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lanewillson

lanewillson

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Voices in Our Blood: America's Best on the Civil Rights Movement
Jon Meacham
Shelby Foote: A Writer's Life
C. Stuart Chapman
Mindfulness and Acceptance: Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition
Steven C. Hayes, Victoria M. Follette, Marsha M. Linehan
Washington: A Life
Ron Chernow
Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia
Michael Korda
The 13th Sign
Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Coolidge

Coolidge - Amity Shlaes “The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself.” -“The buck stops here!” - “ Ich bin ein Berliner!” –“ Tear down this wall!” – “I did not have sex with that woman.” The inspiration of the American experiment is fueled by the great words of her leaders. So powerful are these words, and the men who gave them birth, that their momentum carries across the hearts of generations. To these men and their words we erect statues, monuments, and glorify the historic legacy they inspired.However, at times, it can be decades before a President’s message can be understood, and its value truly appraised. Such is the case of our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge. “Silent Cal” as he was known then and now, was more famous for what he did not say, rather than what he did. Seated next to a woman at a dinner party, she told President Coolidge that her friends had wagered she would get no more than three words from him during the entire evening. What followed were the words that would define President Coolidge, “You lose.” Coolidge by Amity Shlaes illustrates the wisdom espoused by the President and illuminates much about Coolidge that I did not know. In addition to an obsession about spending as little of the taxpayer’s money as possible, his administration used “scientific taxation”, and demonstrated that revenues could actually be increased by lowering tax rates. For such a stoic figure in his public and historic persona, Coolidge was actually a truly compassionate man. The death of his son, a life changing event for anyone to be sure, for Coolidge became motivation to be open to others although in a private fashion. Hearing of his son’s death, a boy went to the Whitehouse gate, and when a staff member asked the boy why he was there he said he just wanted to give his condolences to the President. The boy was taken to see President Coolidge, and afterwards Coolidge told his staff that whenever a child was there to see him, they were to bring the child in “and don’t make them wait”.Had I not been on a quest to read about each of our presidents, I probably would not have chosen to read about Coolidge. Ms. Shlaes made the life of President Coolidge quite captivating, and his life’s story one well worth the journey.