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John McCain’s Literary Farewell

By Brian Hoey. Oct 13, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

In the introduction to his last work, The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda (1617), Cervantes writes what’s often considered to be one of literature’s most beautiful farewell messages. In it, the creator of Don Quixote (1605) discusses his ailing health, and recalls encountering a young admirer on the road to a nearby inn. The two ride together and chat for a while and ultimately part ways, giving Cervantes occasion to reflect poignantly on his life and works. The anecdote, though relatively full of good cheer and fellow feeling on its face, is tinged with a lingering melancholy that makes the whole encounter seem weightier in retrospect. For a modern reader separated from Cervantes by multiple centuries, it’s a moment of rare intimacy with the past.

     
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A Look Inside Presidential Libraries

Today is the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday. In addition to having been an exceptional statesman, Lincoln, like many of America's forefathers was also a prolific reader, amassing an impressive personal library. In honor of the late, great president, we've put together a post to give you a look inside presidential libraries.

     
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Tim Russert: Journalist and Author

By Adrienne Rivera. May 7, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

As the long-time host of Meet the Press and commentator on presidential elections, Timothy Russert was a household name during his lauded career at NBC. Russert is credited with popularizing the terms “red and blue states” to refer to states that primarily tend to vote Republican or Democrat, respectively. During his time as a journalist with NBC, he covered numerous presidential elections and the Iraq war. Let's take a closer look at the career and books by this legend of televised political journalism.

     
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Chronicling the American Presidency: Bob Woodward

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 25, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Pulitzer Prize

While not many print journalists bear the distinction of being a household name, there are likely few people who have not heard of investigative reporter Bob Woodward. WoodwardHarvard educated and a Navy veteranhas spent the majority of his career at The Washington Post, where he currently serves as associate editor. He initially applied for a position as a reporter at the Post and was given a two week trial period. He was not hired on a continual basis due to a lack of experience, since he applied right out of school. Woodward applied again after one year of working as a journalist at the Montgomery Sentinel. Not even a full year later, Woodward, along with Carl Bernstein, was assigned to cover a burglary at the soon to be infamous Watergate Building. This would make him a household name.

     
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Top Books by State: Illinois

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Awarded Books

Today we continue our literary journey with a stop in Illinois. This Midwestern state is known for being a mixture of urban and rural, city and farmland, as well as for being home to many of the different cultures that make up America. Illinois is famous for corn and Abraham Lincoln, for gangsters roaming Chicago in the 1930s and for sports. Illinois boasts cities, farms, wetlands and forests, all situated in the heart of country. Illinois is home to Chicago, perhaps the most important of the Midwestern cities, and while Illinois is considered by many to simply be a flyover state, in many ways, its history and people represent some of the most important aspects of America. Join us as we take a closer look at the Prairie State.

     
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Remembering Ronald Reagan Through the Written Word

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 6, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

When one hears the name “Ronald Reagan” many titles come to mind—actor, politician, president. And while in this day and age, many Hollywood stars participate in politics and make their political voices heard (aided, of course, by massive social media platforms and the resulting exposure), thirty years ago when Reagan made the jump from actor to Governor of California and, subsequently, to President of the United States, he was a bit of a trailblazer. Indeed, Reagan’s charisma charmed the Republican party and the American people. When he left office in 1989, his approval rating was a sky-high 68%, making him as popular as Franklin Delano Roosevelt before him and Bill Clinton in his wake.

     
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The Writings of Former President Richard Nixon

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 9, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

Former President Richard Nixon has the unique distinction of being the only president in the history of the United States government to resign from office. Known for his involvement in the Vietnam War as well as the Watergate Scandal, Nixon's political legacy is one of the more controversial moments in 20th century American history. Today we take a closer look at Nixon's presidency as well as some of the books written in his post-presidential career as a best-selling author, which detail this complicated man's place in the fabric of the country and the political views that led him to both his successes and failures during his career.

     
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The Fame and Fiction of William F. Buckley, Jr.

By Audrey Golden. Nov 24, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Legendary Authors, Learn About Books

When most people think about William F. Buckley, Jr., they don’t think about Cold War spy novels or interviews with Beat poets and dramatists. Instead, they often think about Buckley's prominence in conservative politics. Yet he also made a name for himself when it came to fiction. We didn’t just reference Cold War spy novels and Jack Kerouac—two seemingly incompatible topics—out of nowhere. In fact, although you might not suspect it, Buckley wrote eleven novels about espionage and even interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, and Jack Kerouac on television. Are you intrigued? Let us tell you a little bit more about William F. Buckley, Jr.’s fame and fiction.

     
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Book Spotlight: Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 6, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

Published in 2009, Jon Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman explores the life of football player Pat Tillman. Born in 1976, Tillman became one of the best known players for the Arizona Cardinals before leaving his multimillion dollar contract to enlist in the Army. His death in the line of duty brought controversy to the Army and U.S. government when they hid and changed details of the incident from Tillman’s family and the public. Krakauer’s work brings together the facts, painting for readers a clear picture of the details and cover-up.

     
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The Life and Work of Hillary Clinton

By Shelley Kelber. Oct 26, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, History

Hillary Clinton engenders strong emotions from many people. Some love her. Some love to hate her. No matter where you fall, it's difficult to argue that she's not a very accomplished, very smart, woman of a certain age. Rather than descending into political debate, we'd like to offer an overview of Clinton's accomplishments and some of her notable written works, and leave it at that.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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