Sunday, March 04, 2007

The LuLac Edition #167, March 4, 2007



One thing political junkies all have in common are good books. With the popularity of the internet, it was thought that publishing would take a nosedive but that just hasn’t happened. Here’s a listing of some of my favorite political books through the years:

WHATEVER IT TAKES by Richard Ben Cramer. A recap of the 1988 Presidential race, this thing digs deep into the trivia and major events of that race. Two great tidbits, the behind the scenes wrangling to try to make the Dukakis family as cool as Jesse Jackson’s and Richard Gephardt maxing out a credit card with a cash advance to make one last desperate media buy in the primaries. Fascinating stuff.

THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 by Theodore White.
White’s political reporting illuminated in each one.

THE DEATH OF A PRESIDENT by William Manchester. A fascinating look into the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination and the reactions of key players. Jackie Kennedy tried to have the book banned at one point even though she commissioned Manchester as the Author.

FASCINATING RYTHME by Leonard Garment. A Washington insider thought to be “Deep Throat”, Garment gives you an incredible insight into the mind of both Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Alexander Haig. One of the unsung books on power politics in Washington.

HUEY T. LONG by T. Harry Williams. A huge retrospective biography of the former Louisiana politico that takes you back to the Huey Long era.

THE NIXON TRILOGY by Stephen Ambrose. Ambrose digs deep into the Nixon mind and you can’t help but feel a little sympathy for what was going on in the mind of that brilliant man. Ambrose talked to thousands of sources that helped paint a portrait of the mass of contradictions called Richard M. Nixon.

RE-ELECTING LINCOLN-THE BATTLE OF THE 1864 ELECTION by John Waugh. The premise of this book is that this was one of the most critical elections in our nation’s history with the Civil War still not finished, one of Lincoln’s ex general’s (McClellan) running against him and the pragmatic decision of Honest Abe to form a fusion ticket and pick a Southern Senator named Andrew Johnson as his Vice President. A lot of palace intrigue. A great read.

FIGHTING FOR LIFE by Robert P. Casey, Senior. A wonderful auto biography by the late Governor. He penned it when he left office in the mid 90s and the book chronicles his health problems as well as his pro life stance.

PROFILES IN COURAGE by John F. Kennedy. Okay, even if he didn’t write the damn thing, the book is a treasure as it takes you through a journey of American history and those courageous enough to take issues head on.

DARK HORSE-A BIOGRAPGHY OF WENDELL WILKIE by Steve Neal. A thoughtful, well put together tome on the candidate who came from nowhere and nearly beat Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. His undoing was his patriotism and the recognition that America did indeed need to get into World War II. After his defeat, FDR and Wilkie became close politically and personally.


Our friend Pete Cassidy weighs in today on books from the Vietnam era. Cassidy believes that some of these books might contain lessons that apply to our current involvement in Iraq. Here's his comments:

I've researched this for over 35 years. The five best books about Vietnam. Books which, if read by the Bushie group might have caused second thoughts on War!
In no particular order-
"Street Without Joy" ( the French path to the inevitable end)
"Hell in a Very Small Place" (the inevitable end)
Both by Bernard Fall
who was later killed on patrol with the US Marines in Vietnam.
"A Bright Shining Lie" Neil Shehan Brilliant. John Paul Vann the guy "who got it in Vietnam ". One cat who I believe knew what was goin on and what if anything could be done about it.He was a General out of uniform and would have been a General in if he could only have kept his hands off the babysitter. Morals issues didn’t play well in the late 60s.
"The Best and the Brightest" David Halberstam
An incredibly eye opening work for me at the time by a man who is a national treasure for his writings on America...
"Dispatches" Michael Herr Flashes of brilliance!!! It can put you there...





At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Personally I hope youre going to announce a large monetary score allowing LuLac to branch into TV, Publishing and Radio. New offices and the appointment of a VP in charge of Marketing who will receive an enormous salary. Perhaps Lackawanna County has come up with $500,000 for the LuLac Movie to be produced locally under the direction of Sam Peckinpah and starring Matt Damon as the young Jake. Edgar Buchannan set to play Pete Cassidy.

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arthur Schlessinger, David Halberstam, Teddy White, much of Stephen Ambrose...Shelby Foote. By the way, didn't Ted Sorenson really write "Profiles in Courage? Maybe... Daddy said, "Make my son a war hero, then Write my son a book "
Make my son president!!!

At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of good books, how 'bout your new one. I got the book and I am LOVING IT!! You're brilliant and don't you ever forget it.


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