Category Archives: Contemporary Nonfiction

Fighting Irish – a tale for our times

Paul O’Connor reviews a new biography of a 19th-century immigrant who battled discrimination against himself even as he fought for freedom for those who were enslaved. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN. By Timothy Egan. Brilliance Audio. 14 hours, 9 … Continue reading

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Poverty, material and spiritual

This memoir/sociological analysis came out last summer, but Bob Moyer finds that it’s just as relevant now as it was during the thick of the presidential campaign. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer HILLBILLY ELEGY. By J.D. Vance. Harper. 261 pages. $27.99. … Continue reading

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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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