Simon and Schuster

Lady Bird and Lyndon by Betty Caroli

Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President By Betty Boyd Caroli Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781439191224
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 27th, 2015

Marriage is a complicated relationship and the marriage between Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson was more complicated than some. While a brief look would indicate Lyndon was the driving force in that relationship, Caroli posits that Lady Bird was the guiding hand that led him to the presidency. A sad and lonely childhood forged a personality of steel and determination that belied her soft Southern manner. She was a shrewd businesswoman and skilled politician who wooed those whose approval she (and Lyndon) needed. That she also managed the oversized personality of her husband is revelatory, as is the information that Lyndon quite likely suffered from bipolar disorder. Her life was complicated and Caroli has done an admirable job of revealing an interesting and compelling 20th century first lady. – Barbara Hoagland

Katrina: After the Flood by Gary Rivlin

Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, wiping out entire communities and taking thousands of lives. Rivlin focuses on New Orleans, conveying a vivid picture of what happened during the hurricane and the even greater catastrophe that occurred when the levees broke and entire sections of the city went underwater. New Orleans has always been unique, and Rivlin’s tale of the city’s reconstruction, both good and bad are here. Racism, poverty, great wealth and greed all played a part in the eventual remaking of a great city. – Barbara Hoagland

Two Books about WW2

The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (The Pacific War Trilogy #2) By Ian W. Toll Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393080643
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 21st, 2015

Ian Toll and Jay Winik are veteran historians and excellent writers, each with a style that flows easily yet is supported by incredible research. These two books are a part of a new breed of historical scholarship which provides a complete picture of the early part of WWII, a period when the final outcome was far from decided. The Conquering Tide is the second part of a Pacific War trilogy by Toll which may remind readers of Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy. Starting with the Guadalcanal Campaign and ending with the Marianas Campaign, Toll describes the incredibly difficult Pacific Theater and highlights the valor and blunders of both sides. This second part of the trilogy gives a clear picture of what the United States and its allies were facing in early 1942 in the South Pacific as they tried to stop the Japanese juggernaut, especially in light of the “Europe First” global strategy to combat the Axis Forces. The grand strategy of the opponents is clearly described by Toll, but he is at his best when narrating the thousands of smaller tactical encounters between the Japanese and American forces. Detailed maps indicate the grand strategy and remind us of the darkest hours of WWII. Jay Winik, on the other hand, uses the one-year format he first employed in April 1865: the Month that Saved America in his latest book, 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History. The world we live in today was shaped by WWII, and 1944 was the pivotal point of that war. Hitler, Himmler, FDR, Hirohito, Stalin, Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and all of the other supporting characters are brought to life in this narrative which places in context the momentous events of ’44, from the Nazi death camps through D-Day to the atomic bomb. Winik has an approach to historical narrative which is refreshing as he weaves the storyline through the actions of its characters. – Patrick Fleming

Other Books Mentioned in This Piece: 
The Liberation Trilogy Boxed Set: An Army at Dawn, The Day of Battle, The Guns at Last Light By Rick Atkinson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781627790598
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - October 22nd, 2013

April 1865: The Month That Saved America By Jay Winik Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060899684
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Harper Perennial - August 15th, 2006