Tags: cheney | christmas | churchill

Christmas Is Time for Political Reading Gift-Giving

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Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 09:08 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Here are my picks of the year’s best nonfiction works for the political junkies on your Christmas list:

“On His Own Terms: A life of Nelson Rockefeller,” by Richard Norton Smith

This is a magisterial biography of a New York political icon. The original RINO (Republican in name only), who served as governor for 15 years, was larger than life.

During his tenure, he created 230 agencies and authorities, enacted no fewer than 18 tax bills and incurred $12 billion in debt. When the state was running out of money in 1973, he resigned and went on to be appointed U.S. vice president by President Ford. Commenting on the fiscal mess Gov. Hugh Carey inherited in 1975, Rocky quipped, “I drank the champagne and Carey got the hangover.”

“The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority,” by Patrick J. Buchanan

This tells the story of Nixon’s resurrection from the political graveyard and his rise to the presidency, as told by someone who had a front-row seat. Buchanan, who served as a Nixon staffer, speechwriter, advance man and adviser, describes how his boss reversed his political fortunes, beat Rockefeller’s eastern establishment crowd and outmaneuvered rising star Ronald Reagan to secure the GOP nomination in 1968. “The Greatest Comeback” is an intimate and extraordinarily readable account of an incredible political story.

“When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys, by Thomas Maier.

Building on his 2004 blockbuster “The Kennedys: America’s Emerald Kings,” Newsday’s Thomas Maier has produced another terrific read. “When Lions Roar” tells the story of the public and private relationship between two powerful political families. Maier explores how Winston Churchill and his son, Randolph, interacted with Ambassador Joe Kennedy, sons Joe Jr. and Jack and daughter Kathleen. Maier gives us deeply human portraits of these larger-than-life figures, including their flaws, and describes how Churchill influenced President John F. Kennedy’s worldview.

“Founder’s Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln,” by Richard Brookhiser

After writing seven fine books on the founding fathers, Brookhiser, a noted historian from Manhattan, has produced an extraordinary work on their most notable heir. Although Lincoln is the most-written-about American, Brookhiser has dealt with an aspect of Lincoln generally passed over: his struggle to carry on the work of the founders and his defense of their natural-rights doctrine. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding Lincoln’s mind.

“James Madison: A Life Reconsidered,”
by Lynne Cheney

The wife of former VP Dick Cheney and former chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities has written an elegant biography of the most brilliant of the founding fathers. Madison was the intellectual force behind the creation of the U.S. Constitution and the political force behind the passage of the Bill of Rights.

He was a top adviser to Washington and, during his tenure as the nation’s fourth president, was the first to lead the nation in war under the Constitution. To understand how the Constitution was drafted to prevent presidents from becoming emperors, read this book.

“The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur,”
by Mark Perry

This reappraisal of “America’s Caesar” is an excellent account of our nation’s most controversial and greatest military genius.

Perry shows that despite his massive ego and clashes with civilian authority, MacArthur was a brilliant strategist who conquered more territory with fewer men and causalities than any general in World War II. Perry sets the record straight about this most misunderstood man who has been unjustly vilified by American leftists for decades.

Merry Christmas and happy reading!

George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J., is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact." He also is a columnist for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. Read more reports from George J. Marlin — Click Here Now.
 

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Here are my picks of the year’s best nonfiction works for the political junkies on your Christmas list.
cheney, christmas, churchill
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2014-08-24
Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 09:08 AM
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