Category Archives: History

Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Patriots by David Fisher

Reviewed by Allen Hott

legendsandliesThis is really a great rendering of the story of our country’s battle to be a free nation and not part of England. The book tells about many of the people who participated in this great episode. Although it attributes some of the quotes that have become synonymous with these Patriots, it does point out that many of them may not necessarily be completely true and accurate.

Click Here for More Information on Legends and Lies

It seems somewhat hard to envision today how this country was divided at the time of the Revolution. Many Loyalists were very definitely in favor of staying under the wing of England but a major turning point for many happened when the British passed the Stamp Act. The Sons of Liberty were formed to fight against this act with all of their might.

Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love: The Fall and Rise of a Physician Who Heals Himself
by Christopher E. Pelloski, MD

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Trauma, Shame and the Power of LoveAlthough sexual abuse and pornography of children is nothing new within this society, each time it is discovered and reported there is an accompanying knee jerk reaction of anger, disgust and distrust that follows so much so that it becomes hard to see the many facets of the whole truth about the situation such was the case with Christopher E. Pelloski M.D. In his book, Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love, which is a biographical work, he bares his soul and shares his experiences from arrest to trial as a non-productive participant of child pornography.

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell

Waterloo

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Two-hundred years ago in the year 1815, Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.

With history usually being written by the victors, this famous battle of the French against the combined forces of Prussia and Great Britain has been told from various perspectives throughout the years. Three armies with three battles over four days ended Napoleon’s rule over much of Europe. So why write another book about Waterloo?

Historical fiction writer Bernard Cornwell decided that none of these accounts truly reflected the actual battle. In his first non-fiction book, Cornwell breaks this battle down into chapters with accompanying maps detailing the placement and actions of the troops as well as artistic paintings of the events, explaining both in a readable version for the non-historians and military strategists demonstrating that sometimes the portraits painted years after the events were flawed.

The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill: Forts, Fights & Other Sites by Jeff Barnes

Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Imagine a book that explains real and present day historical tourist sites and the significance of each place in reference to one person’s life from their birth to their death recording the memorable events along the way. For the legendary, William Cody who was known as Buffalo Bill, that is exact; Jeff Barnes created in The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill.

Barnes combines a well-balanced biography of Buffalo Bill filtering the legend from the facts. Additionally he uses photographs and maps as he personally visited each of these sites throughout Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Missouri. With each one, he tells the story while also giving current information such as directions, significance, costs involved, and even the hours and days when open and a listing of additional research for the reader about each place.

The Man Who Would Not Be Washington by Jonathan Horn

The Man Who Would Not Be Washington

Reviewed by Allen Hott

For those of you who have any interest in our country and leaders from our beginning through the Civil War this is truly an interesting read.

Many of us I am sure are not aware of the fact that Robert E. Lee, who became the military leader of the Southern armies in that Civil War, was in fact married to the daughter of George Washington’s adopted son.

There are many relationships between the Lees and our early leaders perhaps because there were so many Lees. Two of them signed the Declaration of Independence and Robert’s own father had been one of Washington’s top aides during the revolution.

Why Marx Was Wrong by Lawrence Eubank

Why Marx Was Wrong

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Why Marx Was Wrong by Lawrence Eubank is a scholarly and erudite examination and refutation of Karl Marx’s book, which was highly critical of Capitalism, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. The 500 pages of Eubank’s book is intended to serve as a convincing argument pointing out the inaccuracies in Marx’s reasoning and his central accusation that capitalism serves to make capitalists richer by the “exploitation of laborers, through the extraction of unpaid ‘surplus value’ from them.” That is exactly what Why Marx Was Wrong does, refuting Marx’s central argument thoroughly.

In order to refute Karl Marx’s argument completely and point out the philosophical rot inherent in it, Lawrence Eubank takes a look at many of Marx’s statements in his own work and explains why each of them are wrong. To help back up his point-by-point refutation of Marx, Eubank cites other authors who have a similar, pro-capitalist, perspective.

Pepper by Marjorie Shaffer

PepperReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Majorie Shaffer’s book Pepper has much to offer readers. For foodies the lure of this book is obvious. Pepper is after all, one of the leading spices used across virtually all cuisines. But there are other groups of readers who will be equally interested in Pepper. For history buffs, there is a chance to travel with the Portuguese followed quickly by the the Dutch and the English and finally the Americans, along the spice trade routes. And with more people embracing the current trend of turning to natural remedies for everything from health ailments to pesticides, Pepper again answers the call. Botanists surely will find the history of propagation attempts of the piper family of plants to which our beloved pepper belongs, interesting reading. Lastly, armchair travelers will find Pepper to be worthy of their time offering up such things as elephant fights staged for entertainment.

