Tag Archives: 1776

McCullough is the Right Choice to Commemmorate JFK Anniversary

I am  thrilled to read that David McCullough will be the featured speaker for the JFK Memorial Anniversary ceremony on November 22, 2013.  This event will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the fatal shooting in downtown Dallas.

McCullough has positioned himself as the premier biographer in contemporary literature.  You are aware of his prolific work on John Adams and Harry Truman, but I thought that 1776 and The Greater Journey:  Americans in Paris were simply over the top. 

 To read more about his selection as the keynote speaker, go to this link:

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20121120-historian-david-mccullough-to-headline-dallas-event-for-50th-anniversary-of-jfk-assassination.ece?action=reregister

I have studied the JFK assassination for many years.  I was 9 years old when he came to Dallas.  My mother let me stay home to watch his speech on television, which, of course, he never gave.  The conspiracy theories are interesting, but when you look at what we know, not what we can speculate about, there was only one killer in Dealey Plaza on November 22.  The best resource for this is the amazing and comprehensive work by Vincent Bugliosi entitled Reclaiming America

The 50th anniversary of this event will bring about many more books.  Right now, at the top of the non-fiction list is Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Kennedy.  How many more will we see?  How  many more do we need?

I don’t know the answer to those questions.   But I do know this – the anniversary is not a VIP-event, but it does require a ticket. There will be only a few available. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will have one. I will be there – it will be a memory of a lifetime.

What do you think?  Let’s talk about it really soon!

McCullough Goes Outside the Western Hemisphere for a Gem of a Book

Obviously, I read a lot of business books, but I also enjoy other types as well.  I read novels from Stuart Woods, Catherine Coulter, Harlen Cohen, John Sanford, and I really miss Robert B. Parker, who passed away last year.

I like non-fiction also.  A great best-seller that is now available is by David McCullough, The Greater Journey:  Americans in Paris (Simon and Schuster, 2011).   McCullough is the authorized biographer for Harry Truman, and that book was cryptically called Truman.  He also wrote 1776, featuring great stories of our country’s founders.  His books have obviously focused on events in the Western Hemisphere, so this one is a departure from what we are familiar with from his writing.

The Greater Journey is about Americans who traveled to Paris between 1830 and the early 1900’s.  Obviously, they went by sea, and the book chronicles the fascination that several Americans had with the Parisian arts, dining, and other aspects of its culture.  Among the characters in the book are famous names such as Samuel Morse, Charles Sumner, George Healy, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. 

One thing to keep in perspective as you read this book is that comparing America to Paris in this time period is like comparing apples and oranges.  As a nation, America was only 54-125 years old.  We were an infant compared to the much longer heritage and history that Paris offered these people.  Of course, almost every aspect of culture and civilization that these Americans experienced was better in Paris.  That is only because Paris had much more time to develop them.

I particularly enjoyed these Americans’ fascination with Parisian food, art, and culture.  Of course, most of these people that McCullough chronicles in the book had the money and resources to go first-class. 

And, you could still do that today if you went to Paris.  If you don’t want to do that, this book is a great way to experience the culture from a previous era.  Remember that many of the items that McCullough includes are still open and active in Paris today – the most famous being the Louvre museum.

What do you think?  Let’s talk about it!