Here are books I recommend political junkies read while vacationing:
“The Rough Rider and The Professor: The Friendship That Changed American History” by Laurence Jurdem. This is a delightful book that describes the 35-year friendship between President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) and Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. (1850-1924).
Lodge, a Harvard professor who went on to serve 24 years in the U.S. Senate, was a renowned Boston Brahmin. He was a subject of the Massachusetts ditty: “And this is good old Boston, the home of the bean and the cod, where the Lowells speak only to Cabots, and the Cabots speak only to God.”
While Roosevelt was a member of New York’s upper crust, he was also a cowboy—literally and figuratively. Unlike the staid Lodge, Roosevelt was impulsive and that trait led to his ill-advised run for president as the candidate of the Bull Moose Party in 1912.
What is surprising is that these two men, despite their different personalities, revered each other. Lodge not only advised Roosevelt but helped him obtain posts in government on his road to the White House.
While they had a political breakup in 1912, it was later patched up due to their mutual distaste of President Woodrow Wilson.
“King: A Life” by Jonathan Eig. This book will be the definitive life of Martin Luther King for years to come. The previous King biographer, David Garrow, conceded that Eig’s work “will succeed my own, “Bearing the Cross,” published in 1986, as the standard account.”
Eig is a top-rate writer of narrative history—which is rare these days. His work is balanced, utilizing recently released FBI Files.
He gives us a picture of an extraordinarily gifted man. King was a great leader and a brilliant strategist.
During the 12 years he led the Civil Rights Movement, King managed relationships with John and Bobby Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson, to procure passage of civil and Voting Rights Acts.
Unfortunately, after King’s death, at the hands of an assassin in 1968, his movement was taken over by radicals, including Huey Newton, Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis.
It is not too often I agree with Barack Obama, but in this case we both have John Eig’s “King” on our recommended reading list.
“The Biden Malaise: How America Bounces Back from Joe Biden’s Repeat of the Jimmy Carter Years” by Kimberly Strassel. In my judgment, The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel is Washington’s top columnist. She has a “jeweler’s eye” when it comes to detecting the follies of the Capital’s Progressive Establishment.
In “The Biden Malaise,” Strassel persuasively argues that President Biden, like President Carter in the mid-1970s, “has mired the country in weakness, inflation, and political unease.” And she lays out a plan of action Conservatives would be wise to follow in the 2024 election cycle.
“Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President” (Revised Edition) by Allen C. Guelzo. The greatest intellectual historian of our time, Dr. Guelzo, is presently the director of The Institute on Politics and Statesmanship for Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.
We are fortunate that Guelzo has devoted his academic career to examining the role of ideas in Abraham Lincoln’s life. His seven books on Lincoln reveal that the 16th president was a deep thinker concerning the political, religious, and cultural issues of his day.
“Redeemer President,” an award-winning book, is the story of Lincoln’s faith and intellectual life.
Though Lincoln was, Guelzo writes, “practical as a politician and wise as a serpent while harmless as a dove, he nevertheless took certain principles of natural law (especially the ones captured in the Declaration of Independence) as his nonnegotiables, and regarded the price paid for them as only what we must expect as the price paid for sin to a just God.”
“Rogue Prosecutors: How Radical Soros Lawyers are Destroying America’s Communities” by Zack Smith and Charles D. Stimson. The two former federal prosecutors vividly describe what radical leftist district attorneys, elected with $40 million of George Soros money, have wrought on their towns and cities.
In the eight Soros DA cities examined in the book, “there have been at least an additional 3,090 homicides, 3,580 rapes, 7,500 robberies, 14,800 motor vehicle thefts, countless thousands of non-fatal shooting victims, and hundreds of thousands of other crimes (and victims) in those cities between 2015 and 2021. And of those 3,090 extra murders over 75% of the victims were minorities.”
“Rogue Prosecutors” should be read by every citizen and elected official committed to the rule of law.
Happy reading during your summer vacation.