The Impending Monetary Revolution, the Dollar and Gold by Edmund Contoski

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

With the economic uncertainties in the world today, should America return to the gold standard? This controversial topic is the driving theme behind author Edmund Contoski’s book The Impending Monetary Revolution, The Dollar and Gold. Edmund, who has 45 years of experience in international markets and has conducted investment seminars in precious metals and foreign currencies, argues that “American politicians have debauched the currency for agendas contrary to our Constitution and to get themselves elected.” Whether you believe America should go back to the gold standard or not, most people would agree with the author’s statement that “governments are on the verge of bankruptcy because there is no restraint–which a gold standard would provide–on their spending and manipulation of credit.” Edmund Contoski has, with his book, made a topic I would ordinarily find dull and dry–namely, economics–one which is fascinating and interesting.

What are some of the points the author brings up to support his argument that the United States and the world should base the stability of their currency on their gold reserves? What’s happened to Greece is one of the best examples that the media and economists use to illustrate the worst that can befall a country which spends beyond its means and borrows to make up the difference. The U.S. has not yet suffered the same types of dire problems, but that’s because of the dollar’s status as a world reserve currency. This means it can pay its debts by simply printing more of its own money. However, even the U.S. cannot keep printing its own money forever without eventually its currency becoming devalued–it’s actually happening even now, to a degree.

Contoski writes in his very perceptive persuasive book how the world’s economic crisis began, how money was developed and how countries have ‘perverted” it, what the “credit bubble” is, how and why the euro arose, what some of the threats are to the world’s banking system, and much, much more, including the rise of China and India as major economic powers.

They Called Her Tokyo Rose, 2nd Edition by Rex Gunn

They Called Her Tokyo Rose by Rex GunnReviewed by Teri Davis

As children, most of us were taught the differences between legend and reality. With real people who were noteworthy like Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, sometimes the lines between the real person and the legend can be hard to distinguish. We usually believe the reasons for this is due to the number of years ago that the person lived. What about someone though who has lived in the past hundred years. Are there people who are considered legendary, but in actuality are not the same as their reputation?

What was the truth about Tokyo Rose, the legendary femme fatale who supposedly demoralized our troops in the Pacific during World War II?

They Called Her Tokyo Rose delves into the story of Iva Togori, the woman who was believed to be this notorious person and follows her entire life. Iva is the woman was was tried in a lengthy trial and convicted of treason by our federal government for being Tokyo Rose. Was she the person who while broadcasting on Radio Tokyo reported about the American losses in the Pacific and who constantly weakened the spirits of our soldiers and POW’s by mentioning doubts about their wives’ and girlfriends’ loyalties?

The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau by Alex Kershaw

The Liberator Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

I have always been interested in WWII books that tell the true story of so many of our military exploits from that war. I think this book by Alex Kershaw is told better than any book I have read on the subject. He knows how to write about his subject by using words and phrases that make the reader thoroughly understand what they are reading and finds the story getting better as it goes. The European zone in which our gallant military fought contains so much information told in a great way. Felix Sparks was born and raised in Miami, Arizona, an area that suffered the ravages of the great depression as much as the rest of the nation. Felix hunted, ran traps, and got food any way he could. When he wasn’t hunting he was studying. His military training started in the Citizens Military Training Program where he learned how to march and drill in very high heat environment. He wanted to go to college and he loved the military-anything that was military. He ventured away from the area and found himself being asked by an army recruiter if he wanted to join the army. He figured “why not” and joined, a decision that forged his life forever.

Felix Sparks, now married with a baby, prepared to shove off on a troop transport that ended up in Europe prepared as well as possible for fighting a war. While on the ship General George Patton announced that from that point and time they would be a part of the 7th United States Army and they were going ashore to attack Sicily, Italy in small troop transport boats. None of the men knew what they were in for. Sparks was a part of the National Guard Thunderbirds, all green recruits. The book describes several of the generals associated with army leading and planning duties, Patton, Marshall, Eisenhower, Mark Clark, and others and how they made their battle plans, some with and some without arguments. Sparks at this time had no idea he would move up in the ranks to eventually become a general too, and that was far from his mind at this time. He just wanted to defeat the Germans and Italians. The many battles he and his group fought were tough and brutal while killing and wounding many men. Their drives would advance one day and lose ground the next. The Germans were tough while the Italians were not since they were not sure if they were staying in this war or not. The Thunderbirds along with the rest of their groups moved up the boot of Italy towards Rome. The Germans fought back for every inch of ground in Italy with both sides killing and wounding thousands of men along the way. New raw recruits kept coming up the pipeline adjusting to war as they had never imagined it to be.