Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'The Death of a President'

Hey there, y'all.

Sorry it's been awhile since I've ducked in here. The last couple of weeks at work have been nuts. It's the busy season for us, too. One of several.

Not too much to report. We had a great Thanksgiving. Hope you did, too.

Saturday night I was feeling well enough to take a jaunt to Johnson City. I hadn't seen Robinella since our wedding and we were overdue for a short and sweet road trip.

So, we went to the Down Home and heard some tunes and detoxed from all the turkey and tryptophan.

I've been neglecting my reading since finishing Tom Brokaw's new book. Tonight after work and a later appointment, I ducked into the Fountain City Branch Library and borrowed William Manchester's "The Death of a President." I thought about it last week when that awful anniversary came and went. Hate to admit it, but I've yet to read it. (Can you believe this one-time best seller is out of print?!)

Manchester writes in a distinctive style that is both anachronistic and charming. I have to keep a dictionary nearby. But I love it. His two books on Churchill are must haves for any student of history and I enjoyed what I read of "American Caesar," Manchester's biography of Douglas MacArthur.

Jenn tells me that sometimes I get submerged in whatever historical anniversary we're bumping up against at the time. Maybe so. This year, I stumbled onto a YouTube series of the CBS broadcast day from Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, beginning with "As the World Turns," which was interrupted about 10 minutes after its 1:30 p.m. (Eastern) start time when Walter Cronkite read the first of the fateful wire dispatches from Dallas.

I watched about 30-some installments of it over the course of a week and finally decided to dig up a copy of Manchester's book. I'll let you know what I think when I'm through.

Here is a link to a 2009 Vanity Fair story that tells the stunning, tragic story behind the book's publication, which was fought by Jackie Kennedy for a time.

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Blogger Chuck said...

Good for you, Jake. Studying history, either ancient or recent, gives one an excellent yardstick for measuring current events. They can see, first hand, the similarities between the 60's struggles - anti-war rallies, civil rights demonstrations - and the Occupy movement. They understand that the tragedy at Kent State is related to the pepper spray incident at UC Davis. Your love of history gives you a wonderful perspective as you witness events yet to come. Keep reading, Jake, and, for God's sake, keep writing.

9:53 AM  

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