Books I read

I’ll update this list periodically.

  • Khruschev: The Man and His Era: I wanted to learn more about Khruschev after reading about the political risks he took to avoid a more serious confrontation in the Cuban Missile Crisis. (currently reading this book)
  • Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis: Really interesting to hear about the internal discussions inside both the US and Soviet governments. JFK’s approach was unpopular even among his close advisors and played right into their criticisms of him. Both JFK and Khruschev took real political risks here. (2021-05-21)
  • Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson: My grandmother grew up in Texas, and Caro’s vivid explanations of what life was like there in the 1920s helped me understand what she experienced. Caro sets the context for the various stages of and places in LBJ’s life so well that I have a better understanding of how it would have felt to live through those times. Also, LBJ led an epic life. For just one example: he campaigned around Texas in a helicopter at a time when most people had never seen a helicopter and they were quite risky. Does that fit your model of LBJ as a boring politician? What would the analog be for a politician today? (2021-05-13)