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IMPORTANT NOTICE: The blogger has received notice of new responsibilities relevant to new "laws" coming from the European Union. The blogger receives no personally indentifiable information. As the task of understanding just what this new "law" (not applicable to American citizens) means will take some time, The Musical Patriot respectfully asks citizens in the European Union to cease and desist from accessing this blog for the time being. I completely regret the need for this request. When things are clearer, I will have more to say. I look forward to welcoming Europeans back to this blog. Europeans and others are instead directed to my new blog with a new host. (See link in post below.)

Welcome to THE MUSICAL PATRIOT (In Exigency), a web log of information and inspiration. Also included are events of interest in my own life. (Comments to any post may be made by clicking on the "COMMENTS" link. Commenting is moderated.) This blog is now in its thirteenth year. To get the most out of this blog a free subscription is recommended. See "Subscribe To" in the column to the right.
Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster
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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Books Worth a Million

Your Musical Patriot is enjoying reading two books currently.

The first is A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.  This book has been out for quite a number of years now and is quite famous.  I had always avoided it, somehow afraid it would be full of histrionics or maudlin sentimentality.  The book has neither.  What is has instead is solid, if unknown, history and is more than merely useful.  In fact, it is eye-popping in its breadth and revelatory nature.

The People's History truly shows a hidden history of this nation and its peoples.  Notice that
"peoples" is plural, as Zinn is as interested in Native Americans and non-native Americans, as well as the people traditionally called "Americans."  It is a history more of struggle between economic classes as it is between England and its colonies, for example.

There is ever so much to learn here, about war and economics, plenty and want, the oppressed and the oppressive.  In a later post I plan to present some of the specifics found in this wonderful book of history.

The second book, Master of the Senate, is also a book of important history.  Primarily a book about Senator Lyndon Johnson, there are -- as in the other Johnson books by author Robert Caro -- vignettes, almost mini-biographies -- of other important figures, such as Richard Russell and Leland Olds.

Master of the Senate, along with its two predecessor books on Johnson show fairly clearly how the Johnson of the Viet-Nam War came to be.  We see Johnson as domineering, manipulative, and suspicious, even as he can show warmth and even humor.

The Viet-Nam War is something the United States has never apologized for.  This lack of expressed regret weakens America's moral authority in the world.  Until there is appropriate sorrow over American military action in that far-off land, the United States can never stand completely on the moral high ground in condemning other nations for their aggression, even when in the right.

So here are two books which can be highly recommended.  They are even useful for our politics now. The inquisitive and wise reader would do well to consult their narrative counsel.  

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