Category Archives: Contemporary Nonfiction

The enduring mountain

Tom Dillon, journalist and outdoorsman, reviews a new book that’s full of information about North Carolina’s beloved tourist attraction and state park. Reviewed by Tom Dillon GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN: THE HISTORY AND GUIDE TO AN APPALACHIAN ICON. By Randy Johnson. University … Continue reading

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Why we do what we do

Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor INVISIBLE INFLUENCE: THE HIDDEN FORCES THAT SHAPE BEHAVIOR. By Jonah Berger. Simon & Schuster. 232 pages. $26.99. As much as we’d all like to think that we run our own lives, there’s no denying that … Continue reading

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A wild tale, well told

The 1970s were crazy times, but enough time has elapsed to allow a good researcher and writer to make sense of the senseless. Paul O’Connor says Jeffrey Toobin has done just that. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor AMERICAN HEIRESS: THE … Continue reading

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Benedict Arnold: The rest of the story

Paul O’Connor, student of history, takes a look at a new book about one of the most reviled characters in America’s past. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor VALIANT AMBITION: GEORGE WASHINGTON, BENEDICT ARNOLD AND THE FATE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. By … Continue reading

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Dean, Mike and Jimmy

Yes, I went to Wake Forest College/University (it changed names midway through my student days). But Wake Forest had moved from Wake County to Winston-Salem in the 1950s, and although as a student I quickly learned that beating Carolina, especially … Continue reading

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A new look at a forgotten war

Before he was a journalist or a public school teacher or administrator, and before he was my husband, Lloyd Brinson was a young U.S. Marine officer who served in Vietnam. He finds much that’s worthwhile in a new book by … Continue reading

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Fighting tyranny, fighting the elements

Tom Dillon, who’s been known to ski more than a little himself, finds much to like in a new book about a little-known saga of World War II. Reviewed by Tom Dillon THE WINTER FORTRESS: THE EPIC MISSION TO SABOTAGE … Continue reading

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A man of his times

Paul O’Connor found more than he expected in a new biography of General Custer. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor CUSTER’S TRIALS: A LIFE ON THE FRONTIER OF A NEW AMERICA. By T.J. Stiles. Books on Tape. Read by Arthur Morey. … Continue reading

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Man’s best friend, explained

Getting a dog to lie still for an MRI is a daunting task. Trying to explain dogs’ love for humans may be an even greater one. Paul O’Connor’s latest listening adventure has been an audio book that tackles those challenges. … Continue reading

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Who we were, who we are

It’s worthwhile to learn history, and to learn from history, and especially, as Paul O’Connor observes, to see how yesterday’s mistaken attitudes persist today. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE BROTHERS: JOHN FOSTER DULLES, ALLEN DULLES AND THEIR SECRET WORLD … Continue reading

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