What are you reading?

I just finished reading A Man of Iron; the Turbulent Life and Improbably Presidency of Grover Cleveland by Troy Senik. His final words "I have tried so hard to do right” (link) sum up his life. He is best known for being the only president to serve two non-contiguous terms, and the first Democrat elected after the Civil War. He is indeed not well known for events or achievements during his presidency.

There is much interesting both about the book and the man. Perhaps a person who serves so many positions without moral blemish should be notable. In those days as now, scandal in one form or another swirls around presidents and other prominent politicians. In fact, by the time his terms of office ended, he was clearly a man of the past. It is unfortunate that nowadays as in his days, such virtue is rewarded backhandedly or not at all. The role of the federal government is vastly expanded from his days, and he was dealt with in the headlines a lot less than modern presidents.

His example and integrity should be better known and rewarded.
 
I just finished reading The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson. Yes, that Boris Johnson, who was later a much less long serving or consequential British Prime Minister. Obviously, Winston Churchill was his hero, but he was many other people's heroes. For example, his grandson, who said: "You know, in many ways he was quite a normal sort of family man." After this quote, Boris Johnson states:
Boris Johson said:
Yes, I say, but no normal family man produces more published words than Shakespeare and Dickens combined, wins the Nobel prize for literature, kills umpteen people in armed conflict on four continents, serves in every great office of state including Prime Minister (twice), is indispensable to victory in two world wars and then posthumously sells his paintings for a million dollars. I am trying to grapple with the ultimate source of all this psychic energy.
What, indeed, do we mean by mental energy? Is it something psychological or something physiological? Was he genetically or hormonally endowed with some superior process of internal combustion, or did it arise out of childhood psychological conditioning? Or perhaps it was a mixture of the two. Who knows-depends on your answer to the mind-body problem, I suppose.
I am wavering on whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars. I suppose I will give it 4 stars. The book come of like many other biographies of great leaders, verges on hagiography. I suppose this is inevitable because cover unless you are writing about a criminal or a horrible person, you write it out people who you admire. The book does not have some of the ills of most such books, which is to spend an undue amount of time on early life, which is usually quite unexceptional.

Boris Johnson does an extremely good job of laying out his greatness, without ignoring some of the shortcomings of the subject personally, or the mixed results of some of his initiatives. He obviously“hit the English language to war” (my statement coming at the authors) and earned him himself a place in history. Arguably without him, the world would have been dominated by two ogres, Stalin and Hitler. To that, we owe an immense debt. Is the crystal clear in this book.

The book also makes clear his intense ties to the United States and his love of this country.
 
I just finished reading The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson. Yes, that Boris Johnson, who was later a much less long serving or consequential British Prime Minister. Obviously, Winston Churchill was his hero, but he was many other people's heroes. For example, his grandson, who said: "You know, in many ways he was quite a normal sort of family man." After this quote, Boris Johnson states:

I am wavering on whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars. I suppose I will give it 4 stars. The book come of like many other biographies of great leaders, verges on hagiography. I suppose this is inevitable because cover unless you are writing about a criminal or a horrible person, you write it out people who you admire. The book does not have some of the ills of most such books, which is to spend an undue amount of time on early life, which is usually quite unexceptional.

Boris Johnson does an extremely good job of laying out his greatness, without ignoring some of the shortcomings of the subject personally, or the mixed results of some of his initiatives. He obviously“hit the English language to war” (my statement coming at the authors) and earned him himself a place in history. Arguably without him, the world would have been dominated by two ogres, Stalin and Hitler. To that, we owe an immense debt. Is the crystal clear in this book.

The book also makes clear his intense ties to the United States and his love of this country.

If one wanted land and soil in Europe, then by and large this could only be done at Russia's expense...

for such a policy, however, there was only one single ally in Europe: England.

- Adolf Hitler, from Mein Kampf, Volume I, Chapter IV, "Munich"

---------

Winston Churchill deserves more credit for the defeat of Hitler than anyone else. Many in the Labour Party were pacifists. Many in the Conservative Party thought Nazi Germany was the lesser of two evils, with the Soviet Union being the greater evil.
 
Just started this New York Times bestseller. Off to a good start so far, very readable.

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