If there is any president of the United States that I have both disgust and intrigue for, it is Andrew Jackson, the southern president who completely changed the face of the presidency from upper class elite to “man of the people.” A president who approved and carried out the first of many Native American relocations

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Like historian Matthew Bowman, I am an active participant in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church. Bowman’s recent overview of the history and people of the Church, The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith (published January 2012 by Random House), provides a different perspective

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I wish I could finish off my series of posts on Henry VI with as much enthusiasm as I had for the second play, but 3 Henry VI (written 1595) was simply not as enjoyable as 2 Henry VI was. In the first place, 3 Henry VI is simply violent from the first scene, when

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In The Girl Who Owned a City (first published 1975, reissued 1995), O.T. Nelson creates an entirely unbelievable post-apocalyptic scenario for middle-grade readers. In the past month, the world population of adults has died of a rapidly spreading plague. All that remains in ten-year-old Lisa’s immediate world are other children, all under the age of

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From my limited perspective (that is, having read Undaunted Courage), the life of Meriwether Lewis was tragedy. He was a very good leader in the midst of an unknown wilderness, yet the results of his expedition were little because of his subsequent drunkenness and ineptitude at producing his results, governing, and otherwise assimilating back in

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There is something to be said for close, careful reading. I must have read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar with the rest of my tenth grade class, but I honestly didn’t remember any of it. I decided to read it this month as a part of the Martel-Harper Challenge, for which Yann Martel chooses “book[s] that ha[ve]

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Bhutto’s autobiography, Daughter of Destiny (published in 1988 as Daughter of the East), tells a completely unique story. Bhutto was the first woman prime minister of a Muslim country (Pakistan), and she first went through years of struggle, including years of solitary confinement, before she could be an example of democracy. Much of her autobiography

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The life of the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith, although short, was full of faith and controversy. In his cultural biography, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Richard Lyman Bushman approaches Joseph Smith’s life for all it was, without apology. Bushman does not omit controversy from Joseph’s life; rather, controversy surrounding Joseph is carefully researched in the

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