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Dear Pierre

Thank you for adding my book Secrets of Bali.

I hope that you found it interesting,

Best wishes

Jonathan
Ubud, Bali
My comments on:

1521 The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmund Morris (read 16 June 1979) (Pulitzer Biography prize for 1980) (National Book Award biography prize in 1980) This book is rather simply written. But it would appear Roosevelt was a simple man. The book is not erudite, but it tells much I did not know. The book covers the time till he became President in 1901. The Spanish-American War was really a most unnecessary war, and TR's lust for war is almost incomprehensible to a person in this age. TR was born Oct 27, 1858, in New York City, graduated from Harvard in 1880 (Harvard had an enrollment of 800!), was elected to the Legislature for two or three terms, and spent a lot of time in North Dakota. A very good book to read

3571. Theodore Rex, by Edmund Morris (read 22 Apr 2002) Little did I know that when on June 16, 1979, I finished the prize-winning and excellent The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt I would have to wait till now to read volume 2 of the biography. But I felt this volume is maybe better than the first. The period from Sept 1901 to March 4, 1909, comes fully alive, and things one usually considers less than exciting (e.g., ending the Russo-Japanese War, sending thefleet around the world, etc.) are told in a way that arouses one's interest. This is a great work, and not nearly as heavy as the book looks, since over 170 pages are notes, with only 555 pages of text. A highlight of this month's reading indeed.

I wonder when I will read the final volume.
Here are my comments on the two books you ask about:

4602 Nixon and Mao The Week That Changed the World, by Margaret MacMillan (read 29 Jul 2009) Because I much enjoyed MacMillan's account of the Versailles Treaty when I read her Paris 1919 on 3 Apr 2003, when I saw this book I wanted to read it. It tells the story of Nixon's visit to China in February 1972. It is very well-done, and examines that event and all leading up to it in faultless and easy to read prose. In general, despite the character flaws of Nixon and Kissinger, they come out looking pretty good and one must conclude the trip was a success. Some of Nixon's behavior was weird but it all worked out. I do not know how that important episode in 20th century history could be better told than it is in this book. The author is a great-granddaughter of Lloyd-George, British Prime Minister during the latter part of World War One.

4647 Empire of Liberty A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, by Gordon S. Wood (read 6 Dec 2009) This is a just published volume in the series The Oxford History of the United States, and is the sixth volume in that series I have read. This volume covers from the adoption of the Constitution till the end of the War of 1812. There is a lot of analytic history but I did not find the volume too absorbing, though there are a lot of good chapters. I especially liked the chapter on the War on 1812--a strange war indeed, which we were very lucky to have gotten out of by the Treaty of Ghent--which treaty gave us a draw, and which the battle of New Orleans (fought after the treaty was signed) made Americans think they had won the war. This is a big book: 738 pages of text, and a bibliographic essay of 23 pages. The footnotes are real footnotes--at the foot of each page. Lots of insightful discussion, even if not super-absorbing.
Thanks for the compliment of finding my library interesting. It must be the books about Japan - its my passion.
I am very pleased you find my library interesting. And I interested that ypou live in Zurich. Are you Swiss, or if not where were you born?
Merry Christmas to you, too! Have fun in Kobe.
Julia
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