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seriouslyreadabook

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.

Truman

Truman - David McCullough

What a ride (a 55+ hour one to be precise, for those of you who are listening to this as an audiobook, as I did). Truman's life and presidency span what I think of in my made-up historical heuristics as "the olden times" to modernity (e.g. hey, my parents were alive for that!). From his bespectacled adventures in WWI to his early decisions re. Vietnam, the biography of Harry S (stands-for-nothing) Truman was a fascinating window into the makings of modern America. 

As I've been concurrently reading Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, I was particularly impressed with Truman's willingness to surround himself with and listen to the experts in his cabinet (spoiler alert: Nixon is kind of self-conscious when it comes to being the smartest guy in the room). This was all the more important given how naïve Truman could seem at times (e.g. his sweeping statements re. Hitler's suicide being the result of "reaching too far for too much"). 

The book itself is fantastic and epic (and I'm certainly not qualified to write a review of Truman's presidency). While Truman will never be my favorite HST (Dr. Gonzo Hunter S. Thompson will forever hold that place in my heart), I certainly have a new found appreciation for his unimaginably trying presidency and his quirky, uniquely human life.