Speaking Volumes
3:27 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Leaving an Imprint on History with Rep. Dan Frankel

When he's not busy representing Pittsburgh's East End in the state House of Representatives, Rep. Dan Frankel enjoys pleasure-reads about the political process. To him, it never feels like work.

Robert A. Caro, “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. 4

Book Four of Robert A. Caro’s monumental The Years of Lyndon Johnson displays all the narrative energy and illuminating insight that led the Times of London to acclaim it as “one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age.  A masterpiece.”

In its exploration of this pivotal period in Johnson’s life—and in the life of the nation—The Passage of Power is not only the story of how he surmounted unprecedented obstacles in order to fulfill the highest purpose of the presidency but is, as well, a revelation of both the pragmatic potential in the presidency and what can be accomplished when the chief executive has the vision and determination to move beyond the pragmatic and initiate programs designed to transform a nation.  It is an epic story told with a depth of detail possible only through the peerless research that forms the foundation of Robert Caro’s work, confirming Nicholas von Hoffman’s verdict that “Caro has changed the art of political biography.”

~RobertCaro.com

Robert A. Caro, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

Everywhere acknowledged as a modern American classic, chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest books of the twentieth century and by Time magazine as one of the hundred top nonfiction books of all time, The Power Broker is a huge and galvanizing biography revealing not only the virtually unknown saga of one man’s incredible accumulation of power, but the hidden story of the shaping (and mis-shaping) of New York in the twentieth century.

~RobertCaro.com

Walter Isaacson, “Steve Jobs

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

~Simon and Schuster

Douglas Brinkley, “Cronkite

For decades, Walter Cronkite was known as "the most trusted man in America." Millions across the nation welcomed him into their homes, first as a print reporter for the United Press on the front lines of World War II, and later, in the emerging medium of television, as a host of numerous documentary programs and as anchor of the CBS Evening News, from 1962 until his retirement in 1981. Yet this very public figure, undoubtedly the twentieth century's most revered journalist, was a remarkably private man; few know the full story of his life. Drawing on unprecedented access to Cronkite's private papers as well as interviews with his family and friends, Douglas Brinkley now brings this American icon into focus as never before.

Epic, intimate, and masterfully written, Cronkite is the much-anticipated biography of an extraordinary American life, told by one of our most brilliant and respected historians.

~HarperCollins

John Hielemann & Mark Halperin, “Game Change

In 2008, the presidential election became blockbuster entertainment. Everyone was watching as the race for the White House unfolded like something from the realm of fiction. The meteoric rise and historic triumph of Barack Obama. The shocking fall of the House of Clinton—and the improbable resurrection of Hillary as Obama's partner and America's face to the world. The mercurial performance of John McCain and the mesmerizing emergence of Sarah Palin. But despite the wall-to-wall media coverage of this spellbinding drama, remarkably little of the real story behind the headlines had been told—until now.

In Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel.

~HarperCollins