The Tower of London’s manifestation as an exit-through-the-gift-shop tourist attraction is nothing new. In the early 17th century, crowds gathered on the wharf to catch a glimpse of imprisoned national hero Sir Walter Raleigh taking his constitutional on the terrace still known as Raleigh’s walk.
Long before it was famed as a prison, the Tower was known as a public menagerie, though medieval standards of care left much to be desired. It was the best available in animal welfare when Henry VII complained at seeing two mastiffs set loose on a lion. He ordered the dogs to be hanged for having the effrontery to “with such villainy assault the lion, the king of all beasts”.
Read the rest of the review at Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London by Nigel Jones: review – Telegraph.
Review by Jad Adams – Telegraph
Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London by Nigel Jones on Amazon.com
If there is a consensus among historians about any seminal event in human affairs, it’s that the First World War had to happen. Not necessarily in 1914 because an Austrian archduke was assassinated, but around then and for some excuse. Too many people with the power to make war happen thought it was the answer to their nation’s problems, and far too few had any idea what it would unleash: the deaths of nine million soldiers and the utter ruin of the old order. That presents journalist Beatty’s counter-argument with an uphill battle from the start; that he succeeds in making an intriguing (if ultimately unsuccessful) case is an achievement in itself.
Read the rest of the review at REVIEW: The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began – Books – Macleans.ca.
Review by Brian Bethune
I have heard many things about how corrupt US President Richard Nixon was, but I was taken aback when I read the headline of the Daily Mail website. Tom Leonard reports on the new book by Don Fulsom and the allegations Fulsom makes of Nixon’s relationship with Charles ‘Bebe’ Rebozo.
He carpet-bombed Cambodia, spewed out anti-Semitic slurs and crude misogynistic jokes in the White House and smeared his political opponents with ruthless ‘dirty tricks’ campaigns.
And, of course, he lied to his country about his involvement in the Watergate scandal and went down in history as America’s shiftiest, darkest President.
Given everything that Richard Nixon has been accused of, it’s difficult to believe there could be any more skeletons left in his cupboard. But it seems there are.
A new biography by Don Fulsom, a veteran Washington reporter who covered the Nixon years, suggests the 37th U.S. President had a serious drink problem, beat his wife and — by the time he was inaugurated in 1969 — had links going back two decades to the Mafia, including with New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello, then America’s most powerful mobster.
Yet the most extraordinary claim is that the homophobic Nixon may have been gay himself. If true, it would provide a fascinating insight into the motivation and behaviour of a notoriously secretive politician.
Miravista Press Challenges Every American to Pass the U.S. Citizenship Test with the Release of Their New Book, the American Challenge
I think learning about your history is important, or I wouldn’t have started this website. I’m Canadian, but in high school, I made sure that I took an American History course because I feel that is knowledge that you need. This press release from MiraVista Press announces a new book that will hopefully show more people the importance of learning their history.
America will not remain a great nation unless it has informed citizens who understand their country’s history and form of government.
MiraVista Press announces the release of their new book, “” (ISBN 9780966580440) by Robert C. Etheredge. Alarmed by the dismal state of the public’s knowledge of their country’s founding principles, history, and government, Etheredge put together a resource that covers what every American should know about their country. It explores the common heritage of an uncommon nation—the values, beliefs, history, and traditions that bind us all together.
Several recent studies have highlighted the lack of civic literacy in this country. Newsweek gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. Citizenship Test and 38 percent failed, almost half not being able to define the Bill of Rights. An Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) test given to Americans in 2008 produced similar failure rates with half of those tested being unable to name all three branches of government. Failures were almost evenly split among Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. This is a wake-up call for all Americans. As the ISI study stated, “The Founding Fathers understood that our constitutional system and the liberty it protects could endure only if Americans retained an understanding of our founding principles.”
“” is an illustrated review of American history, civics, and culture. It is a unique collection of everything that makes America great–famous speeches, poems, and songs; founding documents; information on Presidents and heroes; an illustrated history timeline; maps depicting the growth of states; basic government civics information; Americana; basic economic concepts; care of the American flag; flags of all states; a table of military ranks; and details of all Presidential elections. It contains over 600 illustrations, maps, and pictures.
Can you pass the U.S. citizenship test? Read this book and you can…
“” is a valuable resource for all citizens, and all who want to become citizens, and is a helpful addition to any household. The U.S. Citizenship Test is included in the back of the book with page references to all the answers.
Also available in electronic book formats
“The American Challenge” is also available in eBook formats for the Kindle, Nook, and other popular eBook readers. An enhanced PDF version includes links to online material from almost every subject in the book, as well as embedded audio of many of the famous speeches and songs.
In the 17th Century, many aspects of the New World were still unknown. Many different species of animals, birds and plants from what colonist were use to gave mystery to this new land. Published for the first time, the Codex Canadensis is a scientific study documenting the various species of New France. Many of the illustrations are very detailed and beautiful, while others have almost dipped into the realm of fantasy. The Codex Canadensis, which has been held at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is now published as . Michel Comte of the AFP writes about how the manuscript got published and it’s importance in the history of North America. Also check out the images of the Codex Canadensis at the Library and Archives of Canada website for more images.
An illustrated book describing Canada’s vast wilds, masked medicine men and a missionary’s taming of bears at the onset of European colonization will hit bookstores on Saturday — three centuries after it was written.
The manuscript titled “The Natural History of the New World” and a separate codex of drawings were penned around 1675 by a fantastically imaginative Jesuit priest named Louis Nicolas.
The tomes languished separately — one in France’s national library in Paris, the other in the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Eventually, a Quebec art historian determined during some 30 years of research that both volumes were written by the same author and after identifying him, brought the two works together in one 550-page volume.
The work is being published for the first time by McGill Queen’s University Press as “.”