Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hondo by Louis L'Amour

In thirty five years, Louis L'Amour wrote over one hundred books. Every one is still in print. Quite an accomplishment. I've read dozens of his books and Hondo is unquestionably my favorite.

L'Amour  has been described as a good storyteller, but a mediocre writer.  When you start late and publish over one hundred books, it's difficult to maintain the quality required to get a first novel published. Hondo, published in 1953, was his first novel and proves that L'Amour could write well when he paid attention to his craft. Unusual for a Western, Hondo is a love story, reminiscent of The Virginian.

L'Amour loved of the West and it comes through to the reader in his stories.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Romance Novel Blog Reprints The Future of the Western Genre

Not only were they popular in the United States, but the whole world devoured them. The Western was a staple of fiction, Hollywood, television, and daydreams. What happened?

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Federal Convention of 1787

It was an unusually hot summer for Philadelphia, and for a few weeks there was an infestation of big black flies that buzzed around the delegates eyes.  To facilitate deliberation, the delegates voted for secret proceedings.  The intent was to promote open debate and allow the delegates to change their minds, but it also meant that the windows were nailed shut and the doors remained closed.  The stench of stale sweat and absence of any air circulation made the chamber extremely unpleasant.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Path to Tyranny Reviews Tempest at Dawn

"Using vivid narrative and expressive dialogue, Tempest at Dawn presents all the major issues the Founding Fathers struggled with. More impressive, you get to know the character of the men who created our great nation."

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Tempest at Dawn

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration

On June 11, 1776, the second Continental Congress appointed a committee to write a declaration of independence. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman were elected to the committee.  One of these five was a renowned writer. For nearly thirty years, only the Bible outsold Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac, and his articles made the Pennsylvania Gazette the most successful newspaper in the colonies.  But Franklin declined to draft the declaration, supposedly due to poor health, so the committee asked the thirty-three year Thomas Jefferson to draft the document.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mastermind, The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

Book Review by James D. Best

Mastermind by Richard Miniter is far more than the story of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSH). This new book is a concise history of terrorism from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing through the September 11, 2001 attacks to the present day. How apropos that Miniter’s book is being published on May 3rd, just days after KSH’s boss—Osama bin Laden—has been killed. Americans should read this book to celebrate this victory in the war on terror and to understand how jihadists think and act.
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Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed