May 7, 2006 |
AFTER Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast last August, television viewers around the world watched a long phantasmagoria of human beings in agony -- desperate New Orleanians clinging to rooftops, wading through murky floodwaters, wandering along expressways, dying outside the convention center under a blazing sun. More than 1,500 people perished in Louisiana and Mississippi, but the toll could have been far higher.
September 27, 2009 |
The Wilderness Warrior Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America Douglas Brinkley Harper: 960 pp., $34.99 Reviewing several Roosevelt biographies in 1920, H.L. Mencken reported that he had found more "gush" than "sense." Douglas Brinkley's "The Wilderness Warrior," a novel attempt to tell Theodore Roosevelt's life not from the cradle to the grave but with a focus on his subject's environmental interests, walks a fine line between the two, giving us plenty of sense -- and good sense too -- along with the expected truckload of gush.
June 24, 2012 |
Cronkite Douglas Brinkley Harper: 820 pp., $34.99 Walter Cronkite was not inclined to introspection, and historian Douglas Brinkley emulates his subject in this thorough biography of the news broadcaster who in 1972 was declared "The Most Trusted Man in America. " Brinkley's lengthy narrative spends as much time on Cronkite's stints as a paperboy as on his father's alcoholism and his parents' divorce. The author seems more interested in the ins and outs of Cronkite's strained professional relationship with Dan Rather than in his 65-year marriage - though smart, sardonic Betsy Cronkite gets her due as the woman who could cut Walter down to size.
February 22, 2004 |
John Kerry enlisted in the Navy four months before graduating from Yale University in 1966. With U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War escalating rapidly, joining voluntarily offered more attractive options to a young college graduate than did waiting to be drafted. After completing officer candidate school, 23-year-old Ensign Kerry was assigned to the guided-missile frigate U.S.S. Gridley, based in Long Beach.
February 6, 2007 |
THE nation's 38th president didn't live quite long enough to bask in the glow of the latest assessment of his presidency, "Gerald R. Ford" by historian Douglas Brinkley. Ford, who died Dec. 26, would have seen that his pardon of Richard M. Nixon has not only faded as a negative in the eyes of most Americans, but also is now judged a distinct positive. Moreover, Brinkley gives Ford high marks for restoring Americans' faith in their government as well as for several foreign and domestic successes.
May 22, 2007 |
THERE is a great deal of great interest in "The Reagan Diaries," but what sets the late president's personal recollections of his eight years in the White House apart from the recent spate of tell-all, inside-Washington books is what's absent: You can scour this thick volume from back to front and find not a trace of self-righteousness, self-pity or self-justification -- all standard issue accouterments among today's office-holders and political appointees, whether their veins bleed red or blue.