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review 2018-05-02 06:31
The President's Daughter - Micky O'Brady


Alix has had so much taken from her.  Her body is not the same.  Her relationships with others' are not the same.  Her feelings about herself and what she can accomplish are not the same.  But all of this is about to change.


Sam and Ian are men in her life that help her in some way.  Whether it be emotional, physical, or mental - they both serve a purpose.  She cares about both of them deeply.  The question now remains, who can help her move on to her future?


This book was fast paced and exciting!  I loved every page and devoured it like candy.  I think the characters themselves are deep and rich.  I love the setting, it gives the writer a lot to enrich the story for the reader.  The book overall was one of the best I have ever read.  I am so excited for the next installment to this new heart thumping series.  I give this a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2018-04-23 21:19
President Carter: The White House Years - Stuart E. Eizenstat,Madeline Albright

It's well past time to give President Carter his due. This book sets out to do just that. Eizenstat has had an up close and personal relationship with Carter for decades. One would think that this would mean that he would only see the "good" in the President, but he also points out the flaws.
While Carter has been stuck with the "aw-shucks" depiction of his personality by the media, the truth is that he is a decent human being who cares deeply about the country. His fault was in taking on too much. Nobody can ever be the most informed and knowledgeable person about so many subjects. But he tried, mightily. Perhaps if he had not bitten off more than he could chew, and learned to delegate more, he would be considered one of the greatest Presidents. He certainly tried!
Given the state of the White House today, I long for a return to having an intelligent human being occupying the Oval Office. One who reads and thinks before he acts impulsively. A return to an adult running the show!
This is a LONG book. There is so much information in it, you would almost think Carter wrote it himself. I found it fascinating. You should read it, if for no other reason than to get the true story of the "killer rabbit"!

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review 2018-04-21 19:33
Review of The General vs. the President by H.W. Brands
The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War - H.W. Brands

A great book that is basically a history of the relationship between General MacArthur and President Truman through the Korean War. I am not well read in this part of history, and I learned a great deal about the backstories of each figure from this story. I understood MacArthur was an egomaniac, and this book confirms that, but I think he probably deserves a bit more respect than history gives him for the good that he did (although admittedly, it is very difficult to like him at all as a person).


As always, the best compliment I can give is that I want to read more about both MacArthur and Truman after reading this book. I think the only negative to this book, and I find this in many of Brands' books, is that he never seems to have a real love or passion for the figures he write about. However, it is true that he can tell a story and keep the pages turning.

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review 2018-03-30 14:28
Rayback for the defense
Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President - Robert J. Rayback

Few American presidents have suffered from a more dismal historical reputation than Millard Fillmore.  Succeeding to the presidency upon the death of Zachary Taylor in 1850, his years in office were characterized by the increasing failure of the political process to deal with the growing tensions over the issue of slavery.  His greatest triumph as president, the shepherding of the Compromise of 1850 to passage, came to be seen in retrospect as a marker on the path leading to secession and civil war.  Even his very name has come to be held against him – after all, what kind of name was Millard Fillmore for a president?


Yet even a president of Fillmore’s poor standing is not without his defenders, and foremost among them is Robert Rayback.  His biography of America’s 13th president highlights a remarkable person and an unlikely path to the nation’s highest political office.  Born into a poor farming family in western New York, Fillmore became an attorney by reading the law.  Moving to Buffalo, he prospered with the city and became a leading figure of the community, soon moving from a lucrative legal career into politics.  An able state legislator and Congressman, his nomination for the vice presidency in 1848 nonetheless had to do more with the complex politics of his state than any acknowledgment of his national stature.  When thrust into the presidency, however, Fillmore rose to the challenge, focusing on sectional peace and winning the esteem of southern Whigs for his defense of the institution of slavery against the increasing anti-slavery clamor of the north.  Yet Rayback sees Fillmore’s hesitation over seeking another term as costing him the Whig Party nomination in 1852, while an ill-advised run for the presidency four years later as the nominee of the nativist American (Know-Nothing) Party represented the climax of his career in politics, leaving him to serve a lengthy retirement engaged in a range of civic activities back in Buffalo


Rayback’s biography is a well-written account of Fillmore’s life and career, though one that is far too sympathetic to its subject.  Throughout the book Rayback exaggerates Fillmore’s opposition to slavery and downplays his staunch support for nativism.  His Fillmore possesses no flaws, only virtues which are then exploited by unscrupulous and self-centered opponents who exploit his high-minded goals for their own selfish ends.  Nowhere is this approach demonstrated more clearly than in his depiction of Fillmore’s relationship with Thurlow Weed, the New York editor and political boss. Weed becomes the great villain in Rayback’s account, reducing William H. Seward, Weed’s associate and Fillmore’s real political competitor, to the status of a mere puppet.  Not only is Weed seen as the primary force behind Fillmore’s political setbacks but also his poor historical reputation – all while Fillmore regularly takes the high road or turns the other cheek.  Such partisanship ultimately proves counterproductive, as it undermines the overall value of his book by bringing into question Rayback’s judgment of Fillmore’s character and accomplishments, which distorts the president’s role in American history.  Readers seeking a more balanced analysis of Fillmore would be better off turning to Paul Finkelman’s more recent biography of the man than this book, which is both defined and limited by its author’s passionate defense of his subject.

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review 2018-03-30 07:17
An insightful reassessment of an unexpected presidency
John Tyler, the Accidental President - Edward P. Crapol

Dismissed by his contemporaries and forgotten by subsequent generations, John Tyler does not immediately stand out as one of America’s more notable presidents.  Yet as Edward Crapol demonstrates in this book, such obscurity unfairly obscures his contribution to American history.  His assertion of authority upon taking over the White House after William Henry Harrison’s death established a precedent that has since come to be taken for granted, his annexation of Texas and extension of the Monroe Doctrine to the Hawaiian Islands furthered the nation’s scope, and his outreach to east Asia paved the way for the Open Door policy with China.  Crapol’s biography of Tyler seeks to give the tenth president his due, demonstrating that his years in the White House left a far more lasting imprint on the nation than is traditionally believed.


As was the case historically with vice presidents, Tyler was selected as Harrison’s running mate for the geographical balance he brought to the Whig ticket.  Upon taking office, though, Tyler soon demonstrated his indifference to Whig party goals.  As president Tyler was a staunch defender of slavery and a strong supporter of national expansion, seeing the two as key to America’s success as a nation.  Despite being isolated politically by the Whigs, he nonetheless found supporters of his goals and achieved a number of foreign policy triumphs.  Yet he failed to achieve his most cherished goal of winning the presidency in his own right, and he left office with the issues he championed serving increasingly to divide the nation – a divide that ultimately forced Tyler at the end of his life to make a momentous decision to renounce his allegiance to the union he had once led.


Though advertised as a biography of Tyler, Crapol’s book is not so much a biography as it is a study of the issues that defined Tyler’s presidency with an examination of the prevalence of those issues throughout his career.  Much of his initial goal of writing a more narrowly focused study of Tyler’s foreign policy as president is reflected in its pages; his pre-presidential career is addressed in passing, and details of both his personal life and his domestic agenda are scanty.  Readers seeking an introduction to Tyler are better off starting off with Gary May’s more concise study , yet for anyone seeking to understand the legacy of our nation’s tenth president this book is an indispensable and insightful study that cannot be missed.

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