American Originals: The Private Worlds of Some Singular Men and Women

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9780060166946: American Originals: The Private Worlds of Some Singular Men and Women
From Library Journal:

Ward, the principal writer of the PBS series and book The Civil War ( LJ 9/1/90; Video Reviews, LJ 8/91) and biographer of Franklin Roosevelt ( Before the Trumpet , LJ 6/1/85; The First Class Temperament , LJ 7/89), here gives us 40 separate pieces. Many are short essays reviewing new biographies. All have been published before, and most are unrevised. But since Ward's writing is so uniformly good, and since he focuses on the internal motivations of his subjects, this book is sure to be popular. The people profiled include entertainers, political leaders, generals, and artists, from Dorothy Thompson, who was so often right, to Roy Cohn, who was always despicable. The book is directed to a popular audience but it is not all fluff. Ward includes some new information about FDR's Delano grandfather as a participant in the opium trade with China. Even smaller public libraries will need it for their browsing collections.
- Robert W. Frizzell, Hendrix Coll. Lib., Conway, Ark.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Prominent American men and women, whose accomplishments range from politics to poetry, are scrutinized in this intriguing, unorthodox collection of essays by award-winning historian Ward ( Before the Trumpet: Young Franklin Roosevelt ). He delights in pointing out little-known attributes and foibles of these folk, and the good or bad influences they have exerted on our lives. Lillian Hellman is placed in his "Bad Men and Liars" category, along with Roy Cohn, Alger Hiss and presidential assassins Booth and Oswald. Confederate General Lee's status as a national hero, Ward asserts, is due largely to his peacemaking role, which brought his soldiers back into the Union. FDR, descended from a China opium trader, is described here as a passionate ornithologist whose pack-rat habits led to the establishment of his presidential library at Hyde Park, N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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