OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Political Books for Summer Reading
Most of us catch up on our reading in the summer, since we were shoveling snow in our free time in the winter. Here are some political books that I have enjoyed.
1. Coolidge by Amity Shlaes: This is a great read about a Massachusetts governor who rose to the White House. Shlaes chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation and is a professor. Her deep understanding of economics, as well as her ability to tell an interesting story, has led to a solid following of book readers. She has authored four New York Times bestsellers.
2. Before the Storm by Rick Perlstein: This is the story of the 1964 Presidential campaign on Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. Perlstein is a left-wing historian and he is honest about his beliefs. However, this isn't a hatchet job on the conservative senator who lost to LBJ in the wake of the assassination of JFK. This is a book that should be read by anyone interested in modern American politics. The book was praised by the late William Rusher, who was the publisher of the National Review and an architect of the movement to draft Sen. Goldwater into the presidential race.
3. If Not Us, Who? by David Frisk: This is a biography of the above mentioned William Rusher and his role in the modern conservative movement. The author is a former journalist who earned a Ph.D. and teaches at the college level. The story of William Rusher is instructive and inspirational and will be beneficial and enjoyable to anyone involved in politics regardless of their political philosophy.
4. Blacklisted by History by M. Stanton Evans: This is the factual, well-documented story of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his fight against treason. Stan Evans has passed away ,but he was able to leave behind a historical masterpiece that will enlighten and frighten you if you have the courage to pick it up. There was a reason Robert Kennedy took a job as a lawyer with Sen. McCarthy's committee and made McCarthy the godfather of his firstborn child, Kathleen, in 1951. Evans graduated with honors from Yale University, and worked as a reporter and an editor while authoring numerous books on national security and American politics. He also founded the National Journalism Center in 1977 to educate and motivate aspiring journalists.
I hope you take a look at these books, because I believe you find them interesting and informative. I put this group of books together because they overlap, and many of the people surface and resurface in the different works --except for the Coolidge biography. I enjoyed Amity Shlaes biography of Calvin Coolidge so much that I shoehorn it into almost any discussion of books.
I would be interested to hear from you on some books you have found interesting and would recommend. Please email me or call my radio program to share a book or two.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.