Aaron Shields

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The First Conspir...
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The Lincoln Consp...
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The Rise of Theod...
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See all 4 books that Aaron is reading…
Anand Gopal
“Winning a war such as this was not about planting flags or defending territory or building fancy villas. It was not about titles or promotions or offices. It was not about democracy or jihad, freedom or honor. It was about resisting the categories chosen for you; about stubbornness in the face of grand designs and schemas. About doing what you had to do, whether they called you a terrorist or an infidel. To win a war like this was to master the ephemeral, to plan a future while knowing that it could all be over in an instant. To comfort your children when the air outside throbs in the middle of the night, to squeeze your spouse’s hand tight when your taxi hits a pothole on an open highway, to go to school or the fields or a wedding and return to tell about it. To survive.”
Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes

Anand Gopal
“The twin dislocations of the Soviet invasion and CIA patronage of the mujahedeen irrevocably reconfigured Afghan society, leading directly to the horrors of the civil war, then to the Taliban, and ultimately to the shape of Afghan politics after 2001. Still, when Zbigniew Brzezinski, who as national security adviser to President Carter helped to initiate Washington’s anti-Soviet mujahedeen policies, was asked in the late 1990s whether he had any regrets, he replied: “What is more important in the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”
Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes

Theodore H. White
“He had always acted as if men were masters of forces, as if all things were possible for men determined in purpose and clear in thought—even the Presidency. This perhaps is what he had best learned in 1960—even though he called his own victory a “miracle.” This was what he would have to cherish alone in the White House, on which an impatient world waited for miracles.”
Theodore H. White, The Making of the President 1960

Eric Metaxas
“Through the half-open door in one room of the huts I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer, before taking off his prison garb, kneeling on the floor praying fervently to his God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
“What would have happened had he not been killed? He would certainly have had a rocky road to the nomination. The power of the Johnson administration and much of the party establishment was behind Humphrey. Still, the dynamism was behind Kennedy, and he might well have swept the convention. If nominated, he would most probably have beaten the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon. Individuals do make a difference to history. A Robert Kennedy presidency would have brought a quick end to American involvement in the Vietnam War. Those thousands of Americans—and many thousands more Vietnamese and Cambodians—who were killed from 1969 to 1973 would have been at home with their families. A Robert Kennedy presidency would have consolidated and extended the achievements of John Kennedy’s New Frontier and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. The liberal tide of the 1960s was still running strong enough in 1969 to affect Nixon’s domestic policies. The Environmental Protection Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act with its CETA employment program were all enacted under Nixon. If that still fast-flowing tide so influenced a conservative administration, what signal opportunities it would have given a reform president! The confidence that both black and white working-class Americans had in Robert Kennedy would have created the possibility of progress toward racial reconciliation. His appeal to the young might have mitigated some of the under-thirty excesses of the time. And of course the election of Robert Kennedy would have delivered the republic from Watergate, with its attendant subversion of the Constitution and destruction of faith in government. RRK”
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times

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