just a segment on the economy but it was informative. They mentio..."
---------------------

I am often surprised at how the information I get here comes up in my day to day life. :)

Chris Hayes is seen on MSNBC a lot. He also just got his own show, Up with Chris Hayes.

Here is his wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Ha...


message 27: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments And "Precisely what kindled the blaze is not clear, but disaster first flared in November 1930".

I was surpised that the bank issues were a whole year after the stock market crash. I thought they were closer together. I was never good at dates.

As I was reading about the party fighting and the democrats trying to work against the president just for the sake of being against him, I kept thinking about how some things never change. It's interesting that you say other authors are harder on Hoover. I am not used to reading about presidents, or even very much political writing for that matter, so I have no idea.

I agree with you on wall street needing to be regulated better. I'll have to read that link.


message 28: by madrano (new)

madrano | 3015 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Chris Hayes is seen on MSNBC a lot. He also just got his own show, Up with Chris Hayes. ..."

Yes, that's the show we watched. As i wrote, i learned from the panel discussion about the economy. Thanks for the link, i learned more about him.

deb


message 29: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Julie wrote: "And "Precisely what kindled the blaze is not clear, but disaster first flared in November 1930".

I was surpised that the bank issues were a whole year after the stock market crash. I thought the..."


--------------------
I don't think many know that the farmers were experiencing a depression for a whole decade before.


message 30: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments No I didn't know that either!


message 31: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 16, 2012 07:32PM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Chapter 3

I started to read chapter 3 today.

It's interesting to see the complex web that created the Great Depression. When you read books like this, you get a fuller picture than the simple sound-bites on might encounter otherwise.

This is the book quoted in the footnotes. I think if I can find a copy, I will use it for my Presidential challenge.

The Memoirs Of Herbert Hoover The Great Depression, 1929-1941 by Herbert HooverThe Memoirs Of Herbert Hoover: The Great Depression, 1929-1941~~~Herbert Hoover


message 32: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments I finally started chapter 3. Interesting how Hoover ended up blaming it on WWI and the international economy. I am going to have to do some more reading on the gold standard, as I am not sure I fully understand it all. I feel like there is plenty in the book I don't get, but at the same time plenty I am learning! I didn't know that there were banking panics in Vienna and Germany too and that it all tied in to the US issues at the time. The circling of money is mind boggling....private american loans to germans, then german payments to britian and france, then british and french loan repayments to the us government.
I feel a sudden need for a nap but I am going to try to keep reading. Once my ipod comes in the mail today, I will be distracted! :-)


message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments I am learning a lot, too. I am going to finish up chapter 3 today.

This book could certainly expand your TBR list !

I'm jealous about your new iPod. :)


message 34: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments The best part about my ipod is that I got paid this week for my unused personal time at work from last year. I was going to use it to pay for our plane tickets to CA next month but there is still enough left over to pay for 3/4 of my ipod. So now I don't even have to feel guilty about spending the money on it!


message 35: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments I haven't read these yet but posting them here so I can find them later and for anyone else interested.

gold standard
http://economics.about.com/cs/money/a...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_sta...

causes of the depression
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_o...


message 36: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Thanks for the gold standard links.


message 37: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:24AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Julie wrote: "I finally started chapter 3. Interesting how Hoover ended up blaming it on WWI and the international economy.
----------------

I knew that WWI and the Treaty of Versailles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_o...
is often cited as a major cause of the rise of Nazi Germany and thus WWII.

However, I didn't connect it to the Great Depression. I may not agree with everything Kennedy posits, but I am learning a lot and love his writing style. He makes a difficult topic very easy to read. And I am enjoying it a lot.


message 38: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments I finished Chapter 3

Where to begin ? Each chapter packs in so much !

page 96
Louis Howe

I was very taken aback with what I thought was an overly harsh and shallow description of Howe. Kennedy did not mention the mans illness.

"...shrewd and faithful operative, a crater-eyed, gnarled, wheezing homunculus names Louis McHenry Howe."

Wiki writes:
Howe is most known for his fierce, astute, and lifelong devotion to the political career of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who publicly credited him (along with James Farley) for his initial election in 1932.[2] Howe was also well known for his ill health and diminutive appearance which was referred to as "gnome-like" or "ghoulish". Part of this antipathy to his appearance may well have been provoked by the success of the Roosevelt campaigns he managed, doubtless a contributing factor to his sickly appearance was his loss of 32 lbs during the 1932 campaign to elect Roosevelt when he worked day and night and slept in his clothes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Mc...






American Experience bio
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexper...

