Archive for August, 2010

Framing the Sixties – Bernard von Bothmer, Phd.

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press (February 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1558497323
ISBN-13: 978-1558497320
Order from here:

This book covers four Presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Each president during his campaing viewed the sixties through their varied experiences.

The author breaks it up into the Good Sixties and the Bad Sixties. The good sixties were the civil rights acts, Reverend King, and John F. Kennedy. The bad sixties were the Vietnam War, Protests, Riots, and the Johnson administration.

Ronald Reagan for example wanted to overcome the trauma of the Vietnam War. The feeling I got was that he was interested in us having a War that would make us forget “losing” or “giving up” in Vietnam. He didn’t like the welfare programs, or many of the other programs introduced by Lyndon Johnson. He also had a big problem with what he perceived as a lack of social ethics. He wanted the kind of world he grew up in during the 30s/40s.

George H.W. Bush in his early political career was against the Civil rights act. One interviewee said “If your belief is that the superrich and the priviledged should run the world, and everybody should be their slave, then the Great Society did harm”. In his 1992 campaign, Bush made a stronger effort to attack the social conservatives. Part of the campaign also touted Bush’s Military Service but pointed out Clinton’s lack of such service.

One of the topics covered with Clinton was how, like Kennedy he created a volunteer service. Kennedy had The Peace Corps, Clinton had Americorps. But I found out many things about Clinto that I didn’t pay attention to during his presidency. Through the interviews, etc. it seemed as if he was to afraid to be on one side or the other, and worried too much about people liking him.

George W. Bush, one aspect I got of his personality is a very big chip against what he called the “liberal elites”. Reading this, it discussed his college years quite a bit. He was very interested in partying, and not so much in Acadmeics. In fact, one section say’s that if he’d enrolled at Yale a few years later, he wouldn’t have had the academic requirements to get in. I think that probably was a painful thing when Yale started becoming about merit and not about who your parents were.

The authors also cover the campaigns for Kerry, Gore, Obama.

I think it proved to be a very fascinating book. No matter which side of the political aisle you find yourself on, I think it will cause you to take a different look at some of the politicians you’ve supported, and what the “agenda” was behind their public persona’s. If you are a fan of politics, or history, then pick up this book, I think you’ll like it.

About the Author:

Bernard von Bothmer teaches American history at the University of San Francisco, where he received USF’s 2010 Distinguished Lecturer Award for Excellence in Teaching, and at Dominican University of California. He was born and raised in New York City and received a B.A. with honors from Brown University, an M.A. from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in American history from Indiana University. Bernard lives in San Francisco with his wife, Jane, and their two daughters.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Julia at FSB Associates for an e-book copy of this book to review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Giveaway – The Castaways

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Thanks to Valerie at Hachette Book group I”m able to offer my readers 3 copies of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until August 17, 2010.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

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