Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happy National Library Week!

This week (April 10-16) is national library week.  Hooray!  There is nothing like the joy of getting lost in a book or two or twenty.  Ever since graduate school I seem to read multiple books concurrently often one fiction (usually murder mysteries for me), one inspirational/aspirational (often genealogy-based or business-related) and always history/biography.

I am a political scientist by trade.  I spent a decade in Washington, D.C. playing my part in politics and national security.  These days in particular I do not miss being in the thick of things as the "things" seem rather dire.  In an effort to to stay positive in an election year, I turn to my favorite author of American history, David McCullough.  I just finished The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris; a beautifully written story about Americans, many of whom today are renown artists, writers and inventors, but in the nineteen century were individuals trying to make their way in the world.  McCullough has a knack for telling stories that highlight not only those with names we recognize, but also those Americans of whom you might not have heard but have shaped the country and world we now inhabit.

When current events leave you frustrated or confused my advice is to take refuge in the past.  David McCullough has written of many great events (1776 & Johnstown flood), structures (Panama Canal & Brooklyn Bridge) and people, including Missouri's own President Harry Truman.  Check out his books from your local library. You won't be disappointed.

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