The strength of his persona contrasted sharply with his physical weakness. Since he was a child, he had suffered from multiple ills. Always delicate, he was plagued by a terminal heart condition, severe asthma and attacks of bronchitis, and, for most of his life, had to wear a ponderous truss to prevent hernia injury. In addition, a disastrous cycling accident in his teenage years left black pitted scars which permanently disfigured his face.



message 39: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 22, 2012 08:35AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Chapter 3


page 74

One has to wonder if they had gone along with his idea to suspend "all payments on intergovernmental debts, reparations and relief debts, both principal and interest" would that have stopped the rise of Nazi Germany.

Page 83
Glass-Steagall

To bring this back to our own era, the act was repeal3ed on 1999. Many economists are calling for its reinstatement after our most recent economic crisis. Most importantly it would separate the the investment and commercial banking activities. This might prevent the "too big to fail" issue. This way if the investment bank engages in risky investments schemes and fails, there would be no need to bail them out. That notion in and of itself, might make them more cautious.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/...


message 40: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 22, 2012 08:50AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Chapter 3

Page 94

I like the way he connects historic events. Kennedy not only provides a time-line of events but connects the events for the reader.

"On the wind scoured plains of Manchuria, Japan thus set the match in 1931 to the long fuse that would detonate the attack on Pearl Harbor just ten years later."

Here is a helpful time-line and explanation of events
http://teacher.scholastic.com/pearl/t...

The 1929 New York Stock Exchange crash and the failure of important European banks plunged the entire world into an economic depression. Japan was hit especially hard. With practically no natural resources, the nation had to import oil, iron, steel, and other commodities to keep its industry and military forces alive. But to buy these things, it had to export goods for sale abroad. This became harder to do in the early 1930s as nation after nation, including the U.S., raised tariffs (taxes on imports) to protect their own struggling industries.

As Japan's economy grew worse, the country became more aggressive. One way Japan could gain greater access to raw materials and markets was to increase the amount of territory under Japanese control. Generals and admirals, working together with leading industrialists and financiers, dreamed of a Japanese empire that would bring "the eight corners of the world under one roof." They campaigned against politicians who stood in their way.

Food being rationed In 1931, Japanese Army officers seized the resource-rich region of Manchuria in the north of China. The government in Tokyo didn't approve of the plot, but the Army went ahead anyway. Within a year, Japan controlled Manchuria


Here is another short and easy to understand website explanation.

The Pacific Theater

The war in the Pacific essentially began on September 18, 1931, when Japan invaded Manchuria, which was known for its natural resources. The Japanese thought that from Manchuria, they could go on to control all of northern China. After Japan had established dominance in China, it could expand elsewhere. The Great Depression, Japan's population explosion, and the need to find new resources and markets to continue as a first-rate power, were other causes of the invasion.

The Japanese struck at a time when most countries were more concerned with the depression than with an invasion in far-off China. The United States introduced a policy of non-recognition, declaring that it would not recognize Japan's conquest.

The League of Nations did nothing but condemn Japan formally. Therefore, many consider the invasion of Manchuria as the real start of the war because aggression was not suppressed.

Since 1937, Japan had been buying cotton, gasoline, scrap iron, and aircraft equipment from the United States. After the “undeclared war” between Japan and China began in 1937, most Americans sympathized with the Chinese.

In 1938, this led the United States to place an embargo on exporting aircraft to Japan. The government also froze all Japanese assets in the United States. Relations between Japan and the United States became increasingly tense in the fall of 1941.

The Japanese Army and Navy came up with a plan to bomb Pearl Harbor and invade Thailand, the Malay peninsula, and the Philippines. About 7:55 a.m. on December 7, 1941, while negotiations were taking place between Japanese and American diplomats, the Japanese air force and navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h166...


message 41: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 22, 2012 09:05AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Chapter 3

page 97 regarding Eleanor Roosevelt

Kennedy paints Eleannor as a shallow uninformed rich girl who "On her honeymoon in Europe in 1905, she had been utterly unable to answer a simple question about the structure of American government."

He implies that she didn't became aware of poverty, government and politics until she married FDR.

I don't think this is completely fair or true. I've read quite a few books that point to her time at Allenswood Academy,in England, and specifically to Elanor's headmistress, whom under her tutelage Eleanor found a sense of self-worth, as the pivotal turning point in her young and thus far very unhappy life.

"Roosevelt was tutored privately and, at the age of 15, with the encouragement of her father's sister, her aunt "Bamie", the family decided to send her to Allenswood Academy, a private finishing school outside London, England. The headmistress, Marie Souvestre, was a noted feminist educator who sought to cultivate independent thinking in the young women in her charge. Eleanor learned to speak French fluently and gained self-confidence

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


message 42: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3458 comments Alias Reader wrote: "
Louis Howe
I was very taken aback with what I thought was an overly harsh and shallow description of Howe. Kenned..."


