Here's what happened to me after a few weeks of doing intensive Twitter research and madly posting tweets: I have a deep craving for history. It's kind of like gorging on chips, pizza, ice cream and beer and then suddenly feeling the urge for something more sustaining.

 

Cards on the table: as long-time journalist I was plugged into every possible information delivery system for years and did R&D on some of them. And I am highly practiced at writing/editing to space -- Twitter's 140-character limit is no big deal. So nothing personal and no offense to all you lovers of the latest thing that permits constant contact.

 

Anyway, at the same time Twitter fatigue was setting in the Pulitzer Prizes were announced and the books that won were filled with events and personalities of the past. That reminded me that I have been wanting to read The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family," by Annette Gordon-Reed, which tracks many generations of Sally Heming's family. The Pulitzer judges (it won in the history category) noted that Gordon-Reed's book "casts provocative new light" on the relationship between the Thomas Jefferson and his slave. I'll say. Gordon-Reed also won the National Book Award.

 

Also gathering raves (and National Book Award and Pulitzer finalist laurels) This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust. It's been on my must-read list but, alas, has not made it to my bedside table.

 

So now that I am easing into the slow lane of reading history and watching baseball the most pressing question is: which of these two books shall I read first?

0 Kudos
Comments
by Moderator Melissa_W on ‎04-24-2009 12:55 PM
Thou shalt read This Republic of Suffering - I thought it was excellent!
by B&N Bookseller Sarah_R on ‎04-30-2009 12:08 PM
As a Jefferson fan (my dad's influence; he attended the University of Virginia and at one time hoped I would do the same), I'm planning on reading The Hemingses of Monticello as soon as I find some free time to tackle it. I vote for the same for you.
by PoeBoy on ‎10-25-2009 11:48 AM

 

I have a recommendation for a recent historical novel--David Chacko and Alexander Kulcsar's GONE OVER. For an unbiased review (not the usual Friends and Family), follow this link: http://openlettersmonthly.com/blog/microreview-gone-over/

 

You'll want to thank me.

 

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