The first newsletter of 2020 is here!
My sixth-annual best of the year edition of the top books I was lucky enough to read in 2019.
Of all the hand-wringing about our current state of politics, a major complaint is that today’s voters choose personality and attitude over policy and ability. However, students of history know that this has been the case for centuries in America, almost from its inception.
The latest iteration of my newsletter includes my recent experience with Hallmark Christmas movies, changing a one-year-old, having to pay a deposit to use a shopping cart, and of course, the latest books I encountered.
In most cases, progress and evolution happen slowly, over a period of time marked by small, incremental changes. Occasionally, however, a seismic shift occurs and a culture transforms overnight.
That is what happened in 1986 when a young man with a voice that sounded like it was from outer space came in the door and changed the game forever with “Eric B. Is President,” the first single from Eric B. & Rakim. The latter half of that duo was still in high school when he introduced a “new era of rhyme style” with complex internal rhymes full of multisyllabic words and a relaxed, composed delivery that was more conversational than shouting.
It was a new day in hip-hop.
Growing up in the Philly area, there is a constant underlying feeling of inferiority, like a little brother, in regards to New York City, particularly within the realm of hip-hop.
My May 2019 newsletter includes tidbits about some the NBA, some podcasts, and, of course, books.
“I am but an ordinary Man. The Times alone have destined me to Fame — and even these have not been able to give me, much…Yet some great Events, some cutting Expressions, some mean Hypocrisies, have at Times, thrown this Assemblage of Sloth, Sleep, and littleness into Rage a little like a Lion.”John Adams
I have a vivid memory – so clear that it’s like a snapshot – of sitting in an American Revolution class junior year as my professor, a brilliant man and a wonderful teacher, kept extolling the virtues of George Washington and juxtaposing them with John Adams, whom he referred to as “curmudgeonly” and “acerbic.”
That’s all I needed to hear.
April 2019’s newsletter is now out!
“He saw the whole of a subject at a single glance, and by a happy union of the powers of reasoning and persuasion often succeeded in carrying measures which were at first sight of an unpopular nature.”–Benjamin Rush
I imagine writing a book about John Adams in the 2010’s would be a daunting task.
At first glance, it appears that there is significant difficulty in writing about a member of a revered, almost mythical, group that died nearly two centuries ago.