Thank you for the info on Howe, Alias. I was aware of his importance to the election but knew nothing of his private life and problems. Thirty two pounds! Wow, that's something for an already small person.

deb


message 43: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Chapter 3

Page 94

I like the way he connects historic events. Kennedy not only provides a time-line of events but connects the events for the reader.

"On the wind scoured plains of Manchuria, J..."


Thanks for posting these...they were helpful.


message 44: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Chapter 4

Talking about WWII debt, you might find it interesting that Britain made the final payment of Lend/lease to the United states in 2006.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/ma...

Page 109 Hoover letter to FDR

Imagine getting this letter. Basically Hoover told FDR the country was going to hell. See ya !
And to end the letter blaming the current economic situation on FDR being elected was the hight of arrogance.

P116 Attempted assassination on FDR

Kennedy tells this episode in a short dry paragraph. If you read the terrific book
The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope you will get a much more detailed and exciting account. I highly recommend the Alter book for anyone with a interest in FDR. It's the best I've read. Chapters of it read like a thriller. It's really well done.

P 118 Income gap.
Many of the issues that we are reading about are the same ones we are dealing with today.

"In 2007, when the world was on the brink of financial crisis, U.S. income inequality hit its highest mark since 1928, just before the Great Depression."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10...

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011...

http://currydemocrats.org/in_perspect...


message 45: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments ARe you done with chapter 4 already? I haven't even thought about reading it yet! Your post is motivating me though.... :-)


message 46: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Yes, I read chapter 4. I thought, for once, I would read the assigned chapter at the start of the week so we could talk more about it and also chapters 1-3 of course.

Don't rush if you haven't read it. I know you have a lot on your reading plate.


message 47: by Di (new)

Di Neer (LiveAndLetDi) | 6 comments I have not read this book, but reading the comments and insights makes me want to also recommend In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson. I love his writing (also recommend Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History and The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America). As I tried to create the author link, I was just brought to his site and he's kind of cute!

Another one from the era is the brilliant Unbroken: A World War II Story Of Survival, Resilience, And Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.

I wouldn't qualify myself as a "history buff," but I do love to mix up my usual fiction reading with good non-fiction that (in my opinion) reads like fiction.

I'm still kind of new to this group, so please forgive me if my links don't work or if I should have posted this somewhere else.

By the way...if anyone has any suggestions for how to "read" the group better, let me know. I haven't figured out how to get it to just show me the new posts, so reading and participating feels a little daunting.


message 48: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 26, 2012 05:57AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12109 comments Hi Di !

Thanks for the recommendations. I've read Unbroken and found it to be quite inspiring.

I've also read Devil in the White City. I like the psychopath parts, the detailed accounts of the fair not so much. I do plan on reading In The Garden of Beasts.

As to reading the board. Once you open a thread and read it, go back to the top of the page.
- look to the right hand side of the page where you see the list of topics under Book Nook Cafe: Group Home- bookshelf - discussion etc.
-now look under that list
You will see a Seach Box now look under that box
and see the words
Unread topics
Click on that. That will show you all the threads you have not read.
Click on one of the threads and read it,
Then go back to the Unread Topics link, it will take you back to the list.
Repeat until you have read all the threads.

Hope that helps. If not, do not hesitate to ask for further help. It takes awhile to figure our GR. But once you do, it's a breeze and worth the effort. :)


message 49: by Julie (last edited Jan 26, 2012 08:09AM) (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1105 comments Hi Di. Welcome!
I read Devil in the White City and liked it for the most part. There were just a few parts that got a little uninteresting. I have Unbroken on my list to read someday. I keep hearing good things about it.

Alias, I never knew that unread topics link was there! (It is obvious on my new ipod with the GR app though). I usually just go to the home page for the group and scroll down looking for the red "new" notifications. There are some sections I don't look at at all (Like TV) so I like to see them sorted that way anyway...I can easily ignore the whole section.

ETA: Apparently Isaacs Storm is on my list to read too. I didn't even know it! :-)


message 50: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3458 comments Di, like you, i've enjoyed a couple of Larson's books, appreciating them for the material. I haven't read the one connected to WWII, though. I know several people on this board have mentioned liking it.

Using "unread" is the best feature of the GR boards, imo. However, i wish i could "unread" some post, as sometimes i read without enough time to comment. Me?!

deb


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Books mentioned in this topic

Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (other topics)
A People's History of the United States (other topics)
The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (other topics)
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption (other topics)
Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

David M. Kennedy (other topics)
Herbert Hoover (other topics)
Erik Larson (other topics)
Laura Hillenbrand (other topics)
Jean Edward Smith (other topics)
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