Tag: american history

Review: Pathfinder: John Charles Frémont and the Course of American Empire – Tom Chaffin

I picked up this book hoping for a biography of John Charles Frémont, a man whose exploits and explorations I’d come across numerous times in other biographies, other history books. An explorer, a presidential candidate, a Civil War general – a fascinating figure for a biographer! What I got was a book very much more about Frémont’s expeditions than it… Read more →

Review: Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, 1939-1962 – Blanche Wiesen Cook

This final volume of Blanche Wiesen Cook’s three-part biography of Eleanor Roosevelt disappointed me. Not so much for the writing or research or approach, all of which are just as good in this book as the previous two, but purely for reasons of content. For all intents and purposes, Cook finishes up with FDR’s death in 1945 – the remaining… Read more →

Review: Eleanor Roosevelt: The Defining Years: 1933-1938 – Blanche Wiesen Cook

This book, the second volume of Blanche Wiesen Cook’s three-part biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, covers the first five years of her role as First Lady of America, from 1933-1938. It’s quite a brief interlude in a life, considering the first volume covers the first forty-plus years of ER’s life before the White House, and the final volume covers the next… Read more →

Review: Eleanor Roosevelt, vol. 1, 1884-1933: The Early Years – Blanche Wiesen Cook

It’s a rare individual for whom I could stand to read a three-volume biography but I think Eleanor Roosevelt deserves one. Her life was so full, so involved and dynamic and controversial than any less would simply not be doing her justice. In many ways Eleanor’s life can very easily be divided into three parts this biography takes – her… Read more →

Review: The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco – Marilyn Chase

The bubonic plague outbreaks of 1900-1908 are a forgotten footnote in San Franciscan history, lost amidst the drama of the city’s early Gold Rush years and the trauma of the great earthquake of 1906. Yet for those eight years, the city was in the grip of the United States’ first outbreak of plague, which affected almost all life in San… Read more →

Review: The Loyal Son: The War in Ben Franklin’s House – Daniel Mark Epstein

Although you don’t often hear it amidst all the enduring myths surrounding the American Revolution, more than anything else it was a civil war. The ‘rebellion against tyranny’ was far from universal, and historians estimate as many as one third of the population of the colonies remained loyal to the Crown. It was a war of colony against mother country,… Read more →