Benjamin Carter Hett’s The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic isn’t the first book I have read trying to explain how Hitler came to power, but it’s the best. Reading it as too many Americans pretend that Biden’s victory saved American democracy was particularly sobering.
Jack Kelly’s The Edge of Anarchy: the Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America tell the story of the Pullman strike of 1894. This is another of those books that shows exactly how little progress has been made in America over the last 127 years. Reading it in the context of the wealth gap increasing during a pandemic also struck a cord. Still,Kelly did a great job telling a critical story.
If you like history and/or you want to learn more about the real America, The Edge of Anarchy will not disappoint. It will upset you though.
Since I have fallen way behind on these, I’m going to give a general overview of Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series through the first seven books. I’m currently reading the eighth book, because there is a lot about the characters and the series I really enjoy. As you will see, something bothers me and may result in my not finishing the series.
Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the best book I have read about American history. While it’s not perfect, I love the way Zinn acknowledges his own biases and attempts to explain a much accurate version of American history than is almost ever shared.
Greg Grandin’s Fordlandia is reported to describe the rise and fall of Henry Ford’s Brazilian rubber plantation. In reality, Fordlandia is another striking example of the destruction and exploitation brought by capitalism.
Scott Turow’s The Last Trial is billed as the final courtroom battle of 85-year-old defense lawyer Alejandro (Sandy) Stern. As a fan of Turow’s novels and Stern, who has appeared in all of them, I was conflicted as I began the book. While I recognize characters, like real people, must retire and even die, I kept thinking of how Sandy would go out and what would be next for the franchise.
I usually like Stephen King’s books. As a person waging a lifelong battle with insomnia, a book involving the insomnia of the main character interested me.
Critical is the seventh book in Robin Cook’s Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery series. I have now read the first seven books in the series. Like the first six, I found Critical both entertaining and somewhat educational.
Thomas Frank’s The People No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism was an easy, entertaining read.
The Price of Peace is Zachary Carter’s look at the life and ideas of economist John Maynard Keynes. While economics can often be a boring subject, I found The Price of Peace to be an important, educational read.