Monday, November 18, 2019

With All Due REspect

A Book Review by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, November10, 2019
Reader Note:  Words appearing in BLUE mean they are links to web sites

In my opinion, when people see who wrote this book and that she is a Republican and if they are left of center on the political spectrum, they will determine it to be not worth reading.  That would definitely be their loss.  This is a great book for everyone to read IF they want to read about a strong and principled woman who rose to be the United Nation Ambassador for the United States.  She is a woman in what typically is described as a “man’s world” yet she not only survived she thrived and America is better for her work not only at the United Nations but also as Governor for the State of South Carolina.

As I read the book, I thought about my three daughters and one son and how they may have benefited by reading Haley’s book when they were teenagers.  The one statement that stands out far more than any other in the book was when she described being the American born daughter of a mother and father who both immigrated to America from India.  She was “not white enough to be welcomed by white groups, and she was not black enough to be welcomed by black groups.”  She said she could have let that deter her but instead she moved on.  That is a lesson for everyone regardless of your ethnic heritage or your skin color.

I particularly enjoyed reading about how she rarely if ever took “no” for an answer.  That she fought the status quo and in spite of tremendous odds managed to convince others to do the right things at the appropriate times.  It also depicts the world as it really is rather than what we may think it is or what we see on television.  Many of her experiences are truly shocking as she describes them. I fully realize this is one person’s view of the time she spent as Governor and then as Ambassador yet as I read it, the truth seemed to shine through.  This is a good book and one that every teenager should read and learn from in their early years as there are valuable lessons throughout the book.  Adults could also learn from the book as it provides a window into the operation of a state government, the United Nations and the White House.

Who should read this book?  Everyone interested in improving their position in life and everyone interested in current events and politics!  It’s that good!
Would I read it again?  Probably not, it is not one of those books you need to read more than once.
Would I give it as a gift?  I definitely would! 

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Book Review by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, November10, 2019
Reader Note:  Words appearing in BLUE mean they are links to web sites

Anyone my age grew up in the 50s and we all were well aware of the story of The Alamo, Davy Crocket, Jim Bowie and its many heroes.  What I did not know was the history of incidents leading up to the Alamo and then following the defeat at the Alamo that all resulted in Texas winning its independence from Mexico.  What I also didn’t realize until I read the book was that there were at least TWO Revolutionary Wars in America with the second being in Texas BEFORE it became part of America.  Even so it was a Revolutionary War that was fought primarily by Americans from all parts of the south, east and north.

We all know the story of The Alamo but as famed radio announcer Paul Harvey oftentimes said, “and now for the rest of the story!”  This is the rest of the story about not only The Alamo but also the fight for Texas independence.

I have read other books written by Brian Kilmeade and found them all to be very well written, well researched and held my interest and this book is no different.  It is a history book, no doubt.  It is also to some degree a graphic depiction of what happened at not only the Alamo in San Antonio but also the city of Goliad, Texas and the subsequent battle that lasted just 18 minutes that defeated the professional Mexican army led by Santa Anna.  It is also a complementation of letters, discussions and speeches that redirected the birth of a nation – Texas.  One of the things I was unaware of was the incivility demonstrated by El Presedente Santa Anna when it came to the outright murder of Americans taken prisoner during the war for independence. 

This is the story of a great many American heroes the least of which was Sam Houston and the politics involved at that time in the history of Texas.  It is a book that I really could not put down.  Some books take days, weeks and even months to read and digest; not this one!  It is a great read that I highly recommend everyone read. 

Who should read this book?  I would recommend it to everyone!  It’s that good!
Would I read it again?  I doubt I would read it again but I would certainly look up references contained in the book.
Would I give it as a gift?  I definitely would!