Book reviews

Book reviews with a Boston bent. Be it a book that takes place in Boston, or was written by a writer from Boston. Or one on the history of Boston. From comic book to graphic novels to the strange and weird. If it is about Boston you will find it here

Monday, April 30, 2012

Catching up on my reading

Leave it to a book blogger to add books to her "to be read" pile instead of reading what she already has. I have been reading some great books, including "The life signs of Star Trek" written by Susan Jenkins MD and Robert Jenkins. I just finished reading Fenway 1912 and celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.

I plan on taking my Mom there this year. She has never been and is looking forward to going.

I am currently reading "Game Change" after watching the HBO movie, I was interested in reading the book. Since the movie was all about the McCain Palin team I thought the book would be as well. Much to my surprise the book is more about Obama than anyone else. At best McCain gets 3 chapters, and even those are more about his interaction with Obama than anything else.

Sarah Palin does not even get a mention until page 351!  Her story, so well told in the movie gets little mention in the book. I wonder if the selection of  Biden as Vice President gets more ink.

The majority of the book, pretty much the first 200 pages are about the primary battle between Obama and Clinton, the other candidates running in 2008 don't get a mention. Well except for quoting  Biden's gaff about Obama being well spoken. So Game Change confuses me, I was looking for a good book reviewing the historic 2008 election, instead I got a book mostly  about the primary. Which is a good book, just not the one I was expecting. I also don't like the way the Clintons are portrayed in the book.  I felt it was a bit unfortunate for the portral of both of them. From the way Heilemann and Halperin describe her it sounds as if Clinton was willing to watch the Democratic party self destruct instead of loosing what she felt (or at least the book version of her) she deserved.

One thing that did surprise me early on in the book is the idea that Obama was pushed to run for President by the leaders of the party.  I did kind of have a feeling that was true, but the book names the people pushing him. 

The 2008 Presidential campaign does deserve to have several books written about it. Maybe a few insiders on both sides of the election will some day provide more background.  This was an historic election, I would enjoy reading more.  Sadly, Game Change is not that book.

It's good, a real page turner, but it's not what I thought it would be. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fenway 1912

I have been reading this book for a while. Getting distracted by the 101st season in my beloved park.

That is where  I discovered an interesting bit right in the first chapter.  Boston was once a two team town. There was an American League team The Boston Red Sox and a second team that played on the National team side.  This less popular team had been given several different names as time went on. The Nationals, The Doves, or even The Rustlers....  

Well Glenn Stout says it better than I ever could

The Nationals  began to rouse from their slumber.   James Gaffney, a member of New York's Tammany hall political machine purchased the club.  Former player John Montgmery Ward was elected president and on December 21 the club made some changes.

First Ward announced that henceforth the team would no longer   be known as The Nationals, or the Doves or Rustlers ....They would be known as "The Braves" Ward explained that new owner James Gaffney is one of the grand sachems of Tammany in New York and is known as one of the "Braves"

Therefore Boston Braves would have the true fighting ring that the fans would take to.  --James Gaffney

He continues  -----
The Tammany Hall building was in fact named after a Native American  Chief Tammany, and so the political activists who meet there and  became New York's first political machine were  called "Braves"

The nickname continues to this day, used by the Atlanta Braves although few fan realize that the name originally referred to a machine politician, not a Native American

Back to me then

So if any from Atlanta is listening, your team was not named as a offence of your Native lands.  The Toma-hawk shot in the 7th inning is useless. 

The new mascot should be a guy in a poorly made suit demanding 10% of all earning