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review 2017-11-30 03:57
Conservatives in charge
Bourbon Democracy of the Middle West, 18... Bourbon Democracy of the Middle West, 1865-1896 - Horace Samuel Merrill

Bourbon Democracy of the Middle West is a study of the Democratic Party in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, and Iowa during the Gilded Age. Horace Samuel Merrill begins in the aftermath of the Civil War, when the woes of a disorganized party were exacerbated by the chaos created by Andrew Johnson's presidency. Radical Republicans dominated state politics in the region during these years, often adopting a strategy of "waving the bloody shirt" by reminding voters of the Democrats' association with the traitorous South so as to further discredit their opponents. Seeing to shift the conversation, many Midwestern Democrats fell back on traditional issues such as tariff reduction in an effort to rally voters. This galvanized the Bourbon Democrats, a pro-business "cabal" (in Merrill's words) who took over the control of the party organizations throughout the region. In moving the party away from its traditional agrarian and labor roots, however, Merrill sees the Bourbons as missing an opportunity to exploit the Republicans' status as the party of "big business" by forming a countervailing oppositional party of the little man.


In 1872 the Democratic Party reached its nadir with the nomination of Horace Greeley as its presidential candidate. Though they ceded political dominance in the region to the Republicans, the Bourbons succeeded in keeping a lid on reforms that challenged their financial interests and, in cooperation with their counterparts in New York, ensured that the national party organization remained in conservative hands throughout the 1870s and 1880s. Yet while many frustrated farmers and laborers broke with the party during this period, others worked within the organization to resist Bourbon dominance, ultimately triumphing in 1896 with the selection of William Jennings Bryan as the party's presidential nominee -- a renunciation of Grover Cleveland that Merrill sees as proof of the eclipse of Bourbon power.


By adopting a regional rather than the more traditional national focus, Merrill's book offers a valuable look at the mechanics of party operations in post-Civil War America. Though parts of his analysis has not aged well, his considerable archival research has contributed to its endurance as a source for scholars, one that remains rewarding reading for anyone interested in Gilded Age politics.

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review 2017-10-04 19:25
Two ghosts for the price of one
Haunted on Bourbon Street - Deanna Chase


Ice numbed my hands and moved up my arms, making me shiver. I pointed to a shadow, black as coal, moving across the far wall. We stood, paralyzed, while the image grew larger and moved toward us.


This is the first in the series, but I checked twice to makes sure, I felt pretty lost as the author just hurls the reader into the mix of characters and her paranormal world. Jade is an empathy who can sense and read other people's emotions and I guess, has trust issues with witches. When she moves into an new apartment, it turns out to be haunted by ghost that she eventually calls Mr. Sexy, because of the sensual dreams she starts to have starring him.

At the same time, her boss and new friend Pyper is having horrible dreams where a man she calls Mr. Evil is scaring her in her dreams. At first, they think it is the same ghost, kind of a forced story thread to keep the mystery component going as it seems obvious there are two different ghosts. 

Along the way with trying to figure out who is haunting the two women, Jade has a blossoming romance with her apartment's owner, an on the fritz friendship because the friend is now dating her ex (this whole storyline was confusing and not nearly enough flushed out but as this is a series, I think the author plans on addressing this in the next), and Jade finding out about ghosts, angels, and her other powers. 

There was a lot going on, not always laid out or explained the best, or personal relationships fully flushed out but I can see the series getting better as the author settles into her created world and characters. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-10 19:49
Bourbon Sins
Bourbon Sins (Bourbon Kings, Band 2) - J. R. Ward,Marion Herbert,Katrin Kremmler

12,90 €

inkl. MwSt.











