Book Review – Drums Along The Mohawk by Walter D. Edmonds
I never read Drums before. Published by Little, Brown in the nineteen thirties it is a famous book and a genre I love, but I thought I knew the story because I had seen the movie. A simpleton’s mistake. A movie I knew and should have remembered is a water-colored brushstroke and a good book a painting in oils. And Drums isn’t only good, it’s magnificent. When it was first published Hendrik Van Loon wrote about Drums, “here at last is a book which gives us what we so badly need, a foundation for a true philosophy of national life” and praise for it should only begin there. Drums is the story of America forming along a river, in wheat fields, under snow, across the wilderness and above all in front of forts with forgotten names such as, Stanwix, Eldrige, Herkimer, Ballston, Stone Arabia. It is one of those compelling books about which we have to agonize “that with stories like this as our heritage, school children are today are reading what? Learning what about themselves and how they got here?” And it’s a good read, complex characterization, amazing, and to a writer humbling, similes, sideways sliding drama and ever building suspense all in simple clear prose. A ten year old could read it and love it, be uplifted and gain immeasurable strength from it.
As did a certain sixty eight year old.
Quote of the day is from Jeremy Egerer in American Thinker – The Trouble With Niceness explaining why we shouldn’t conflate suffering with heroism, but should in this and many other instances, use the right word because:
“God will have been robbed of not only His supreme characteristics, but also His palette and paintbrush (for He paints with many colors). ”
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/the_trouble_with_niceness.html#ixzz2R8jZ8PjL
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I not plugged into daily life outside of the northeast but in the area of the country it’s hard for a man to shop, wait for a doctor’s appointment, visit a school without wanting to retch at how many of the women look. Especially women of a certain age, say late thirties to early sixties. Because a broad (no pun intended) swath are into what we could call the Balkan Refugee Look. Their hair looks like they just stuck a finger in an electrical outlet, bad facials, indeed no make-up at all, their mouth a bitter closed slash, their dress some sort of billowing dark ethnic fabric, no bra and of course all wear a perpetually offended expression on their face while clopping by in scuffed up slip-ons.
And the epidemic is spreading. Why I don’t know. Maybe they’re all discarded first wives and that number is growing but it might be interesting to find out whether going grunge correlated with the divorce. In some cases I’m certain it’s the dreaded LBD which has their knickers in a twist but again one can speculate about whether their deterioration in grooming preceded that condition too.
I don’t care! For Pete’s sake comb your damn hair. Take a shower. Smile. Dress in solid colors. Join the NRA for a model of how together women look and conduct themselves.
Oh and by the way stop volunteering at the food pantry, thinking of yourself as a “healer”, hanging around the library to use somebody else’s computer, obsessing about George W. Bush, wearing peace sign brass necklaces or Indian prayer beads and buying avocados.
We all now how you feed your face when you’re alone.
And why you are.
My son Frank Miniter wrote a wonderful book entitled the Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide.
And I don’t want to tread on his turf but if you assembling a survival kit you might consider including something that’s only 3 1/2″ inches by 5″ by 3/8″ think and weighs only ounces. It’s the New-England primer also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble on-line etc.
Oh, not for you. But for children or grandchildren who in dark times, you might have to teach how to read. Millions of children used it to learn at one time and wound up reading much better and with greater style and panache then the damaged products of today public education. The primer takes a child in its few pages from the alphabet through words of five syllables.
Read it for yourself and you’ll see how far we’ve come from the education being a means not to simply to read and comprehend but to read and write really well as well as learn morality and fair dealing with one another. Something which I might add, is only important to a free people.
From lessons for children in the primer:
Love your school, Mind your book, Strive to learn, Be not a dunce
So be not a dunce and put this somewhere safe, just in case you need it.
On another note my piece in American Thinker a couple of days ago Working Our Way Up To Auschwitz got six pages of comment. I’m very proud of it and sincerely moved by all the wonderful people who wrote me about and said they were moved as well.
Reading David Stockman’s book just out, The Great Deformation. Stockman was Reagan’s Budget Director renowned for his phenomenal grasp of programs. Indeed a Paul Ryan writ large, but without his easy grace. And ultimately disloyal to Reagan, although Reagan with his typical easy humor, publicly forgave him.
The book lays out with insect intricacy the devolution of the capitalist system in the United States into “Crony Capitalism.” The first section takes us through monetary policy roughly from the end of the First World War up to the beginning of the Obama Administration. You have to hand it to him, Stockman hangs it all together with wealth of detail leavened with some fascinating anecdotes. Want to know what caused the Great Depression and the truth behind FDR’s posturing, here it is. Nixon’s idiotic machinations like wage and price controls, Kennedy intuitive grasp of some basic economic truths and the real numbers behind the Reagan Revolution? This is book for you.
Stockman is also a good writer, masters his metaphors and adjectives. But you get up from a reading bruised. It’s a bang, bang, bang at a double time cadence throughout every page. A forced march through economic history. Shelby Foote should have edited this book.
And there’s very few people Stockman likes and he contradicts himself about individuals, trashes Laffer for his point-of-view but lauds long ago Treasury Secretary Mellon while their beliefs were the same. Doesn’t he understand some readers might know that?
The Great Deformation is a magnificent work and I can’t imagine any other mind could have put it together. But my advice is take two aspirin before you hit yourself over the head with it.
Meanwhile New York my home state after enacting the most ill thought-out and unconstitutional gun control law imaginable is now offering gun clubs grants to extend their ranges. Huh?
I have a piece running soon in American Thinker. Sort of a straight from the heart account which I hope readers enjoy and get something from.