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Seriously, Read a Book!

Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...

Currently reading

The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking
Mike Rohde
The Antidote
Oliver Burkeman
The Kind Worth Killing
Peter Swanson
Data Points: Visualization That Means Something
Nathan Yau
James Buchanan
Jean H. Baker, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.


Wilson - A. Scott Berg

“Tommy” Woodrow Wilson was so many things- consistent in his inconsistency, if you will. A. Scott Berg captures Wilson in a very readable narrative with a flow that was only interrupted by Berg’s insistence on using biblical quotes at the beginning of each chapter drawing parallels between Wilson and Jesus (annoying- the quotes, not Jesus...to my knowledge).

Wilson garnered the most respect from me during his time at Princeton. While his ideas didn’t necessarily set in, he basically laid the framework for the liberal arts education. He definitely made some bad calls while in the White House (e.g. Jim Crow laws), and wasn’t exactly forward thinking when it came to social issues. At the same time, he was strikingly aware of the ramifications of some of the decisions he made, which was, in some ways, all the more painful. Yeah, destroying Germany too much might have some unintended consequences, so you may want to look into that. He was also a grudge holder to a fault- whether or not this was “medically-induced” is kind of irrelevant.

Wilson’s mental and physical decline during his presidency were pretty fascinating given the working hypothesis that he may or may not have been suffering from dementia while trying to pull together the League of Nations and/or that his wife and doctor may have been trying to pull a pseudo Weekend at Bernies (historical recreation below):