Liebe und Verrat, Lügen und Geheimnisse 

Nach dem Tod des Familienoberhaupts hängt die Bourbon-Dynastie der Bradfords am seidenen Faden. Der Patriarch hat nicht nur das Unternehmen hoch verschuldet hinterlassen, nun entpuppt sich sein vermeintlicher Selbstmord auch noch als Mord. Unter Verdacht gerät der älteste Sohn Edward, den sein Vater um alles gebracht hat, was die Zukunft für ihn bereithielt. Während sein jüngerer Bruder Lane alles daran setzt, das Familienunternehmen zu retten, liegt das Schicksal der Bradford Bourbon Company nun ausgerechnet in den Händen ihrer größten Konkurrentin, der Frau, die Edward über alles liebt, aber unerreichbar für ihn scheint … 


Meine Meinung:


Ich habe ja vor einigen Wochen den ersten Teil dieser Reihe, Bourbon Kings, gelesen und war daher sehr gespannt auf den 2. Teil, da der 1. Teil mit einem fiesen Cliffhanger geendet hat. Die Cover gefallen mir sehr gut, sie sehen toll aus im Regal. 


Mir wurde das Buch freundlicherweise vom Verlag zu Rezensionszwecken zur Verfügung gestellt. 


Der Einstieg ist mir im Gegensatz zum 1. Teil hier sehr leicht gefallen, ich war direkt wieder in der Geschichte drin. Der Schreibstil war wieder schön flüssig. 


Der Anfang hat mir wirklich sehr gut gefallen, muss aber sagen, dass das Buch aufgrund seiner vielen Seiten zwischendrin schon seine Längen hatte. Meiner Meinung nach hätten bei der Geschichte auch 100-200 Seiten weniger gereicht. 


Als Charakter hat mir Edward sehr gut gefallen, auch die Geschichte um Sutton und ihm fand ich sehr fesselnd. 


Die Kapitel erzählen ja auch abwechselnd von den verschiedenen Charakteren, die in dieser Geschichte eine Rolle spielen. Gefallen hat mir die Entwicklung von Gin, da möchte ich hier aber nicht mehr vorweg nehmen. 


Alles in allem kann ich hier eine Kauf- und Leseempfehlung geben. Abgesehen von den vorhandenen Längen hat mir der 2. Teil auch gut gefallen und freue mich schon auf den 3. abschließenden Teil. Interessant finde ich an dieser Reihe, dass es um Geld, Leidenschaft, Verrat,  Liebe und Intrigen geht. Von mir bekommt das Buch 4 Sterne. 

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review 2017-08-25 00:00
Bourbon & Beer
Bourbon & Beer - CQ Products Bourbon & Beer - CQ Products Good recipes, but something I'd give more to people who drink/cook with bourbon/beer.
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review 2017-07-16 18:20
The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward - My Thoughts
The Bourbon Kings - J.R. Ward

Holy potboiler, Batman!  The combination of  insomnia and a book that was written to be breezed through made this book a quick read.  J.R. Ward is known for her Dark Brotherhood books that people have been raving about for years.  (I have the first one and yet to read it - but it's in paperback, not ebook, so I'm less inclined to just pick it up.)  This book is the first in a family dynasty epic, romance, mystery, soap opera trilogy.  Well, unless she decides it needs to go further.

For me, the most interesting character in this saga is the eldest brother, Edward.  He's had terrible things happen to him and he's really mostly a shell of a man when we meet him, but I couldn't tear my reading eyes from him.  Broken, beaten and more, scarred and ill - the man is a conundrum. :)

The heroine of this tale, Lizzie King, is the head horticulturist at the estate of the uber-wealthy bourbon barons, the Bradfords.  And she has history with the youngest son, Lane.  I alternated between enjoying her independent self and rolling my eyes at her silliness.  I wanted to pinch her, hard, more than once. 

Much of the book, the characters, the setting, the feel of the thing is cliché, but it's enjoyable!  The writing is okay - Ward writes for the present, lots of pop culture references that will be out of date in another 10 or less years and those inner dialogue asides that almost but not quite break the fourth wall.

I'm going to read the next book, but I will most definitely wait until it goes on sale.  I may even check out that Dark Brotherhood book I have up in the bookcase. 

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