My Dad recently expressed some amazement at the number of books I have read lately. He is right that I have stepped up my book-reading efforts in the last couple years since I was hired at Fort Larned. Working in two new parks necessitated building a library of knowledge to help me do my job, which put a strain on my library shelf itself. Since the advent of the Kindle I've been able to continue devouring books without having to find a place for them. As for the rest of the books, I have started selling some of them off on Amazon just because I have no place to keep them. Some have commented to me, joking they don't know how to judge someone unless they can see what kind of books are on their shelf. Since downsizing and getting rid of old stuff in Kansas, I have tried to avail myself of the need to keep trophies.
So what have I been reading this year? Maybe some of these will sound interesting to you.
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
American Sphinx by Joseph Ellis
FDR by Jean Edward Smith
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War by David Halberstam
Washington Burning: How a Frenchman's Vision for Our Nation's Capital Suvived Congress, the Founding Fathers, and the Invading British Army by Les Standiford
The Killing of Crazy Horse by Thomas Powers
Martin Luther King, Jr. by Adam Fairclough
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr edited by Clayborne Carson
Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power by Garry Wills
Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent
Lee by Douglas Southall Freeman
The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Black Cavalry in the West by William Leckie
In Search of the Racial Frontier by Quintard Taylor
Ratification by Pauline Maier
I'm currently reading Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard.
"But wait!" you say, "You haven't read any books on World War II! Don't you work at the World War II Memorial?" Yes, but I took two semesters' worth of WW2 history in college. Never fear, I bought a copy of Hitler by Ian Kershaw at the Holocaust Museum. It's still in the shrink wrap for now.
The only books I would not recommend would be Buffalo Soldiers, Negro President, and Washington Burning. Buffalo Soldiers focused way too much on military movements and completely ignored the social and cultural implications of the Buffalo Soldiers to the modern day. Negro President started off strong, polemic though it is, but petered out halfway through. Washington Burning wasn't particularly well-organized or captivating, and rather glossed over the War of 1812.
The best books in the bunch, for me, were Alexander Hamilton, Colonel Roosevelt, FDR, Washington, and Destiny of the Republic.
The best book I read in 2010, not included on this list, was The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick.