Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

July 11, 2005

Reading American History

I'm on an American history kick. I decided a while back to read through American history by reading biographies only. So far I've read through three generations:

John Winthrop (1588-1649)
Increase Mather (1639-1723)
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Next up:
John Adams (1735-1826).

Anyway, this has proven to be a fascinating way to read through history. I'm hooked! In fact, I think perhaps that after I've finally read through to the present generation, I'll just start over again!

Oh, and I've decided to tweak the rules a little bit (remember, after all, that a foolish consistency is only the hobgoblin of little minds). For each century I'll insert a non-biography into the mix. Something that captures the essence of the time and place. You see, while reading about Increase Mather, I learned a little about the so-called King Phillip's War in New England, and realized I knew almost nothing about this very important episode in American colonial history. Consequently: the next book in the series will not be a biography, but will be Flintlock and Tomahawk, by Douglas Edward Leach. After that, John Adams, and after that, who knows? If anyone has a suggestion (someone born in the first half of the 19th century), I'm listening!

BTW: You'll notice that the links above are not to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any other commercial bookseller, but to RedLightGreen, which is essentially a vast but easy-to-use library catalog. With this service you can find a book, and then find out whether any library in your area holds that book. You need to sign up, creating a user-profile, but its a free service, and I just think that I should be promoting library-use here at Mr. Standfast. So from now on, all book-links here will be to RedLightGreen. And if anyone wants to join me in this reading plan, well hey, maybe we can start a group-blog. Call ourselves the bio-bloggers or something!


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