I remember learning about the Marshall Plan in AP US History class and how critical it was to repairing the world after WWII. I did not realize until years later that General George C. Marshall was individual who lent his name to the plan. I’ve been in the Army for thirteen years, as of yesterday, and I’ve developed opinions on many famous generals from our history. Most of those opinions are demonstrably leery of anyone who receives unadulterated hero worship. I am not a fan of Patton, or Chesty Puller (I’m sorry to my USMC brethren). I think MacArthur explains […]
Halfway through Moonglow, I caught myself with my hand over my mouth, trying to keep my breath inside my body because the prose was so exceptionally beautiful. I had my worries before reading this book. I have only recently discovered Chabon, and have only otherwise read The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, which was so stunning that it made me want to punch something. There is a lot of hype surrounding Moonglow, and even I only got it by accident from the library on a strict, one week-only, no renewals loan, because it’s such a hot commodity. What if it’s a waste […]
It’s always been difficult for me to gain much traction with Eisenhower. Bookended by the tumultuous era that began with FDR and extended through the Truman administration and the turbulent civil unrest of the JFK/Johnson/Nixon administrations, Eisenhower has always been the eye of the storm. Much of what happened in the ’50s happened behind the scenes: covert missions in Iran and Guatamala, unbridled tension within the party over Sen. Joseph McCarthy, in-fighting over whether or not a nuclear response was required in various hot spots around the globe (his advisors said yes, Eisenhower routinely said no), a burgeoning civil rights […]
My father bought into the myth of Ronald Reagan like a dying man holding onto the promise of an after life. He spent his life in the military, and would talk about not having actual rounds to fire under Jimmy Carter because of budget cuts. But Ronald Reagan? He gave us our soul back. This country was reborn after Vietnam, and Watergate, and the Iran hostage crises. Ronald Reagan cut taxes, and ended the Cold War, and reigned in an out of control government. He improved the economy, and ushered in a new era of wealth and privilege that Bill […]
After the last few years’ relative duds by Baldacci, I picked up The Whole Truth at a yard sale and reminded myself that my once favorite author definitely has what it takes, but needs to get over his own popularity and his publisher’s pressures to churn out the moneymakers, and go back to writing good books. This 2008 novel about a neo-Cold War cooked up by a psychotic arms dealer and a “perception management” firm had shivers running down my spine. I won’t say this is one of Baldacci’s best. Strains of Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne clearly came through […]
A Cold-War spy thriller, written to perfection by the master of spy thrillers. Rocket scientist Claude Lucas wakes up in a Union Station men’s room with no clue as to who he is or how he got there. He is hung over and dressed like a bum, and a fellow bum reassures him that he was on a total bender. As he tries to figure out his identity, he discovers multiple skills that suggest he is no ordinary derelict. People start following him, and little by little he pieces together a mystery with astounding implications, involving the Soviet Union, the […]
Kicking off CBR6 with a highly engrossing story of two childhood friends, where one becomes an internationally known symbol for peace at the height of the Cold War tensions before tragically dying in a plane crash. Or does she? The book follows her best friend as she tries to find out the truth about what really happened. If you loved The Americans, you’ll love this. Full review is on my blog here.