Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenberg, Scott Brick (Translation)

5 of 5 stars  *****

There are other biographies on Aaron Burr that are less partial to this founding father of the United States of America. This reviewer reads several reviews of Nancy Isenberg's rendition during its reading to discover some history enthusiasts prefer one authors version over the other. Ron Chernow is one of the favorite biographers on this list. 

Having read Alexander Hamilton's biography, by Ron Chernow, I see the similarities between these two historical figures, regardless of any favoritism between the two men or their biographers. They are both formidable minds eloquent enough to refute the other with logic and reason on opposing issues. Aaron Burr's mental prowess also rivals Thomas Jefferson's in the political arena; thus, posing a threat to Jefferson's power as well. This clash of reputable titans unfolds in the telling of Burr's story.

I especially like Isenberg's explanations at the end of the biography where she answers questions this reader develops during its reading. The impression that men and women change across time challenges the reader to ponder, "In what significant ways?" After one reads Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, it is easier to believe that mankind's competitive nature is the source of much grief and sorrow amid its honorable aspirations. Even those who realize this fall prey to its power.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again by Donald J. Trump

4 of 5 stars ****

I read some reviews of this book that were very negative and lacking in any substantive reason for attacking Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again . I can only surmise that these reviewers are not fans of the book's author, Donald J. Trump, and I suspect that many of them did not even read the book.

Donald Trump writes what he is saying on his campaign trail with a bit more in-depth rationale for saying what he says. Rather than going into the aspects of deal negotiations, he points to his accomplishments, what he continuously builds with quality, punctuality, and under budget. He does not want to give away any secrets. 

He shows the finances of his successful businesses for all the world to see. This is his testimony, his record that attests to his capability of making America great again. Unlike the televised debates, which give rival candidates time to challenge his character, Trump has an unfettered opportunity to make his case why he should be President of the United States. 

This book is compelling for several reasons and Trump's position in the polls is a great indicator that its message reaches many Americans who want a real change in their lives and their politicians. Donald Trump is not a bought candidate so he does not owe special favors to major corporations, unions, or cartels. Trump's history as a son, family man, and his work ethic touch a human side that many people do not see in Donald's public life. These qualities are apparent in the loving children that run his companies. Trump stresses that his children work for what they have just as his father instills in him. 

I come away, after reading this book, with a better knowledge about a man who may, one day, be President of the United States. I am not endorsing anyone at this time but when I do, my choice shall be an educated vote, my own opinion from my own research, and not from the opinions of haters.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

5 out of 5 stars *****

Superb writing by Richard Condon and excellent narration by Christopher Hurt make The Manchurian Candidate a 5 out of 5 star ***** novel.  The story is spellbinding, the characters are intriguing, and the ending is shocking; everything one wants in an espionage thriller.  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Pocket Catechism of the Constitution of the United States by Arthur J. Stansbury (Preface)

5 of 5 stars  *****

The Pocket Catechism of the Constitution of the United States is written just under 40 years after the Constitution is ratified. Even then, the bulk of the population in America prove to be deficient in knowledge about this incredible document. The onus is on parents and teachers to educate subsequent generations about the beauty of this cogent, thoughtful concept of law which recognizes God as the Supreme Being without the coronation of any one religion as the ruling faith in this country. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. 

This small catechism is written for young men, back in the day, but is a refreshing update for today's youth and adult men and women. Since its writing, one can see how the conniving nature of man tries to interpret its wording, the Spirit of the Law, to fit their own agenda, whether for party or individual. Their efforts restrict American individuals' and states' sovereignty, their liberties and their rights as government grows larger and the masses become placated to indifference. This free work of importance is highly recommended lest the greatest society to exist in all of history be undermined by the power-hungry evils of avarice. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Heart Like His: Intimate Reflections on the Life of David by Beth Moore

3 out of 5  ***

Beth Moore recounts David's life in the Bible and describes how he demonstrates the best and the worst of mankind as a sinner and the apple of God's eye. This book elaborates on scripture to show the qualities necessary to please God, to praise God, and to repent wholeheartedly when the transgressions and iniquities occur as they do with David. David is the the best example of one who does not give up on God, one who attributes all of his success and glory to God, and one who receives the unconditional love of God. Beth Moore points out that David conscientiously shepherds his sheep as a boy and continues that considerate protection for his people as a man. In times of trial and desperation, David finds a way, with his faith in the Lord, to come out better because of it. In this way God hones the brave David into a man after His own heart.

