Monday, April 30, 2012

The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson By David Barton

In this book David Barton tries to convince the reader that Jefferson was an extremely religious man and that all of his decisions were based on divine intervention (not really, just me exaggerating).  It is really disheartening to see this "Jefferson debate" taking place.  It seems that the atheists want to paint him with the "I am a secular" brush and the religious fanatics want to pain him with the "I am  a Saint" brush.  Neither one suits me at this point in time.  I believe that Jefferson was a religious person as is proof by his own words on many letters he personally penned. It takes away from the other many Jefferson accomplishments. With that said, Jefferson was a complicated person in the sense that he was a well read person and a person with many interests and talents. He was a deep person that was a thinker.  He wrote to his nephew, "Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." However I think that Mr. Jefferson did not want a government to be tied to any religion or any religion tied to a government. 

The premise of this book is to prove the "myths" of Jefferson to be false. Although I agree with some of Mr. Barton's assertions, it seems he took the liberty to interpret certain things through a religious prism were it probably should not have been.  The book however does whet the pallet to read addition works of Mr. Jefferson.  One of the books recommended to me when I commented on a review at Amazon is "Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson" by Alan Pell Crawford.  I am interested in researching the many phases of this remarkable man, specifically his religious beliefs and how they changed through out his lifetime and/or how they stayed the same. 

Critics are harsh of Mr. Barton asserting that references in the book are not primary-source references.  Honestly, I have not looked at all of them as more than 30% of the total pages (via Kindle) were bibliography.  However, I did look at some and they appear to be "creditable".  I plan to go back and review it (on the Kindle it is difficult to do though).

The book tries to dispel the myth regarding Jefferson fathering the son of one of his slaves.  Mr. Barton points to media bias where false information regarding  DNA results in the late 1990's was leaked and all media outlets ran with the story.  A couple of weeks later, the source admitted that the information was false.  The retraction did not get the same fan-fair as did the former story.

Other myths included: Jefferson starting a secular college (University of Virginia) in 1819, The writing of the "Jefferson Bible" which we know he did, and why he actually did it, also the myth that Jefferson hated clergymen.  These are just a few.  If you like Jefferson, I recommend the book at a minimum for contrast to other works about Jefferson.  An author I know said "..Barton starts with his conclusions and then tries to prove them."  this is true.  If you are opened minded and take it as a contrast piece, you should be OK.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595554599
ISBN-13: 978-1595554598

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Samuel Adams: A Life by Ira Stoll

Samuel Adams was one of my favorite founding fathers.  He would not be as popular as he is today if not for the Beer that was named in his honor. With that said, most other founding fathers were arguably not as religious as Mr. Adams and I think the progressive historians tend to favor non-religious people or people that they can explain away their heavy religious beliefs so they can advance their narrative; Adams is NOT one of those people.

This book does a good job detailing Mr. Adams' life from early on as well as the MANY positions he held in politics since he was 23 years old.  Mr. Adams was a very religious person and to a large degree, against Catholicism as it "worhips" the Pope.  He felt that the Pope's position and power was not commensurate with a society of free people.  Mr. Adams was an incredibly brave man.  During the time he opposed the King, we would have lost his head literally for saying the things he did.  I really enjoyed this book.  There are very few books on Mr. Adams and this is my first one.  I plan to read the others however they are not on the Kindle which is a problem for me.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Free Press (November 4, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0743299116

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Book two of the Hunger Games trilogy. This book was OK.  I liked the first one better though.


In this book, Katniss and Peeta are forced into the arena once again.  However since winning the Hunger Games, President Snow is worried that the support for Katniss will spark a revolution in the districts.  The Capitol plans a new Hunger Game where the past winners fight to the end.  Strangely in this story, the other tributes seem to be willing to risk it all, including their lives to save both Peeta and Katniss.  The book ends with a need that made me immediately pick up the Mocking Jay and start IT.

This book is replete with killing and description of gore.  I did enjoy the book and recommend it if you have already invested the time on Hunger Games to continue as the second and third movie will surely happen very soon based on the first one's incredible success.

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 391 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439023491
ISBN-13: 978-0439023498

Monday, April 2, 2012

Behold a Pale Horse By: Milton William Cooper

OK, let me begin by stating the obvious.  I am a Freemason.  This book is an Alex Jones conspiratorial book.  Not being a member of the Bildeberg Group, CFR or Skull and Bones, I cannot really speak to his research on those groups, however being a Freemason, and him being as off as he is on Masons, I suspect the other groups he covers is equally incorrect.

After reading the first three chapters, I was unable to continue.  I do not ascribe to conspiracy theories.  I am sure that this book was researched by Mr. Cooper and I am sure he is passionate about what he has written.  With that said, being that he has so much wrong on Freemasons, I cannot take what he says serious.  Therefore, I find it a wast of my time.  Will move on to something more substantive.  

Paperback: 500 pages
Publisher: Light Technology Pub (December 1, 1991)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0929385225
ISBN-13: 978-0929385228

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's Dangerous to be Right when the Government is wrong by: Andrew Napolitano

Another Amazing book from this era's Thomas Jefferson on steroids.  His wealth of knowledge on Constitutional matters is virtually unequaled today.  In this, his sixth book, The Judge tackles the many fallacies that are propagated to the public by media, schools, and other progressive talking heads.   Napolitano is, as always extremely neutral with regards to party.  He is an "equal opportunity basher".  He pulls no punches. 

This book  was thoroughly researched and Judge Napolitano breaks things down for both the learned and layman.  Napolitano points out where the various "central" governments lost their ways and how it eventually ended up with the people losing their rights.

Some label Mr. Napolitano as a "Right-winger" and I even saw a comment on Amazon about him being a mouthpiece for Saudi royalty. He is a confessed libertarian that believes in personal rights and freedoms. regardless of your party.  

" consider the passage of Obamacare. Your once private communications and medical decisions with your doctor will now be regulated and monitored by the government. The law requires the Department of Health and Human Services to issue forty thousand laptops, one to each primary care physician in the United States, and it requires the physicians to record for federal bureaucrats whatever you tell your physician and whatever your physician tells you."

It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong (Andrew P. Napolitano) Page 141

Just one of the nuggets from this book.  I absolutely love reading Napolitano.  I wish he would consider running for office.  The united stated needs someone like him, intelligent with fidelity to the Constitution. 

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595553509
ISBN-13: 978-1595553508