Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Actually Finished A Book in Less Than Six Months!

I finished the John Adams last week and was actually sad when the book ended. It was such a wonderful book and I learned a lot abut one of our most important founding fathers to the point where I wonder what kind of half assed history education kids are getting in public schools. I always thought that George Washington and Ben Franklin were the big kahunas in the push for our independence from Britain but that was just not so. It was John Adams who convinced and tirelessly pushed the Continental Congress to declare our independence. It was also so interesting to see that there were no political parties when the government was first set up but that they naturally formed because of human nature. The politicians of way back when, though dealing with different issues, had the same personalities of today's politicians. Some were pure of heart and truly believed in what they were fighting for while others were out for the power. I do have to say that the personal attacks were cutthroat back then though- they make our modern elections look like a petting zoo.

Reading this book and 1776 (also by David McCullough) had created a voracious appetite in me for reading books about history. When my kids are older and learning these things in school I want to be able to give them a broader and more interesting picture of what went on in history than the sub-par history books that schools base their curriculum on. History is exciting but the reason a lot of people don;t think so is because when they are learning it in school it is so watered down and sterilized that all of the truly interesting parts are taken out.

I have now started reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. So far I like it but the author takes a bit more liberties than in John Adams perhaps because John Adams was simply someone who wrote more letters and was more apt to write out how he felt at all times (letters are one of the main ways that the authors researched their books). His wife was also very candid in her writings so David McCullough just didn't have to imagine what may have happened- it was all on paper. 

Once I finish Alexander Hamilton I want to move onto Washington (also by Ron Chenrow). I used to stay up late watching TV at night but since I've been so worn out I've just been reading in bed an I honestly don't miss the TV (don't you worry though, I still DVR my trashy reality shows to watch when I'm laying on the couch feeling nausous during the day).

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