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

4 of 5 stars  ****

 This book is well researched and very interesting. The descendants of the real characters from Salem of 1692 are quite different than the personalities that populate this story. Stacy Schiff does an excellent job presenting the documentation in a professional manner. All of that information can read a little dry, at times, but the knowledge that this is the actual history of this Massachusetts colony intrigues the reader.

Schiff provides a privileged peek into the psycho-social interactions of a British colony led by a sophisticated Harvard graduate whose border disputes, tax structures, and religious hysteria cause strife and shame upon the people who perpetuate the madness with a conversion of fear and hate into Satan's mischief. The Witches: Salem, 1692, demonstrates that bad decisions coupled with bad enforcement of such decisions breeds the worst results. Salem, Massachusetts, is forever a reference to man's attempt to control human behavior based on one's interpretation of man's law rather than observing God's law with the compassion of the Gospel, the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Explore the Bible Personal Study Guide Matthew 1-13 Winter 2015-16 by Gregg Matte (General Editor), David Jenkins (Contributor), Jerry Batson (Contributor)

5 of 5 stars  *****

The Explore the Bible series of adult personal study guides by LifeWay is an excellent Bible study that is enriched every Sunday in a classroom atmosphere known as a Life Group. This edition, Matthew 1-13, includes a bonus article at the end of the 13 chapters studied over 13 weeks. That article is a current testimony by Grammy Award-winning artist, Lecrae, who confesses a decision he makes in his youth that haunts him until he stops suppressing the Spirit with alcohol and drugs. His prideful ego keeps him from obeying his conscience which knows right from wrong. Since admitting his sinful ways publicly, he is now a happy man with a family, closer to God. 

Matthew 1-13 is the gospel that shows how Jesus teaches in parables. Matthew, once a tax collector, stops serving the earthly king to serve the King of kings. He presents Jesus as the one the Old Testament prophesies. 

The study includes Christ's baptism, His temptation in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, miracles in public to show His divinity, and His public teaching; the Sermon on the Mount, in particular. This reader, the class, and the teacher of this Life Group, learn more about the Beatitudes and their application than we ever have.

This edition also provides social media sites for Explore the Bible so each study is available on Twitter, Facebook, and a blog to which one may subscribe.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom by Ron Paul

5 of 5 stars *****

Ron Paul writes a very compelling book for the free market, freedom, and liberty. His points are well substantiated with credible research and common sense logic. This author has the inside scoop on the workings of government which make him privy to the truth behind the intentions that crank the wheels of policies and regulations. His point is well taken that the more regulation, the larger the size of government, the less liberty there is. This structure favors only those in power who deceive the voters into thinking what they do for their constituents is for their  good; when actually, their efforts only lead to increases in poverty and suppressing freedom while enriching those in power. 

This book covers the controversial subjects of today: Abortion, Economics, Bipartisanship, Big Business, Capital Punishment, the CIA and Homeland Security, Civil Disobedience, Democracy, Discrimination, Education, Foreign Policy, Global Warming, Gun Control, Insurance, Lobbying, Medical Care, Morality, Political Correctness, Racism, Religion, Slavery, States Rights, Taxes, Terrorism, Unions, and Zionism. I left a few chapters out but they are related to these subjects which are comprehensive. The author is sensible enough to realize that the changes needed to recapture the liberties that made America great are not easy to restore. This author has a higher opinion of Ron Paul since reading Liberty Defined: 50 essential issues that affect our freedom.