Category Archives: American History

FDR and the huddled masses

Our references to history can be as selective as our use of current “facts.” Paul O’Connor takes a look at a recent book that tells the uncomfortable story of the Roosevelt administration’s dealings with Jews and other refugees before the … 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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A grim reminder

A new audio version of a 2006 book offers some important lessons about our not-so-distant past. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: THE NORTH BUTTE MINING DISASTER OF 1917. By Michael Punke. Read by Christopher Grove. Random House Audio. … Continue reading

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The remarkable story of the second First Lady Adams

Here’s an outstanding biography of an often-overlooked woman. Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson LOUISA: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams. By Louisa Thomas. Books on Tape. Read by Kirsten Potter. 15 ½ hours; 13 CDs. Also available in hardcover from … 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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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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The Civil War – and more

Paul O’Connor observes that even if it shouldn’t be judged by its cover, this book is good reading nonetheless. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE WAR THAT FORGED A NATION: WHY THE CIVIL WAR STILL MATTERS. By James McPherson. Read … Continue reading

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Before Castro, there was the U.S. mob

With Cuba about to be much in the news, Paul O’Connor reviews a 2008 book that should help put the coverage and discussions into accurate perspective. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor HAVANA NOCTURNE: HOW THE MOB OWNED CUBA AND THEN … Continue reading

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Lincoln, military genius

Paul O’Connor somehow missed this excellent Civil War history when it was published a few years ago, and he’s glad he found it now as an audio book. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor TRIED BY WAR: ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS COMMANDER … Continue reading

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