Friday, September 12, 2014

New books on old subjects

People never seem to tire of reading about certain subjects and certain people. Perusing two catalogs of recent books I found 19 books about the Kennedy assassination, including at least three suggesting Lyndon Johnson had something to do with it and one blaming the CIA. These books have titles like A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination and Unsolved History: JFK, Death in Dealey Plaza. Then, too, we find We Were There: Revelations from the Dallas Doctors Who Attended to JFK on November 22, 1963 and Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination.

I count 16 books about Abraham Lincoln (including Did Lincoln Own Slaves and Lincoln's Melancholy) and eight books about Winston Churchill (including Churchill Defiant: Fighting on, 1945-1955 and Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1946). There are at least 11 new books or new editions of older books about Marilyn Monroe. You might try Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years or Marilyn Monroe: Gone, But Not Forgotten. One book, Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country's Most Controversial Cover-ups, that discusses Marilyn's death also discusses JFK's death, so I counted that one in both categories.

I didn't even try to count all the books about the Civil War and World War II, two broad topics that may never lose their appeal to those who enjoy reading about military history. I happen to be reading an excellent book about World War II myself.

I understand the attraction of each of these subjects because I own several books about each of them. I once got rid of a couple of my Churchill biographies because I thought had too many, but I still have five of them. I also seem to be overloaded with biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Hardy and, of all people, Ivan the Terrible. We just can't seem to learn enough about certain people and certain events of the past.

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